Morbid Angel

Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Morbid Angel was on the road celebrating the 20th anniversary of their much praised album Covenant.
This album has a special place in the hearts of many, and a special one for Danes as it was countryman Flemming Rasmussen who, together with the band, produced the album and helped give it the signature sound that is so well-liked.
All of this made for a very special night in the middle of December where the band entered Pumpehuset to play the album in its entirety, plus extras, for an expectant Danish crowd.

“Hello! It’s good to see you all again my friends here in Copenhagen!”
- David Vincent (vocals/bass)

The stage was nicely decorated with a band-logo backdrop and stage banners displaying a black and white version of the backside woodcut artwork from the album. Simple, but good.
The hall was filled, or nearly so, and the heat inside belied the coming winter coldness outside. Still, only one thing was on people’s minds, and that was the coming concert – true to this, the reply from the crowd for the band simply coming on stage during the short intro-music was impressive!
Morbid Angel wasted no time as they dove headlong into Rapture, after which the whole Covenant album was gone through, song by song, with only a short break for band and audience during the instrumental Nar Mattaru which was just delivered as a sound-clip.
After Covenant, Morbid Angel delivered a single track from each of their other full-length releases, starting out with Domination’s Where The Slime Live, which for me was the high-light of the evening together with God Of Emptiness.
The band ripped through the music tightly and aggressively, but the same could not be said about the performance – Vincent tried to open up with a comment or two once in a while, but there was no real action in the members. Trey Azagthoth proved once again that he is the Godfather of shoegazing, and where Thor Anders Myhren worked up a sweat with his crab-stance enough to have a pool of it at his feat a short way into the show, it never amounted to much more than unconnected headbanging from his side either. Tim Yeung was working the skins hard, but there wasn’t anything in his appearance that said this was any different from any other night of the week either. Vincent was the only saving grace when it came to performing and connecting with the audience, but he wasn’t working on more than half steam either.

“Is somebody having a good time? Say yeah!”
- Vincent (vocals/bass)

In all fairness, the band didn’t have much to work with either. Given the specifics about this show and all the hype it had received leading up to this night, I had expected the crowd to be in a wild mosh-frenzy from start to end, but the reality turned out to be quite different…
Now, I’m not going to say that people weren’t into what they saw and heard because I genuinely believe they were, but other than shouting along to some lyrics, some nodding heads, and loud screams of appreciation between songs, the awaited wildness never really amounted to, well, anything. After a guy’s much failed, and slightly comic, attempt at climbing the stage during The Lion’s Den, it took all the way to Angel Of Disease before the majority of the crowd began to move and shove a bit to each other.
The above mentioned Where The Slime Live had an ok hey chanting going for it, as well as a bit more action, but it wasn’t until after Bil Ur-Sag that the classic Morbid chant was heard, and you can check the setlist below just how far into the concert we were at this point!
To give you an idea of how calm the crowd was, I was standing in the front row less about half a metre to the left of Vincent, and at no point did I physically notice anyone standing behind me!

Now, I’m a late bloomer when it comes to extreme metal, and since I didn’t see the light of Morbid Angel until 2008, I don’t have the same feeling of reverence and nostalgia for Covenant as so many others apparently do, but that shouldn’t have prevented me from enjoying the concert had it been delivered in the fashion that made me like the band in the first place.
The problem was that with the exception of a few moments of good, not great, delivery, this seemed very much like another day at the office for the band. There was no real effort or attempt at connecting put into it, and not surprisingly both band and gig failed to do so. Over-hyping can be a problem sometimes, but I know from first-hand experience that this band is capable of so incredibly much more than what they gave Copenhagen this night, which in the end turned out to not be very special at all. I hope they find their way back on top till next time we’ll see them, because I’m not ready to completely give up on them again.


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
Where The Slime Live
Bil Ur-Sag
Ageless, Still I Am
Curse The Flesh
Existo Vulgoré
Immortal Rites
Fall From Grace

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