Morbid Angel was such a great band, their first three albums captured some of the finest and thoroughly viciousness terms of playing style and vocals in regard to death metal subgenre with a firm nod to satanic image, which later transfers more to another death metal band Deicide. In fact, in the late 80s and early 90s, Tampa, Florida was the scene for a growing number of death metal bands, which also included the now defunct Brutality, Hate Eternal, Diabolic, and Monstrosity. The band’s firm line-up (lasted until 1996) of three members the mainstay and leader Trey Azagthoth on guitars/keyboards, who supposedly indulged in cutting his arms with a razor, then David Vincent on vocals/bass, and Pete Sandoval on drums, who’s considered the ‘the father of the blast beat’ i.e., the fastest drummer, in fact once outplayed the intensity and speed of a computerized drum kit, which was originally designed as a prank on him. Their popularity grew to their solid albums, fan base and some thanks to splattering news coverage on and in numerous metal magazines and then MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. While one needs to note a second guitarist Richard Brunelle joined the line-up briefly through a series of demo releases, and through the first two albums, but left after this release, issue in July of 1993 by Earache Records.

After I heard music video of “Rapture” how it just dominated and continued to be played in my mind long after it ended, I had to purchase it, I was 18 years old, and still a true metalhead, now entering firmly to my death-metal phase. The trio of musicians worked to generate an intense and frenzied playing style, with a rarity of incorporating a hellish atmosphere on a brutal record. Often many are unaware that death metal is more than just one vein, for example, track number two “Pain Divine” contains a chorus which hooks the listeners; while “World of Shit” hones a doom-driven song style that seems almost second nature to the band. The tracks “The Lion’s Den” and “Angel of Disease,” respectively song #5 and #7 clock with ode to thrash meets death, and “Nar Mattaru” is short instrumental. The standout of track is “Vengeance is Mine” thoroughly heavy, and almost if madness takes over the musicians’ skills.

Track Listing:

Pain Divine
World Of Shit (The Promised Land)
Vengeance Is Mine
The Lion’s Den
Blood On My Hands
Angel Of Disease
Sworn To The Black
Nar Mattaru
God Of Emptiness


Band Members:

Trey Azagthoth – Guitars/Keyboards

David Vincent – Vocals/Bass

Pete Sandoval – Drums


The artwork on the album is very good, and extremely offensive, for that era, it would later become tamer to many of the future black metal and black-death bands. The front cover presents a page from occult author Arthur Edward Waite’s The Book of Ceremonial Magic to the right and to the left is reproduction of “The Pact of Urbain Grandier” who was a catholic priest burned at the stake for being convicted of witchcraft due to so called Loudun Possessions, all done to reflect the lyrics the band’s philosophy. As for the back cover was infamous, the stepping on the cross was consider the second step from heretics, the metaphorically stomping on Christ, this act often shows greeting the Devil with a chalice, in the catholic rite it’s the representations of blood of Christ. It would follow the baptism rite and proceed the Osculum Infame, meaning The Shameful Kiss, of when witches greet the Devil; these dates back to the 16th-century.

‘Covenant’ seems to be many fans their favorite album of their career, and I tend to fully agree with that assessment, it might their best in the existence however this requires more extensive and deeper listening to their entire catalog. Nevertheless, the style and vocals carry throughout the album, filled an aggressive tempo than their previous records, and allowed for a simple in your face throttled. In fact, the album proved so popular, that the exposure to mainstream, had filmmakers of Night of the Demons 2 [1994] feature to two songs in their film “Rapture” and “Vengeance Is Mine” clearly supports why metal fans to own this record, the physical copy and the mp3 of a few songs.


Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5.0


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