MORBID ANGEL — Altars of Madness

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness cover
4.34 | 41 ratings | 6 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1989

Filed under Death Metal
By MORBID ANGEL

Tracklist

1. Immortal Rites (4:04)
2. Suffocation (3:14)
3. Visions from the Dark Side (4:09)
4. Maze of Torment (4:24)
5. Lord of All Fevers & Plague (3:26)
6. Chapel of Ghouls (4:57)
7. Bleed for the Devil (2:23)
8. Damnation (4:10)
9. Blasphemy (3:31)
10. Evil Spells (4:11)
11. Maze of Torment * (remix) (4:24)
12. Chapel of Ghouls * (remix) (4:55)
13. Blasphemy * (remix) (3:26)

* bonus track

Total Time: 51:20

Line-up/Musicians

- David Vincent / bass, vocals
- Trey Azagthoth / lead guitar, keyboards
- Richard Brunelle / lead guitar
- Pete Sandoval / drums

About this release

Earache Records. Re-released in 2003 with bonus tracks. Re-released in 2006 with bonus tracks and bonus DVD concert "Live Madness '89" at Nottingham Rock City.

Thanks to Stooge, UMUR for the updates

Buy MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS music

Amazon (logo)
Altars Of MadnessAltars Of Madness
Earache Records 2016
$16.80
$21.00 (used)
Altars of Madness by Morbid AngelAltars of Madness by Morbid Angel
Pinnacle
$79.04
$62.16 (used)
Altars of MadnessAltars of Madness
Earache
$64.92
$18.31 (used)
Showing 3 items | Cache expiring in 72h | Keyword-based search | Best seller rank | More results on Amazon.com
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Morbid angel altars of madness Morbid angel altars of madness USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Morbid Angel Morbid Angel "Altars of Madness" FDR Full Dynamic Range Black Vinyl - NEW USD $19.73 Buy It Now 3 days
MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness FIRST PRESS CD RARE MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness FIRST PRESS CD RARE USD $23.16 Buy It Now 3 days
IMPENDING DOOM Signum Of H*te CD Morbid Angel Altars Madness Destruction Sodom IMPENDING DOOM Signum Of H*te CD Morbid Angel Altars Madness Destruction Sodom USD $10.00 (0 bids)
USD $13.00 Buy It Now
3 days
CD MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness 1989/2002 Reissue Earache MOSH 1101CD CD MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness 1989/2002 Reissue Earache MOSH 1101CD USD $9.49 Buy It Now 4 days
Morbid Angel altars of madness 1989 + entangled in chaos vol. 1 1996 rare Morbid Angel altars of madness 1989 + entangled in chaos vol. 1 1996 rare USD $14.20 Buy It Now 4 days
Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness CD with Patch new All Time Classics Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness CD with Patch new All Time Classics USD $16.66 Buy It Now 4 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness LP Black Vinyl FDR Earache Remaster Death Metal MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness LP Black Vinyl FDR Earache Remaster Death Metal USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4 days
MORBID ANGEL -ALTARS OF MADNESS- AMAZING ORIGINAL LTD PICTURE DISC MINT 1 LP MORBID ANGEL -ALTARS OF MADNESS- AMAZING ORIGINAL LTD PICTURE DISC MINT 1 LP USD $65.82 Buy It Now 4 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness - LP Vinyl - New Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness - LP Vinyl - New USD $19.71 Buy It Now 5 days
Morbid Angel ‎– Altars Of Madness RARE CD! FREE SHIPPING! Morbid Angel ‎– Altars Of Madness RARE CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $18.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Morbid Angel ‎– Altars Of Madness   carl Morbid Angel ‎– Altars Of Madness carl USD $10.87 Buy It Now 5 days
