I bought this album when I was 13. I'm 24 now and it hasn't lost any of its sheer power, originality or style. Altars of Madness is the "Reign in Blood" of the Death Metal Scene.
Morbid Angel hammer out brutal tunes like Immortal Rites and Maze of Torment, that pound the senses, but also make sense musically, with catchy hooks and subtle melody (as far as you can have melody on a death metal cd !!!)
All the songs are classics. My personal fave is 'Visions From the Dark Side'. This track is just what Morbid Angel are all about. And the drumming (particularly the tempo pick up at the end) is just awesome.
This album spawned an entire scene of 90's bands, and rightly so. Its inspirational stuff !!! I came out of the scene in about 99' coz I had seen the best Death Metal had to offer. Now coming back on a nostalgia trip, I can still say that the new breed had nothing on this album !!!
Technically, I think 'Covenant' is their best album, purely because of the speed and listenability of the whole record (minus God of emptiness - which is embarressing).
But 'Altars of Madness' is the best damn orginal Death Metal album on the planet.
Buy Obituary: Cause of Death, Sepultura: Beneath the remains, anything by 'Master' and Morbid Angel: Altars of Madness, and you won't need much else ever again !!!