Feel Sorry for the Fanatic

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By the release of this belated swan song of an album, Morgoth were effectively no more; torn asunder by ulterior projects, divergent career paths, and increasingly pronounced creative differences that conspired to make Feel Sorry for the Fanatic sound impossibly far removed from the single-minded death metal machine that had been. Not surprising, really, if you take into account that these grown men likewise bore little resemblance to the angry teenagers who had founded the band nearly a decade prior, but that was little consolation for any fans who were expecting to hear the sounds of their youth. Feel Sorry for the Fanatic provides nothing of the sort, replacing grunts with musical vocals, lyrics of death and destruction with subjects more, ahem, intelligent and realistic, infusing bountiful doses of melody where previously there'd been mostly unfettered power, and coming full circle in a way by avoiding death metal altogether to approximate earlier, bouncier thrash. Having said that, best tracks "This Fantastic Decade" "Last Laugh" and "Watch the Fortune Wheel" deliver perfectly decent commercial metal if taken at face value, free of any historical expectations. Not so more severe detours such as the aimlessly synth-generated "...And Its Amazing Consequences" or even the unbearably plodding "Curiosity," both of which simply serve to throw more kindling upon the fires of Morgoth's demise. But then, that was already a moot point at this juncture, leaving one only to mull over the philosophical notion that, like many mid-'90s metal bands (including their one-time idols Kreator), Morgoth fell victim to heavy metal's brief but widespread identity crisis of the mid-'90s.

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