Altars of Madness by Morbid Angel (Vinyl, Nov-2016, Earache (Label)) Altars of Madness by Morbid Angel (Vinyl, Nov-2016, Earache (Label)) USD $17.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Morbid Angel - 1989 - Altars Of Madness (Earache) Morbid Angel - 1989 - Altars Of Madness (Earache) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness LP - 180 Gram Vinyl - SEALED - Death Metal MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness LP - 180 Gram Vinyl - SEALED - Death Metal USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness (Globus Czech) 1st press ORG MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness (Globus Czech) 1st press ORG USD $39.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Morbid Angel SPLATTER VINYL LP - Altars of Madness/Mosh 11 PRESS IN MINT Morbid Angel SPLATTER VINYL LP - Altars of Madness/Mosh 11 PRESS IN MINT USD $117.57 Buy It Now 7 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness Vinyl LP Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness Vinyl LP USD $22.40 Buy It Now 8 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS  CD NEW+ MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS CD NEW+ USD $21.33 Buy It Now 8 days
morbid angel - altars of madness lp vinyl czechoslovakia 1991 morbid angel - altars of madness lp vinyl czechoslovakia 1991 USD $60.00 Buy It Now 8 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness (reissue) - Vinyl (gatefold LP + insert) MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness (reissue) - Vinyl (gatefold LP + insert) USD $22.97 Buy It Now 8 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness - Reissue (NEW VINYL LP) Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness - Reissue (NEW VINYL LP) USD $23.68 Buy It Now 8 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS/ENTANGLED IN CHAOS:VOL.1..2ALBUMS ON 1CD.FR.SH. MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS/ENTANGLED IN CHAOS:VOL.1..2ALBUMS ON 1CD.FR.SH. USD $14.35 Buy It Now 9 days
Morbid Angel Morbid Angel "Altars Of Madness" FDR Black Vinyl - NEW Full Dynamic Range USD $24.99 Buy It Now 9 days
MORBID ANGEL -ALTARS OF MADNESS- VERY HARD TO FIND ORIGINAL 1ST PRESS EARACHE EN MORBID ANGEL -ALTARS OF MADNESS- VERY HARD TO FIND ORIGINAL 1ST PRESS EARACHE EN USD $23.69 Buy It Now 9 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS   ORIGINAL EARACHE LABEL MOSH 11 NEW/NOT SEALED MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS ORIGINAL EARACHE LABEL MOSH 11 NEW/NOT SEALED USD $15.78 (0 bids)
9 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness LP #114045 Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness LP #114045 USD $29.10 Buy It Now 9 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness 190295967666 (CD Used Like New) Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness 190295967666 (CD Used Like New) USD $10.73 Buy It Now 9 days
Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness CD DVD Mosh1102 Earache Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness CD DVD Mosh1102 Earache USD $19.55 Buy It Now 9 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS  (2017) VINYL LP NEW+ MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS (2017) VINYL LP NEW+ USD $33.99 Buy It Now 9 days
MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness RARE USA CD + DVD 2006 - MOSH 1102CD - NEAR MINT MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness RARE USA CD + DVD 2006 - MOSH 1102CD - NEAR MINT USD $21.75 Buy It Now 11 days
Morbid Angel 'Altars Of Madness' Printed Flag - NEW OFFICIAL Morbid Angel 'Altars Of Madness' Printed Flag - NEW OFFICIAL USD $22.36 Buy It Now 12 days
MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness JAPAN CD TFCK-88563 1991 MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness JAPAN CD TFCK-88563 1991 USD $102.50 Buy It Now 12 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness - CD ONLY - VG+ - w/ Free First Class Shipping! Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness - CD ONLY - VG+ - w/ Free First Class Shipping! USD $12.44 Buy It Now 12 days
