Morbid Angel
Altars of Madness


3.0
good

Review

by TheEnigmaPrognosis USER (5 Reviews)
June 28th, 2011 | 30 replies | 4,005 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album in which every other in the genre is judged by, for better or for worse.

2 of 4 thought this review was well written

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.

In the early days, four-piece band Morbid Angel were one of the pioneers on the front of death metal. After a couple years since their inception they finally released their outstanding debut record Altars of Madness in 1989. They may have tried to play catch-up with fellow death metal band Death, but at the time I doubt they could care less. Altars of Madness was such a marvel in the way it combined the relentless riffing, spiraling solos, and purely evil-yet-enchanting vocals to create a brutal onslaught of death metal. They may have taken a couple cues from Death but it's unarguable how influential this band was. They essentially set the bar for every other death metal band to follow.

The lyrics are satanic, the solos are sporadic, and the drumming is inhumanly fast. This may sound familiar, but I assure you back in 1989 it was truly a breakthrough. However, it isn't exactly the late 80's anymore. Entering the year of 2011, I'm not sure it holds up in the same way. Even more is that Morbid Angel has composed some records that are simply better in terms of sheer quality. I give Altars Of Madness credit for practically being the reason why so many metalheads around the world wear the studs on their belts. Why they possess the patchwork on their jackets. As well as inspiring so many great metal acts in the process, but it might have been more because of their attitude and never-before heard lyrics at the time. Aside from a few classic standouts, most of the album is pretty repetitive and isn't the most pleasant listening experience.

Well... death metal isn't supposed to be pleasant, but even for someone who listens to metal on a daily basis, it gets a little boring. I will say the song "Chapel of Ghouls" has an incredible atmospheric section, "Maze of Torment" has a mesmerizing chorus and that "Blasphemy" is rather good on the lyrical front, but at the end of the day, it's lacking variety. There are moments in the songs that will strike you at first but once you listen to later Morbid Angel records, they'll begin to eclipse this classic. In other words, there is music that contains the same aspects but nails it better.

I cannot thank the men that started the death metal revolution enough, as they have sparked a flame in me. They have made me see another side of life; yet once I am done dissecting the endless riffs and pounding drums, I am compelled to give it a lower score than what is typically expected for this album. Don't get me wrong though, David Vincent sounds like an evil ghoul trapped in a echoey tomb, Trey Azagthoth plays a wicked guitar, and Pete Sandalov is practically a drum machine... and they'll only improve on the ever-building precipice that they now stand on... oh wait.


user ratings (987)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
June 28th 2011



33363 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The review is alright, but I can't say I agree at all.

ANALCUNT
June 28th 2011



38 Comments


classic album ur off ur nut mate

ShadowRemains
June 28th 2011



19429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wtf

TAB
June 28th 2011



435 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this review could have been decent if 80% of it wasn't on how influential the album is, cause pretty much everyone here has already heard that bullshit.

ShadowRemains
June 28th 2011



19429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's a late 80's metal album, of course it doesn't stand up to the more extreme and complex metal of today.


its better than the vast majority of it...

Hawks
June 28th 2011



33363 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The time period shouldn't even matter. There's no reason to compare it to modern stuff and that's pretty much all you do in this review.

TAB
June 28th 2011



435 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^both true.

BloodSweatandBeers
June 28th 2011



978 Comments


"However, it isn't exactly the late 80's anymore. Entering the year of 2011, I'm not sure it holds up in the same way."

oh come on

this review seems kind of pointless. why take an album that's regarded as a death metal classic, hell one of the pioneering albums at that, and say that since it hasn't stood the test of time (in your eyes) or hasn't aged well or whatever that it gets boring and repetitive. you might as well say the same thing about slayer and anthrax since some of their material can be seen as repetitive. this album has totally stood the test of time...

eggsvonsatan
June 28th 2011



1087 Comments


not really a review.

Pyosisified
June 28th 2011



2450 Comments


not many 80s metal albums stand up to the mighty NECROPHAGIST

HenchmanOfSanta
June 28th 2011



1649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What exactly does this fail to hold up in comparison to? There may be drummers faster than Pete Sandoval and vocalists more intense than David Vincent, but not many bands can write kick-ass metal songs the way it was done on this album. We all know that Morbid Angel themselves can't come close anymore.

lmletal
June 28th 2011



95 Comments


A 3!?!?!?!?!? you are a disgrace. the metal gods will deal with you

YUJOS
June 28th 2011



890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"but even for someone who listens to metal on a daily basis, it gets a little boring" You must be kidding us...

Digging: Aosoth - Ashes of Angels

HenchmanOfSanta
June 28th 2011



1649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously you 5'd Necrophagist and this is what you think of Altars? This isn't a badly written review, however.

ShadowRemains
June 28th 2011



19429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol 4.5'd dimmu borgir and cradle of filth

Grimlin
June 28th 2011



818 Comments


this album is far from dated. last i checked osdm styled bands and old dm demo tape rips are springing up left and right. i'll excuse the ignorance since you obviously had no idea

bowlofsoup
June 28th 2011



1073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This review isn't bad, but completely wrong

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2011



15988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's a late 80's metal album, of course it doesn't stand up to the more extreme and complex metal of today.

This is the most retarded fucking thing I've read in a while

Digging: Thergothon - Stream From The Heavens

ShinXetsu
June 28th 2011



605 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's the songwriting that counts man, this fucking album has it in spades.

Pyosisified
June 29th 2011



2450 Comments


no dude the complexity is all that matters



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