Morbid Angel are widely considered to be one of the most influential Death Metal bands that are still active today. The band was one of the first extreme metal bands to reach a larger audience and break out of the underground. The albums Altars of Madness and Convant are some of the best-selling in the genre and have influenced countless bands. Formed in 1983, Morbid Angel is currently on the road celebrating their 40th anniversary. Guitarist Trey Azagthoth is the only founding member. Steve Tucker who fronted the band 1995-2001 and then again from 2015 until now is a proud Cincinnati native.
The band is currently traveling the country as part of their United States of Terror Tour with Revocation, Vitriol and Crypta. While the tour has been successful with many sold out shows it has been met with tragedy. Exactly one week ago before their show at Riverfront Live, a tornado struck the venue the band was performing at in Belvidere, Illinois. While the bands made it through the storm safely, over 20 fans were injured, and one fan tragically lost their life. Since then, the bands have shared the victims Go Fund Me pages to help raise funds to help raise money for their medical bills.
Despite the horrible tragedy that happened, each band gave energetic and amazing performances. All of the support bands did an incredible job but one in particular stood out to me. Crypta was the first band to take the stage and completely blew me away. This group of four women from Brazil commanded and dominated the stage. Front woman Frenanda Lira captivated the crowd with Gene Simmons like tongue wagging and even bending backwards like she was going for a limbo record while playing. With killer solos and vicious vocals, this is a band to keep your eyes on. Expect big things from Crypta in the future.
By the time Morbid Angel took the stage the crowd had packed the venue. Being a short person, it was hard for me to see the band come out but I sure as hell felt it. Once the band started you could feel the music come from the speakers. In just the first few moments, Morbid Angel proved why they are still one of the bests in their field. Their performance is tight, powerful and heavy. You can’t help but headbang away during their entire set.
Front man Steve Tucker was extremely excited to perform in his hometown. At one point he was quick to say, “I know a lot of you. I see a lot of familiar faces.” He briefly mentioned his time spent in Price Hill before the band played one of their most popular songs and my personal favorite, “God of Emptiness.” Finally seeing that song played live after all of years being into extreme music made the night for me.
Morbid Angel had a very minimalist stage setup with nothing on the stage besides themselves and their instruments. The band rather relied on letting the music speak for itself. Drawing on a catalog from several albums over their career, Morbid Angel kept the crowd thoroughly engaged and happily entertained. Tucker remarked several times on how much fun he was having and how his hometown crowd has made him proud.
After 40 years Morbid Angel proves they haven't lost a step with age.