New Altars Of Madness - Morbid Angel - Heavy Metal Music CD New Altars Of Madness - Morbid Angel - Heavy Metal Music CD USD $14.58 Buy It Now 12 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness - CD - Enhanced Limited Edition Original Mint MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness - CD - Enhanced Limited Edition Original Mint USD $22.95 Buy It Now 12 days
MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness MC CASSETTE - UNOFFICIAL RARE RELEASE MORBID ANGEL Altars Of Madness MC CASSETTE - UNOFFICIAL RARE RELEASE USD $19.99 Buy It Now 13 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS cd MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS cd USD $8.99 Buy It Now 14 days
The Morbid Angel: Altars Of Madness,12” Picture Disc 1 Press Rare The Morbid Angel: Altars Of Madness,12” Picture Disc 1 Press Rare USD $89.00 Buy It Now 14 days
Morbid Angel -ALTARS OF MADNESS New CD Morbid Angel -ALTARS OF MADNESS New CD USD $9.32 Buy It Now 15 days
Morbid Angel ALTARS OF MADNESS Debut Album REMASTERED Gatefold NEW VINYL LP Morbid Angel ALTARS OF MADNESS Debut Album REMASTERED Gatefold NEW VINYL LP USD $22.99 Buy It Now 15 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness on Green vinyl. Black and White sleeve. Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness on Green vinyl. Black and White sleeve. USD $60.55 Buy It Now 15 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness - New FDR Remastered Vinyl Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness - New FDR Remastered Vinyl USD $26.31 Buy It Now 16 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS - LP VINYL CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1991! RARE DEATH X238 MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS - LP VINYL CZECHOSLOVAKIA 1991! RARE DEATH X238 USD $77.66 Buy It Now 16 days
MORBID ANGEL altars of madness RARE GLOBUS CD 1991 Czech Slovakia Press RARE MORBID ANGEL altars of madness RARE GLOBUS CD 1991 Czech Slovakia Press RARE USD $46.99 Buy It Now 17 days
Morbid Angel / Altars Of Madness JAPAN TFCK-88563 *R Morbid Angel / Altars Of Madness JAPAN TFCK-88563 *R USD $169.99 Buy It Now 18 days
Morbid Angel Morbid Angel "Altars Of Madness" CD - NEW! USD $17.77 Buy It Now 18 days
MORBID ANGEL** Altars Of Madness**Picture Disc / Lp / 2006 LTD RE-ISSUE MORBID ANGEL** Altars Of Madness**Picture Disc / Lp / 2006 LTD RE-ISSUE USD $34.99 Buy It Now 18 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness - 2 CD - Original Recording Reissued Extra VG MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness - 2 CD - Original Recording Reissued Extra VG USD $21.75 Buy It Now 18 days
MORBID ANGEL – Altars Of Madness – PURPLE LP (LTD 300) – NEW & SEALED MORBID ANGEL – Altars Of Madness – PURPLE LP (LTD 300) – NEW & SEALED USD $329.06 Buy It Now 18 days
MORBID ANGEL – Altars Of Madness – BLUE LP (LTD 200) – 2011 – NEW MORBID ANGEL – Altars Of Madness – BLUE LP (LTD 200) – 2011 – NEW USD $658.14 Buy It Now 18 days
MORBID ANGEL – Altars Of Madness – FULLY SIGNED in 1996 by all 4 members! – COA MORBID ANGEL – Altars Of Madness – FULLY SIGNED in 1996 by all 4 members! – COA USD $4825.56 Buy It Now 18 days
MORBID ANGEL-Altars Of Madness (UK IMPORT) CD NEW MORBID ANGEL-Altars Of Madness (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $13.72 Buy It Now 19 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness LP vinyl Earache Records - new Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness LP vinyl Earache Records - new USD $27.99 Buy It Now 19 days
