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Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness

1989 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-07

We all waited for this album to come out, worshipping the demo and just knowing that this was to be the end all/be all of metal as we thought it was. Did it deliver? Fuck yeah, Altars of Madness being the first metal album I deemed worthy to buy on CD (for the bonus remixes), being the die-hard vinyl maniac that I was back then. Hearing Sandoval's feet flying all over the place made me want to quit playing, knowing that it was hopeless to try and push the limits past what this inhuman guy was already accomplishing. 11 years later, it still holds the same weight that it did back then, rife with riffs that influenced a hundred bands and spawned a new generation of metal. Altars also contains some of my favorite metal sections ever, with the intros to Maze of Torment and Chapel of Ghouls being among my favorite moments in metal, period. Brunelle and Trey (probably more Trey) emerged as forces of fretboard fury, just warping their fingers into sonic destruction, all delivered along with Vincent's patented growls. It's pure genius, AoM being a true milestone in metal. And while it does have that less than ultimately heavy Morrisound production job, it does stand the test of time as one of the best death metal albums in history. Well worth the price of a case of beer.