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MORBID SAINT Swallowed By Hell

By Francisco Zamudio, Metal X Candy 2.0
Friday, February 9, 2024 @ 8:55 AM


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MORBID SAINT
Swallowed By Hell

High Roller Records




I would say there's a pretty extensive list of bands that came out between the late 80's and early 90's, who after a release or 2 simply disappeared, leaving us both wanting more and wondering what the hell happened to them. Curiouser and curiouser, it relates to the absence of names in the discussion about bands who paved the way for Thrash-turning-Death Metal. Having only released TWO albums since first forming in the mid-80's, the band from Sheboygan, Wisconsin known as MORBID SAINT left a huge impact stemming from their debut release Spectrum of Death that was released in 1990. Not because of any sort of confusion of whether or not it was Eddie (The Head, of MAIDEN fame) but because it was a great example of how Thrash Metal had found a more "evil" route to take that would help create Death Metal and influence a wealth of bands even to this day. Now 30 years later they are about to release a highly anticipated, highly overdue and much needed album. Swallowed By Hell looks to give credit where credit is due, bringing back the name MORBID SAINT into the conversation.

Since getting the new MORBID SAINT album, I had been listening to the prior 2 albums a lot, which is what I normally do to compare the past to the present. I forgot how great these albums were. When I'm around various Metal-releated events like concerts or swap meets and see a MORBID SAINT patch for sale or on someone's battle-vest, I'm always like 'f*ck yeah!' in appreciation that they're still recognized. I'd say it's a toss-up when debating which album was "better". When you compare their debut and the 2nd record Destruction System, that was supposed to be released in 1992 but was only actually released decades later, they are a little different in that I feel one definitely leans more towards a Death Metal sound while the other is more on the Thrash side of the fence. While Swallowed By Hell didn't go that extra mile to become full-fledged Death Metal, which to me would have been extraordinary (maybe because I love Death Metal more than Thrash), that doesn't take away from the album being an absolute banger. This album does not disappoint at all. Taking advantage of how far modern recording technology has come, it captures the great songwriting and ferocity that MORBID SAINT had then and modernized their sound during a perfect time for a release. The original members that include Vocalist Pat Lind, and Guitarists Jay Fergades and Jay Fisser show that they were still able to come up with some ripping music. The rhythm section added by Bassist Gary Beimel and Drummer Lee Reynolds, whose speed on those double kicks is insane, sharpen their sound so well.

Some of my favorite tracks on this record are "Rise From The Ashes" and "Swallowed By Hell" for which they released their first single and video for that was an excellent taste of things to come.

Whatever led to their breakup in the 90's, whatever led to their reunion in 2010, it must have added to the fire because Swallowed By Hell is an inferno of 10 tracks that set your speakers ablaze. I'd add "F*ck Them All" to my list of favorite tracks on here because again Reynolds is unrelenting on that double-bass action and the guitar riffing from the faster parts to the groove parts are smooth and catchy, and I love that part where it picks up the speed into some intense soloing by both Fisser and Fergades. I love dual/duel-guitar soloing.

Icing on the cake for Swallowed By Hell is that it's capped off by some great cover art by Ed Repka whose work is quite well known and recognized from albums by MEGADETH, SUICIDE ANGELS, MASSACRE, and countless others but most notably DEATH. Nearly the perfect album, you get what must be a(nother) great comeback album from a band that was part of the crossover sound between Death and Thrash that was shaping a new era in Metal.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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