MORBID ANGEL-Altars Of Madness (UK IMPORT) CD NEW MORBID ANGEL-Altars Of Madness (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $14.95 Buy It Now 19 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness CSK LP 1991 + Insert /3* Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness CSK LP 1991 + Insert /3* USD $47.09 Buy It Now 19 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness NEW LP Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness NEW LP USD $19.19 Buy It Now 20 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS - NEW VINYL LP MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS - NEW VINYL LP USD $27.63 Buy It Now 20 days
MORBID ANGEL  MORBID ANGEL " ALTARS OF MADNESS " SHIRT DEATH METAL SEPULTURA DEICIDE USD $19.99 Buy It Now 21 days
MORBID ANGEL** Altars Of Madness**Picture Disc / Lp / Mosh 11p ** Deicide MORBID ANGEL** Altars Of Madness**Picture Disc / Lp / Mosh 11p ** Deicide USD $59.99 Buy It Now 21 days
MORBID ANGEL MORBID ANGEL "ALTARS OF MADNESS" VERY HARD TO FIND LP FIRST PRESS 1989 ENGLAND USD $63.18 Buy It Now 22 days
MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness CD 89 ORG OOP 1st Press Obituary Napalm Death MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness CD 89 ORG OOP 1st Press Obituary Napalm Death USD $34.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness LP Vinyl Record new reissue Morbid Angel Altars Of Madness LP Vinyl Record new reissue USD $28.99 Buy It Now 22 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness vinyl LP IN STOCK NEW/SEALED FDR Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness vinyl LP IN STOCK NEW/SEALED FDR USD $23.63 Buy It Now 22 days
CD + DVD MORBID ANGEL ALTARS OF MADNESS  SEALED CD + DVD MORBID ANGEL ALTARS OF MADNESS SEALED USD $9.67 Buy It Now 22 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness CD Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness CD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 23 days
MORBID ANGEL- 5CD Set-Altars Of Madness/Abominations/Covenant/Domination/Blessed MORBID ANGEL- 5CD Set-Altars Of Madness/Abominations/Covenant/Domination/Blessed USD $49.99 Buy It Now 24 days
MORBID ANGEL-ALTARS OF MADNESS CD NEW MORBID ANGEL-ALTARS OF MADNESS CD NEW USD $14.73 Buy It Now 25 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness [New CD] Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness [New CD] USD $12.73 Buy It Now 25 days
Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness [New CD] Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness [New CD] USD $12.46 Buy It Now 25 days
Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness(1989)CD Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness(1989)CD USD $7.00 Buy It Now 26 days
Morbid Angel Morbid Angel "Altars Of Madness" CD - NEW! USD $11.99 Buy It Now 27 days
MORBID ANGEL: Altars of Madness GREEN FDR Vinyl LP WHITE COVER lim. 100 NEW! MORBID ANGEL: Altars of Madness GREEN FDR Vinyl LP WHITE COVER lim. 100 NEW! USD $99.99 Buy It Now 27 days
Morbid Angel-Altars Of Madness Vinyl LP Cover Sticker or Magnet  Morbid Angel-Altars Of Madness Vinyl LP Cover Sticker or Magnet USD $2.86 Buy It Now 27 days
MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS LP MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS LP USD $25.99 Buy It Now 27 days
Morbid Angel Morbid Angel "Altars Of Madness" CD - NEW! USD $13.15 Buy It Now 28 days
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of madness     1989   EARACHE     1.press MORBID ANGEL - Altars of madness 1989 EARACHE 1.press USD $35.00 Buy It Now 28 days
@ CD MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS / EARACHE RECORDS 2002 / DEATH METAL USA @ CD MORBID ANGEL - ALTARS OF MADNESS / EARACHE RECORDS 2002 / DEATH METAL USA USD $9.99 Buy It Now 28 days
Showing all 82 items | Price may be different, data is cached, expiring in 24h | Keyword-based search | Ordered by ending time | See results on eBay.com

