Morbid Angel’s ABCs: Death Metal’s Unique Lexicon Journey

Ever noticed Morbid Angel’s album titles following an alphabetic sequence? It’s not a cryptic message, just a quirky tradition that has become part of their legacy.

Morbid Angel's ABCs: Death Metal's Unique Lexicon Journey
Morbid Angel

Death metal, a genre known for its aggressive riffs, guttural vocals, and often dark and gory themes, has seen many bands come and go. But few have left an indelible mark quite like Morbid Angel. With a legacy spanning decades and a discography that’s as unique in naming as it is in sound, they’ve carved a niche that’s both intriguing and headbang-worthy.

Starting with their groundbreaking debut, “Altars of Madness” in 1989, they inadvertently set a trend for themselves. “Blessed Are the Sick” followed in 1991, then “Covenant” in 1993. By the time “Domination” rolled around in 1995, fans and critics alike began to notice a pattern. Was it intentional? A cosmic coincidence? Or just a quirky sense of humor from the band?

“It started as a coincidence and then became a tradition.”
— Trey Azagthoth

Trey Azagthoth, the mastermind behind those iconic riffs and the band’s primary songwriter, shed some light on this alphabetic enigma. In various interviews, he’s mentioned that the trend wasn’t a grand plan from the outset. It began serendipitously and then, as fans began to anticipate the next alphabetical installment, became a defining characteristic of the band.

From “Altars” to “Kingdoms”

Each album in this alphabetical odyssey has its own flavor. “Altars of Madness” set the stage, not just alphabetically but also as a defining sound in death metal. “Blessed Are the Sick” showed evolution, “Covenant” made history by being their first death metal album on a major label, and “Domination” was a swansong for David Vincent’s vocals, at least for a while. Even their live album, “Entangled in Chaos”, didn’t break the chain, fitting neatly into the “E” slot.

The band’s journey wasn’t without its bumps. “Illud Divinum Insanus” in 2011, marking the return of David Vincent, stirred the pot with its experimental sounds. But true to form, Morbid Angel bounced back with “Kingdoms Disdained” in 2017, returning to their death metal roots and continuing their alphabetical progression.

Morbid Angel’s alphabetic approach to album titles is just one facet of what makes them unique. Their commitment to musical innovation, combined with a playful approach to album naming, ensures they remain legends in the death metal.