MORBID ANGEL guitarist Trey Azagthoth says that the band's "Illud Divinum Insanus" album was a "confused effort" whose unfocused direction ultimately led to the departure of frontman David Vincent.
Released in 2011, "Illud Divinum Insanus" drew controversy among MORBID ANGEL fans by incorporating industrial and electronic elements into the band's traditional death metal sound. It marked the group's first CD to feature Vincent since "Domination".
In a brand new interview with Guitar World, Azagthoth offered no apologies for the computerized beats and effects of "Illud Divinum Insanus". "It just shows how David and I are in different worlds these days," he said. "He is, for sure, an artist and great in his own way, but was becoming so very different than what I was into. It was a confused effort and that is why I changed the lineup."
"I already knew the result was gonna be off during rehearsals and recording," he added. "Some of it turned out cool, but David made his vocals too loud — like usual — and the rhythm guitars got subdued in the mix. Then David flew to L.A. to finish some vocals with the engineer that mixed the record. And it seems he influenced how the mix was gonna turn out. Before I heard the final mixes for the record I thought it was gonna sound a lot more heavy. But nothing could save a silly song like 'Radikult', which I just tried to ignore. I had nothing to do with that thing."
Trey also commented on Vincent's decision to join forces with several other musicians — including former MORBID ANGEL drummer Tim Yeung — to perform classic MORBID ANGEL songs under the I AM MORBID banner.
"Sometimes ya just gotta laugh," Trey said. "I'm moving on, and hey, I wish David all the best with whatever he's doing. Me and David made great things in the past for many years and then we grew apart. But now I have people working with me that I can relate to better. Working with Steve is awesome and we go out there and do all that fucked up, sick-ass shit again."
Earlier this month, MORBID ANGEL released its ninth studio album, "Kingdoms Disdained", which saw Azagthoth once again reunited with bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker. Steve previously handled bass and vocals on MORBID ANGEL's "Formulas Fatal To The Flesh", "Gateways To Annihilation" and "Heretic" LPs.
Tucker told AntiHero Magazine that he and Azagthoth didn't bring up "Illud Divinum Insanus" while recording "Kingdoms Disdained". "We really didn't talk much at all about the last album," he said. "It's not something we really discussed. I wasn't a part of it. Sitting around talking about the last album was sort of like, sitting and talking with your girlfriend about her ex-boyfriend or your ex-girlfriend. It's sort of silly."
In a 2014 interview with AndrewHaug.com, Vincent defended "Illud Divinum Insanus", saying: "MORBID ANGEL has always been a band that been all-encompassing. And when people, sort of, think that they know what we should sound like… I don't think anybody knows what we should sound like more than we do. It's not like it's that big a departure, because on the 'Covenant' record, we did some collaborations with the Slovenian band LAIBACH for that record. So it's not like it's a big change for us to work with some electronic artists and to do some interesting things, in and amongst everything else that we do."