More places to buy metal & MORBID ANGEL music

MORBID ANGEL ALTARS OF MADNESS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

voila_la_scorie
One of those essential old school death metal albums.

Wait! ONE of those? ONE?

This little baby is apparently considered one of the most important albums in the developing death metal scene and gets mentioned alongside Death's "Scream Bloody Gore". The ethos behind the music was simple: destroy everybody! Reading the quote on Wikipedia by guitarist Trey Azagthoth, the approach to the music was to create music that would make people work a lot harder after seeing Morbid Angel perform. He wanted people to wonder what in tarnation was going on, write stuff that would make other bands go run and hide.

Morbid Angel's true debut was recorded late in 1988 and released in spring of 1989. They had previously recorded a debut album in 1986 but were unhappy with the results and went back into the studio in '88. The result is a monumental album that takes a bit of Death, Slayer, Kreator, and Bathory and surprisingly some inspiration from Pink Floyd and delivers music that is fast, tight, brutal, and fairly technical with lots of tremolo picked single-string riffs played both in lower tones and higher tones simultaneously. There are stand out heavy riffs, wild leads, abrupt stops and changes in tempo and rhythm, and basically in the sense described by Trey Azagthoth, music that took death metal in a new direction, or at least pushed it further toward technical death metal than what had been achieved before.

The Wikipedia article goes on to say how "Altars of Madness" completed stomped on the speed/thrash scene in Sweden and opened people's eyes to this new approach to extreme metal.

One of the things I like about this album is that the band adds small details to the songs to make them memorable, as opposed to a collection of all brutal and immensely crushing music. "Immortal Rites" starts off backwards and then flips around. The vocals sound like a deeper version of Quorthon of Bathory. The there is this part with what sounds like orchestral sounds and the music gets a horror movie soundtrack feel. "Visions from the Dark Side" has some slow heavy riffing that resembles early Megadeth or Metallica and "Chapel of Ghouls" drops into this haunted mansion type music in the middle before changing gears a slower Slayer "Hell Awaits" song.

It's easy to play this album through and just ride with the atmosphere but it won't take much extension of attention to catch how each song is constructed independently of the others. With some albums it's not so easy to hear the distinction from one song to the next, but Morbid Angel prove they can write songs and not just a style.

Given that the development of death metal in the mid to late eighties is still something I am discovering in small bits here and there, I can't say that I personally understand all the hype about this album. But I can identify its place in the timeline from Celtic Frost, Slayer, Possessed, and Death to later bands like Atheist, Immolation, Gorguts, and Cynic.

A monumental album in metal history? I won't argue that point. And I enjoy the album more with each subsequent listen.
Vim Fuego
‘Altars of Madness’ was the album which made people sit up and take death metal seriously.

Early death metal was characterised by heavy Neanderthal riffs, double kick drum abusing percussion, and gargling vocals. Death’s 1988 album ‘Leprosy’ was the first to start refining this formula past its most basic, but ‘Altars Of Madness’ took it a step further. Morbid Angel proved that death metal musicians could be highly skilled, and that death metal didn’t have to be simple to be effective.

There is so much detail through the album. Each song is a multi-spiralling helix of twisted riffs, demented solos and leads and machinegun percussion. There is so much going on in each song that repeated listens are required to pick out even half of it. A song like ‘Maze of Torment’ is appropriately titled, because it shoots off in so many different directions, turning back on itself, twisting and writhing.

Trey Azagthoth had a reputation as a bit of a fruit loop, but no one could doubt his skill as a guitarist. Azagthoth routinely slashed his arm before playing, letting the blood flow over his instrument as a sacrifice to aid his skills. Owing equal debts to Eddie Van Halen, Mozart and the Ancient Ones, his playing was far from conventional. He often throws in off-kilter notes and unexpected guitar effects and noises, essential in weaving the ultra-complex web of Morbid Angel’s identity. Richard Brunelle matched Azagthoth for enthusiasm, if not quite for technique, and while his soloing style is less technical than Azagthoth’s, it is no less frenetic.

David Vincent’s voice is not as gruff as many early Death Metal vocalists, but it allows a certain fluidity a deeper voice would negate. It allows the listener to fully appreciate the band’s tales of damnation and evil.

‘Chapel of Ghouls’ is one of the oldest songs here, written along with original drummer and vocalist Mike Browning, but it stands out as a highlight. Believe it or not, it has a sing-along chorus. While much of the album takes several listens to penetrate, it is quite possible to pick up the chant “Dead- your god is dead/Fools- your god is dead/Useless prayers of lies/Behold Satan’s rise”. Judicious use of blast beats and the multifaceted Azagthoth/Brunelle solos embed this song firmly into your mind.

