Morbid Angel is a Florida-based death metal band assembled in 1983. They, along with Death, Possessed, Entombed, Obituary and a handful of others were crucial in the development of the death metal genre and its standards. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked 2 Morbid Angel albums in its 'Top 40 Greatest Death Metal Albums', with Altars of Madness appearing at #1. Its songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of guitarist Trey Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval who was formally in the Grindcore/Death Metal band Terrorizer.
Morbid Angel was one of the original death metal bands signed to Earache Records, and was also influential in the transition of death metal from its thrash metal roots to its current form by adding up-tempo blast beats, inspired by grindcore, incorporating atonality in guitar soloing, and groove-oriented rhythms. It was also the first death metal band to have a touch of mainstream success, such as being signed to Giant Records in 1993 and having the music video for the song "God of Emptiness" shown on an episode of Beavis and Butthead.
The original lyrical themes focused mostly on Satanism and anti-Christian subject matter, but from second album Blessed Are the Sick onward, the lyrics slowly moved toward the ancient Sumerian gods, though much of this is a nod to the Simon Necronomicon, which was influenced by Sumerian mythology as well as the author H. P. Lovecraft), as well as a fascination with the Roman Empire, though anti-religious elements continue to permeate the lyrics.
Morbid Angel albums have been released with titles descending in alphabetical order. The band is currently writing and recording a new studio album due for release sometime in 2007, and will likely keep the trend with a title beginning with the letter "I".
* Trey Azagthoth - lead guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, vocals (1983-present)
* Pete Sandoval - drums (1988-present)
* David Vincent - vocals, bass guitar (1986-1996, 2004-present)