Morbid Angel's 'Covenant': How the Band's Major Label Debut Raised the Bar for Extreme Metal

In 1992, music-industry legend Irving Azoff went out for ice cream with Gunter Ford, manager of the Florida death-metal band Morbid Angel, to discuss a possible signing. "The actual negotiations took 10 minutes," Ford told author Albert Mudrian in the extreme-metal history Choosing Death. "Irving asked me what kind of ice cream I wanted and we finished the deal." It was official: Ford’s clients were officially major-label artists in North America, signed to Azoff’s Warner Bros. subsidiary, Giant.

These were the post-Nirvana boom years, and seemingly no underground band was too intense or esoteric to get at least a look, if not a lucrative deal, from this …
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