‘Blasphemy’ is the other real stand out track. It starts with machinegun fire, the rapidity of which Pete Sandoval matches and then surpasses with the snare. Ever wondered why his nickname is Commando? Vincent’s voice almost sounds out a melody, while the minimal use of solos (well, minimal for Morbid Angel anyway) helps create a short, punchy track.

The re-released version of the album has the track ‘Lord of All Fevers and Plague’ as a bonus. It is hard to see why the track wasn’t originally included on the album. The overall sound fits perfectly with the rest of the album. Lyrically though, it is Azagthoth’s ode to Lovecraftian demons, rather than following the satanic theme present elsewhere. There are also remixes of ‘Maze of Torment’, ‘Chapel of Ghouls’ and ‘Blasphemy’ added as bonus tracks, although the only difference between these and the originals are some slightly altered solos.

This album still sounds fresh. Although nowhere near as heavy as much of the death metal coming out today, ‘Altars Of Madness’ proved a valuable point at the time of its release, that brutality and skill need not be mutually exclusive.
Warthur
The bizarre debut of one of the most iconic death metal bands out there, Altars of Madness requires an attentive ear and a little patience to really get to grips with, but it rewards repeated listens greatly, gradually unfolding its numerous secrets. Trey Azagthoth's guitar playing is incredible, with riffs and solos coiling in on themselves like the tentacles of Lovecraftian gods, whilst the fast pace of the album makes its already brief running time feel even briefer than it already is. As a short, sharp blast of well-produced and well-performed death metal, it's pretty damn good, and though I do not think it's the outright classic it's often said to be I still think it's worth a listen.
J-Man
The debut album from Morbid Angel was my introduction to the band, and what an introduction it was! At first listen I was blown away by its pure intensity and power, as well as the way it managed to be so accessible at first listen. A lot of death metal albums take a while to sink in at first, but Altars of Madness is filled with memorable riffs that made my first experience with this band a very pleasurable one.

The musical style played on Altars of Madness is old school U.S. death metal. The sound is pretty typical of the Tampa, Florida death metal scene at the time, and if you enjoy bands like Death and Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel (especially on this album) should be right up your alley. The tempo is usually pretty fast (not as fast as grindcore or black metal, though), and the music is usually pretty heavy. However, Altars of Madness isn’t as heavy as some other death metal albums, mostly due to the light production and evident thrash metal elements. Despite the fact that Altars of Madness isn’t as brutal as some other death metal albums, it still isn’t melodic by any stretch of the imagination, and not recommended for the faint of heart.

When it comes to old school death metal from the late eighties, you can almost always count me out. Seminal albums like Eaten Back To Life (Cannibal Corpse) and Scream Bloody Gore (Death) do absolutely nothing for me, and I’d much rather listen to a modern death metal masterpiece. That is not the case with Altars of Madness, however. I absolutely love almost everything about this album. One of the reasons why I praise this album so much is that there is a lot of variation, which isn’t too common in old school death metal albums. There are a lot of tempo changes, killer solos, and riff changes that keep the album interesting.

The musicians are fantastic on Altars of Madness, though they would get even better on future albums. Pete Sandoval deserves a special note for his fantastic drumming. He’s improved over time, but he shows his chops more than enough on this debut album. David Vincent’s bass playing is solid, and his vocals are generally enjoyable, though not flawless. His voice isn’t really a deep guttural roar, but more like a higher pitched growl. The vocals can be a bit questionable at times, and I wish he would go into the lower register a bit more. It’s still good, though. Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle are both great guitarists, and fit the mood of Altars of Madness perfectly. Expect a lot of fast, shredding guitar solos backed by rapid riffing on this album.

The production is very good. Usually I don’t care for this type of thin and raw sound, but it works well here. The production is stripped down to the bare bones, yet still powerful enough to get the job done.

The original version of Altars of Madness is 35:09, consisting of 9 songs. That’s a pretty perfect length for music of this nature. It never gets repetitive and stays intense and powerful for the entire duration. My favorite songs are Immortal Rites, Suffocation, Chapel of Ghouls (this one especially), Maze of Torment, and Evil Spells. They’re all great death metal tracks, though.

