Morbid Angel’s 40th-anniversary tour across North America featured one of the most stacked death metal lineups in recent memory. The Brazilian firebrands in Crypta making their first appearance in the states, alongside the punishing lads in Skeletal Remains and the shred-tastic sounds of Revocation; plus the legendary Morbid Angel themselves…it’s no wonder their Los Angeles date at the Regent Theater sold out.
The ladies in Crypta started the night off with a bang. This all-woman extreme metal quartet takes the best elements of death metal, thrash metal, and black metal, then mixes it all up with a hefty dose of guitar shred. This author honestly can’t remember the last time a venue this big was packed at 7 pm for the opening support act, but the joint was already largely full thanks to Crypta.
Skeletal Remains are inarguably one of the hottest underground metal bands in the game right now. The fact that they hail from Southern California’s own Whittier enclave, made this sold-out gig supporting Morbid Angel one hell of a triumphant homecoming. Bathed entirely in dark red light, the band let their pummeling and insanely efficient brand of death metal do the talking. The already packed house, still reeling from Crypta’s high-energy opening set, collectively let their hair down for Skeletal Remains and the swathes of the band’s hometown disciples near the front of the stage banged their heads like there was no tomorrow.
Next up, the world’s finest Phil Collins tribute band, Revocation [you had to be there], took the stage. The last time Revocation came through the Regent while touring with Morbid Angel in 2017 they were third on the bill [before Suffocation]. This time around, they served as direct support right before the night’s headliners and my, how they’ve grown. To say Revocation whipped the audience into a frenzy would be an understatement. Of course, it’s kind of hard to hold still while the band’s frenetic, bpm-shattering, and guitar-pyrotechnic-laden tunes are blaring. Their set consisted mostly of tracks off their new album, 2022’s Netherheaven, as well as jams off 2018’s The Outer Ones.
Finally, Morbid Angel ended the night with a punishing, headlining set for the ages. We all know that Morbid are death metal pioneers and that their evil genius guitar wizard/founder, Trey Azagthoth, is one of the single most important figures in metal history. What you might not know is that Los Angeles loves Morbid Angel. Like the Southern California metal community essentially worships at their altar [of madness!]. Whenever whichever incarnation of Trey’s band comes through town the shows are guaranteed to be nuts. This was true for tonight’s stop, except it just so happened to be Trey Azagthoth’s birthday of all days, which made this gig extra special in its own way. Morbid played a lot of material from their most recent album, 2017’s Kingdoms Disdained, along with other tracks from Gateways to Annihilation and Heretic aka, the Steve Tucker era, which makes sense since Tucker is absolutely killing it on bass and vocals once again. They sprinkled in a few old-school classics from Blessed Are The Sick and Covenant, and the crowd drifted off into some otherworldly death metal trance. The word euphoric might not initially come to mind when discussing Morbid Angel, but that’s exactly how their sold-out show at The Regent felt.