on 29 September 2016
I decided to try my hand at good ol' Death Metal, and following a bit of research, decided to take a pop at this one. I've never really gotten into this most controversial of Metal sub-genres. I always kind of viewed Death Metal as Thrash 'without a lot of other stuff,' one of them being melody and decipherable vocals, and to a large extent I stand by my initial view. But to dismiss the genre because of that would be foolish. It may be a stripped down version of Thrash, but those element are turned up way beyond 11!
This album is pretty much the 'Reign In Blood' of the genre and shares a few charecteristics of that album. Defining, fast, brutally heavy and probably at the time, the leader of the pack. If an alien fell to Earth and asked for a definitive example of Death Metal, you wouldn't be doing ET a disservice by handing him this.
The riffs are fast and heavy, solos chaotic a la Slayer, vocals (the Marmite point for many) typical of the genre and suited to the music, even if you can't tell what the hell he's saying most of the time! You'll either love it or loathe it, there's no getting away from that. There is also, a slight operatic and epic feel to some of the riffs. The second half of epic opener 'Immortal Rites' being a shining example of this.
Curiously, the bonus, remasterd, remixed versions of the original albums' songs are noticably louder!
on 4 September 2009
Unfortunately for other death metal bands,even though this album came out in 89 it just makes many other dm albums sound lacking,even today.
I think they just have a lot going on in their music,Van Halen style guitars widdling all over the place,the experimental classical and industrial interludes on later ones,they just seem to assult the senses and blast like a hurricane.A lot of dm just sounds like a dull thud,over and over,extreme but boring,but MA keep it interesting throughout.
on 24 December 2002
When I finally got round to picking up a copy of Morbid Angel's great debue album 'Altars of Madness I was already very familliar with, and a large fan of many of the other Florida Death Metal legions such as Death and Obituary. However when I first put on the CD and was hit by the opening blasts of 'Immortal Rites', I was certanly not expecting the speed that the album opens with and maintains through out. Although the album is dominated by speed, there is still plenty of technical guitar playing which has become something of a trademark with the early Death Metal bands of the late 80's.
Pete Sandoval's drumming is impecable and remains at light speed pace through out the album with masterful use of 'blast beats' and his double bass drums. Unfortunately the only place were the album is let down is in the guitar solos which while still good did not seem on the same level as such masters of the genre as James Murphy and Chuck Schuldiner.
If you are a fan of Morbid Angel you really should buy this album to see how they started off, and also take a look into it if you are a fan of any of the classic Death Metal bands such as Death, Obituary and Autopsy as this is a classic of the genre.
The extras on this re-release include a brilliant video track of 'Immortal Rites' live in the UK during November 1989
on 8 October 2007
Yes, Altars of Madness is one of, if not the, finest death metal albums of all time. But free replica gig tickets? I would mercilessly and relentlessly mock anyone I met with a replica gig ticket for a tour they never got to see. What a load of b0lx.
on 30 March 2014
Great late 80s death metal album, somewhat more technical than say Deicide or Death and has good lyrics. The quality of the recording is very good and no mixing problems what so ever. Somewhat unclear at points due to the sheer technicality but doesn't take away from the album. There's a reason you see this on many top 10 Death metal album lists and such, as it's important to the scene; a pinnacle of a genre that many bands even nowadays can't make as good. This and Deicide's self titled are two of my most favourite death metal albums to date.
on 13 October 2012
Good album, i like it, the vocals sometimes remind me Petroza from Kreator.
Great sound, an album you can listen to it in loop.
If you are death or thrash metal fan, you should own it.
on 8 October 2013
This is one of those classic albums that really get into your brain. Next thing you know you have listened to nothing else for a month and find yourself humming it at the water cooler. Just don't let your mum read the lyrics!
on 20 May 2002
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 !!!
on 26 September 2000
The best death metal album of all times,has all the classics on one CD.Forget what has been released after this superclassic CD.This is the real deal,if you don't have this you don't like Death Metal.
on 7 February 2013
Morbid Angel have released many albums and have undergone a few changes in members of the band over time.This is Morbid Angel at their very best and arguably the classic line up too.