Conclusion:

Altars of Madness is a great album by Morbid Angel, and is an essential album if you’re into old school US death metal. I only have a handful of Morbid Angel’s albums right now, but I really look forward to buying and reviewing all of their other works in the near future. A 4 star rating is deserved for this fantastic death metal album.
UMUR
Altars of Madness is the debut full-length studio album by American death metal act Morbid Angel. The band already recorded the Abominations of Desolation album in 1986 with later frontman David Vincent acting as producer, but it was not released until 1991. Abominations of Desolation was available in several bootleg versions until its 1991 Earache Records release. So Altars of Madness ended up being the official debut album by Morbid Angel. Released in May 1989 by Earache / Combat, this is one of the seminal albums in death metal. The original LP version lasted 35:09 minutes and contained 9 tracks.

The music on Altars of Madness is technically well played death metal. The vocals by lead vocalist/ basssist David Vincent are not deep growls as they would be on later releases by the band but more an aggressive higher pitched type of growling vocals. The pace varies from mid- to fast- to blasting which means the album features good variation. There are loads of solos on the album of the screaming, arm-bending, fast-paced non melodic kind ( Slayer haven´t lived in vain). The tracks are of high quality but especially the tracks on side 1 of the original LP, Immortal Rites, Suffocation, Visions from the Dark Side and Maze of Torment, stand out as excellent. The tracks on Side 2 sound a bit more dated to my ears and I much prefer Side 1. That doesn´t mean that the songs on Side 2 are average or bad. On the contrary they are actually very good and powerful. Just not as great as the songs on Side 1.

The production is pretty raw yet greatly enjoyable.

As stated above Altars of Madness is a seminal album in the death metal genre and a great start to Morbid Angel´s career. While they´ve made more sophisticated and IMO better albums later in their career, Altars of Madness still deserves 4 stars.

Members reviews

FMOTP
I rarely listen to death metal; Morbid Angel is the only "old school" death metal band I listen to regularly. I think my very high rating for ALTARS OF MADNESS has something to do with that fact. The creativity and musical skill that the band showed, starting with their first album, places them above almost every other band in the genre IMO. Although I'm far from the first person to say it, major credit has to be given to drummer Pete Sandoval. I can't imagine the skill it takes to play these constantly changing rhythms, even within individual songs.

Some have complained about the sound quality. I listened to ALTARS OF MADNESS on a decent pair of headphones (this is music that definitely requires attentive listening), and had no problems with the sound. Although Morbid Angel may have refined their approach on later albums, that takes nothing away from the brilliance of ALTARS OF MADNESS.

Ratings only

  • michelandrade
  • kalacho
  • Seven Moons
  • aglasshouse
  • shadowoffadream
  • sauromat
  • Ozark Soundscape
  • Unitron
  • Necrotica
  • StargazerSlave
  • Nightfly
  • buttsled
  • Stooge
  • Immortalis
  • Double-D
  • LaineJ
  • piposo
  • Wilytank
  • IMPF2112
  • jahkhula
  • IMPF
  • Bubbix
  • Woutjinho
  • Anster
  • Diogenes
  • jorgelog94
  • Saturn
  • alvarex3x
  • 666sharon666
  • Zargus
  • adg211288
  • luanpedi
  • vikt73
  • NorseGangsta
  • slow man

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review

Altars of Madness Contents

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Desolated Metalcore
THY DESOLATION
Buy this album from MMA partners
The World We Knew Is Gone Mathcore
THE DAWN
Buy this album from MMA partners
Extant Arcanum Deathcore
ODYSSEAN PASSAGE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Insurgency Deathcore
ODYSSEAN PASSAGE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Thalassigenous Deathcore
ODYSSEAN PASSAGE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Avenged Sevenfold - The Stage
AVENGED SEVENFOLD
Tupan· 4 days ago
White Walls - Death Follows Me
WHITE WALLS
Tupan· 5 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online