God of Emptiness – (Morbid Angel album)

Covenant is the third official full-length album by Florida-based death metal band Morbid Angel . It was released on June 22, 1993 through Earache Records in Europe and Giant Records in North America. Covenant was the band ‘s breakthrough album due to their contract with Giant Records and its widespread exposure on MTV ‘ s Headbangers Ball , and the video for ‘God of Emptiness’ appearing on Beavis and Butt – head . [2] [3] It is very rare, but it’s still very much alive, and it’s a landmark album in the genre, influencing countless future metal bands, including Incantationand Dead Congregation . [4] According to Nielsen Soundscan , Covenant was the best selling death metal album as of 2003, with sales of over 150,000 in the United States alone. [5] In 2017, Rolling Stone named it the 75th best metal album of all time. [6]


In the late 80s, a number of heavy metal and thrash metal bands Such As Metallica , Slayer , Anthrax , and Megadeth enjoyed significant mainstream success, while ” Iron Maiden Went heavy one synths” and ” Testament Actually wrote a song called Expired ‘The Ballad’ “. [4] On musician Michael Nelson’s interpretation, there was a growing feeling that “the scene was getting co-opted, going soft, cashing in.” [4] By the early to mid 90s, thrash metalhad been given to the metal, but it was still more important, while its mainstream acceptability was more important than the collaboration between Earache and Columbia Records. [7] Covenant ‘s release through Earache and Giant Records, which is one of the most significant releases of this time period, and is the highest death rate. [7] [8] Morbid Angel’s success with their previous two-year-old record-breaking album (with the option of five more) with Giant Records (a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records ) in the Spring of 1992. [4] ]Later That Same year, second guitarist Richard Brunelle Was kicked out of the band due to Alleged substance abuse, meaning That Covenant Was Recorded as just a trio. [8]

Musical style, writing, composition

The album ‘s lyrics, written by David Vincent, draw heavily on occult, mythological, and Satanic themes, including Theistic Satanism and Sumerian religion . Michael Nelson wrote that part of the success of the album is due to the band’s success at reflecting these themes musically, particularly due to Trey Azagthoth’s guitarwork. “His guitars seemed to mimic surreal horrors of nature – whirlpools or wildfires – more than they did any musicians of his era.” At the time, the most celebrated guitarist in death metal was Chuck Schuldiner of Death , a dazzlingly proficient hyper-shredder with few technical equals: Azagthoth, on the other hand, delivered queasy, nitrous leads to the most extreme work of free-jazz/ grindcore saxophonist John Zorn . ” [4] AllMusic write that” Guitarist Trey Azagthoth plays complicated, heavily detuned riffs, with a lightning-fast picking style and others in a slower groove. Drummer Pete Sandoval is one of the fastest genre, and his jackhammer style helps complete Morbid Angel’s core sound. “The album also serves as a rejection of many mainstream musical conventions, and is never a catchy record. That’s partly because the album is essentially devoid of anything resembling a traditional “chorus,” but it’s mostly due to the uppermost layers of sound – the things on which the ear and imagination immediately focus. Covenantsqueals and reels wildly; the band’s odd and ever-changing time signatures leave little room for grooves. ” [4]

Recording, production

Covenant was produced by Morbid Angel and Flemming Rasmussen ; Engineered by Tom Morris and Flemming Rasmussen at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida. It was mixed by Flemming Rasmussen at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. Rasmussen was responsible for producing two of Metallica’s most famous albums: Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets . In an interview with Metal Hammer, David Vincent explains that they do something to mix the album because:

“We wanted to have a different approach and to work with others. Besides, he was there from the beginning. He even came back in the morning to meet us in the studio. Ultimately, he is going to be pretty meticulous, especially on the drums should sound. Then we did both vocals and guitars on our own and we would like to share them with them. ” [8]

The track ‘Angel of Disease’ was originally written in 1985 for ‘ Abominations of Desolation ‘, but was re-recorded for ‘ Covenant ‘. ‘Abominations of Desolation’ went unreleased until 1991. The first song written for the album ‘Rapture’, which Vincent claims “set the tone” for the rest of the album. The closing track ‘God of Emptiness’ was “almost like a vision.” I had a dream that came up in the middle of the night and I was writing that song, humming my ideas into a small tape recorder. ” [8]


The album’s cover image shows a page from The Book of Magic Ceremonial by Arthur Edward Waite to the right, and a reproduction of “The Pact of Urban Grandier ” on the left. It is their first album to feature a photo album rather than an illustration. It was designed by Martin Nesbitt, an Earache employee, and was designed to reflect the album’s philosophy. In an interview with Metal Hammer, Vincent claimed that:

“We wanted something to be solemn and sort of like … (he pauses) Not a rulebook but it was to the idea of ​​a pact, an allegiance if you will. Overall, we wanted something timeless and about commitment. We felt that this record is what it was, who we were and its subject matter, it was our covenant to ourselves and to ourselves. And as a bonus, if you look closely enough, you’ll find many little things that are references to a specific lyric of that album included in there. ” [8]

Release, promotion, marketing

Their record label Giant Records (and its parent company Warner Bros. Records) devoted promotional resources to the album, commissioning two music videos of the tracks ‘Rapture’ and ‘God of Emptiness’. [4] [8] They were both directed by Tony Kunewalder, and David Vincent explained in an interview that “Those were the times when labels were still living the high life and they thought nothing of spending too much money on good videos”. [8]Further, “Tony Kunewalder, Tony Kunewalder, was one of the most talented people in the world. with the God of Emptiness shooting, he died in the aftermath of the last thing he ever did. ” [8] These music videos received heavy rotation is MTV and Headbangers Ball In Particular. [4] [8] The video for ‘Rapture’ premiered on Headbangers Ball and was followed by a video interview with David Vincent. [4]The music video for ‘God of Emptiness’ was featured on Beavis and Butt-head . [4] According to Soundscan, the album went to over 150,000 copies in the United States alone. [5]

