Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness

Disc I
01. Immortal Rites
02. Suffocation
03. Visions From The Darkside
04. Maze Of Torment
05. Lord Of All Fevers And Plague [CD version bonus]
06. Chapel Of Ghouls
07. Bleed For The Devil
08. Damnation
09. Blasphemy
10. Evil Spells

Disc II [DVD] [2006 Reissue bonus]
Live In Nottingham Rock City 1989
01. Immortal Rites
02. Suffocation
03. Visions From The Darkside
04. Maze Of Torment
05. Lord Of All Fevers And Plague
06. Chapel Of Ghouls
07. Bleed For The Devil
08. Damnation
09. Blasphemy
10. Evil Spells

Where do I begin to explain such a worthy debut? Well, I should start with the affect it had on me, and the metal community: I believe this had the biggest affect towards the influence of extreme music with it's relentless blasting, blasphemous lyrics, and heavy riffing. I mean this record contains any metal heads' dream that being if solos are your thing. Well my friend they are a plenty here, there must be 35-40 solos, and what impresses me is that there isn't really any similarity between any of them. Richard Brunelle and Trey Azagthoth make the greatest team, equivalent even to the mighty Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, the solos and performance for a debut will really blow your mind. Trey had formed Morbid in '83 so his eagerness to release a record must've really helped as he poured his heart and soul in the composition and execution of the riffs and soloing.

Now onto the drumming - man does Pete impress me. When I first heard "Altars" I was shocked by his speed, he doesn't necessarily let up at all. While blasting might sound all the same to most people I find that the most skilled drummers (Pete, Mike Smith, Flo Mounier) have their own uniqueness, especially the way Pete lays it down. Take "Bleed For The Devil" as an example, the blasting is constant and it has to be hard to play like that. Though repetitive to some, the blasting is a definite highlight for me. Okay the man David Vincent shines on their debut, while he doesn't really strike you as brutal as most other death vocalists, he gets the job done rather well. I can't quite find the word to describe it but his voice is somewhat raspy, if that makes sense. It may take a while to make out the bass on the album, I know it took me quite a few listens, excluding "Suffocation" which I think has like a 3 second bass solo. The highlight tracks you'll have to figure out for yourself, since they are all top of the line old school death metal, and I can only say I love all of them. One other thing I should mention is that it will only grow on you, you'll find that with every listen you shall only enjoy it more.

Well to Conclude my review I will leave you with a few final words: if Satan, Evil Spells, and extreme drumming and guitar work are your things then pick this album up as soon as you're finished reading my review. This is my favorite Morbid Angel release and has to be their finest hour based on the energetic musicianship, catchy lyrics and riffs; hell, I could go on and on about this evil piece of art, but find out for yourself.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Band profile: Morbid Angel
Album: Altars Of Madness


written by Mega-Slayer | 17.11.2006

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by

There is a living continuum that flows through all of us, connects us together, but also lets us be who we are. It's just ever-flowing lava, and the inner rhythm that guides and commands us. It was always bound to happen, and somewhere in the musical mess of the 80's death metal was born. You could say the force of the universe gave us the creative mind to birth a genre of such musical genius that would later be labelled as one of the very few that still requires a substantial amount of talent to create.

published 25.03.2011 | Comments (22)


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Katatronik - 17.11.2006 at 14:13  
I agree, very good review!
One of the best and fundamental death metal albums ever, simply great and destructive
Richard - 18.11.2006 at 20:48  
Yeah, good review - Altars of Madness is certainly an important part of Death Metal history, and as you suggested in the review, holds up well today and still surprises with its energy and performances. (Overall though, I think the following album Blessed are the Sick is better).
Tron - 18.08.2007 at 18:47  
An absolute classic! One of the best death metal albums ever! I don't like many other "old-school" death bands much (Autopsy, Deicide, Entombed etc.), but this is something much better. So, a 10 from me
Infurnace - 22.08.2007 at 15:27  
This is one of the best Death Metal albums ever made. It's a classic! There are a lot of Morbid Angel's classic songs on this record. Think of songs like "Maze Of Torment", "Chapel Of Ghouls" and "Immortal Rites".
Lord TJ - 12.10.2007 at 19:12  
I don't like the solo quality on this album, most of it sounds like random playing and wankery of squeals.
Sunioj - 13.10.2007 at 01:28  
Written by Lord TJ on 12.10.2007 at 19:12

I don't like the solo quality on this album, most of it sounds like random playing and wankery of squeals.

I think this was recorded at a time that Trey was tripping acid when they recorded. I don't know, I felt the solos fed on the atmosphere of that old school type of production so I never had a problem with it.
Mega-Slayer - 14.10.2007 at 02:50  
Ya,there is some wankery,that's why I compared to slayer's solos,now that I think about it,they are much better team than slayer though. still sounds really unique,and has it's brilliant moments.
Uirapuru - 23.03.2008 at 07:51  
great album.. as usual, to me, the greatests death metal bands (Cannibal Corpse, Death, Morbid Angel and Deicide) have in their firsts albums the best musical work.
AngelOfDisease - 17.02.2009 at 02:33  
Yeah this album has grown on me... when I first heard it I thought it was repetitive because of the blast beats, but now I enjoy this a lot, though I still prefer Covenant.
rpmgrg - 31.08.2009 at 17:08  
A True Timeless Classic.

The energy and talent poured in this effort is unequaled. The guitar compositions from Trey Azaghoth are pure incantations to Netherworld Realms and Deities. Blood must have been spilled from his arms and hands as a gift to his Eldrich Gods.

Hard to truely appreciate the subtle compositional genius, forms, ideas, and fiery passion for the newcomers since they are accustomed to more modern productions and sound, repeated listenings at maximum volume levels at good stereo systems will eventually kick their interest at the subconscious level and definetely at some point Enlightment will come...
Deadmeat - 30.09.2009 at 19:14  
Nice review! this album is a milestone in DM history....
Thrash del Sur - 17.03.2011 at 21:49  
Yeah MANNNN! this is album is killer so it deserves a review like yours!!

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