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the album’s original release in 1993, the album was remastered in a ‘Full Dynamic Range’ edition and re-released on CD and vinyl by Earache Records in November 2013. [9]


Following the commercial success of the album and the significant coverage by MTV in particular, in early 1994 the band toured with Black Sabbath and Motörhead . [10] The tour featured over 20 dates, began on February 8, 1994 at New Britain , Connecticut and Morbid Angel with Motörhead through March 13, 1994 at Sunrise , Florida. [11] David Vincent sees CovenantWe have a vital record for the band in this respect: “We got support from MTV and to tour with Black Sabbath and Motörhead in early ’94. overall, it helped us reach a whole new audience. “Without Covenant, we would not be where we are now.” [8]

In 2013 and 2014 the band headlined North American and European tours to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album’s original release. Covenant was performed in its entirety on each date of the tour, followed by a selection of songs from the band’s other albums. [8] [12]

Reception, legacy and influence

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [13]

The album is widely considered to be a milestone in the death metal genre, arriving at (and representing) the genre’s peak. [4] [7] The album’s sales were almost unprecedented “for a band, album, and genre so relentlessly extreme.” [4] Following the success of Morbid Angel and particularly Covenant , Columbia Recordings of Earache Records’ other bands including Carcass , Entombed , and Napalm Death , seeking to replicate the album’s success. However, “none of those albums Soundscanned even a third of what CovenantDID. – worse still, none of them Even outsold the previous respective albums by Those bands “As a result, Columbia Systematically dropped thesis bands from Their rosters, cutting ties with all of ’em Within three years. [4] Morbid Angel’s Following album is Giant Records sold roughly 70,000 copies, but the band was also released from the label’s further, lack of exciting, boundary-pushing death metal bands to a relative stagnation in the death metal genre. within the community, as the “inviting mainstream” seemed willing to “give some Death Metal a try”, which was in conflict with the “essentially anti-mainstream culture that gave birth to and nourished the genre.”[7] The growth and development of Norway’sThis metal scene can be understood as a commercial success story, which has a history of death in these few years, “a violent negative response to death metal that could be traced directly back to Morbid Angel”. [4] By late 1995, the gender had entered a period of decline. “The movement, however, did not die, and more death metal bands continue to deliver their extreme tunes.The scene simply retreated into the underground.” [7] On Michael Nelson’s view, it was precisely in this retreat that the genre “regained its vitality.” Today, the genre comfortably coexists (and regularly cross-pollinate) with black metal. [4] In 2017,[6]

Track listing

No. title Music length
1. “Rapture” Azagthoth 4:17
2. “Divine Bread” Azagthoth 3:58
3. “World of Shit (The Promised Land)” Azagthoth 3:20
4. “Vengeance Is Mine” Azagthoth 3:15
5. “Lion’s Den” Vincent 4:45
6. “Blood on My Hands” Azagthoth 3:43
7. “Angel of Disease” Azagthoth 6:15
8. “Sworn to the Black” Azagthoth 4:01
9. “Nar Mattaru” Azagthoth 2:06
10. “God of Emptiness

  • I: The Accuser
  • II: The Tempter “
Azagthoth 5:27


  • David Vincent – bass , vocals
  • Trey Azagthoth – guitar , keyboards
  • Pete Sandoval – drums
  • Morbid Angel – production
  • Tom Morris – engineering
  • Flemming Rasmussen – production, engineering, mixing
  • Luton Sinfield – photography


  1. Jump up^ “Morbid Angel” Covenant . ” Metal Storm.
  2. Jump up^ Saulnier, Jason (13 January 2013). “Flemming Rasmussen Interview” . Music Legends . Retrieved 2 May 2013 .
  3. Jump up^ “Covenant – Morbid Angel | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic” . AllMusic . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:o “Covenant Turns 20” . Stereogum . 2013-06-20 . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Puzak, Chris (November 18, 2003). “Cannibal Corpse Is Top-Selling Death Metal Band” . Critics Blog. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  6. ^ Jump up to:b “The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time” . Rolling Stone . Retrieved 2017-06-22 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:e Purcell, Natalie J. (2003-05-05). Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture . McFarland. ISBN  9780786484065 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:k “20 Years Of Morbid Angel’s Covenant” . TeamRock . 2014-10-22 . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  9. Jump up^ “MORBID ANGEL’s’ Covenant ‘To Be Reissued On Full Dynamic Range Vinyl’ . BLABBERMOUTH.NET . 2013-10-14 . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  10. Jump up^ APPLEFORD, STEVE (1994-03-04). “Hard Rock of Ages: Black Sabbath Metal Heroes are still going strong after two decades and drawing a new generation of euphoric, stage-diving fans.” . Los Angeles Times . ISSN  0458-3035 . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  11. Jump up^ “1994 Tour – Black Sabbath Online” . www.black-sabbath.com . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  12. Jump up^ “MORBID ANGEL To Embark On Covenant 20th Anniversary Tour, Play Album In Full – Metal Injection” . Metal Injection . 2013-07-15 . Retrieved 2017-01-26 .
  13. Jump up^ Huey, Steve. “Covenant – Morbid Angel”. Allmusic. Retrieved December 20, 2011.

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