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Altars of Madness

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Editors’ Notes

Florida’s Morbid Angel didn’t merely ensure thrash’s transition into death metal on their 1989 debut. Thanks to cranium-cracking solos by guitarists Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle on tracks like “Immortal Rites”, “Maze of Torment” and “Damnation”—and time signature changes that induce serial whiplash—the album sets a standard of technical mastery that death metal bands are still trying to match. Yet Pete Sandoval’s bludgeoning drums manage to keep pace with the axe attack. Atop it all, David Vincent’s guttural growling sounds downright sick.

Customer Reviews

A Death Metal classic

A classic album. While it may sound a little dated now – it became the benchmark for the death metal scene just as Reign in Blood did for thrash metal in 86. Check out Maze of Torment and Chapel of Ghouls – these gents pulled no punches. Hell, even one of their roadies received a suspended sentence for defiling a priest’s grave and adorning the drummer’s kit with his skull. Then the band started wearing eyeliner…D’oh!

Par excellent!

This is a must have for everyone, even the Haitians. They'll be crushed by it while Chileans will be shaken by this intensity.
Yeah, I'm just the worst kind of person.


Formed: 1984 in Tampa, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Groups like Venom, Mercyful Fate, and Slayer may have founded death metal in the early '80s, but it wasn't until such disciples as Morbid Angel came along at the close of the decade that the genre was pushed to its most extreme level, both musically and lyrically. Formed in 1984 in Florida, Morbid Angel (along with Death) would also help spearhead an eventual death metal movement in their home state, which would include such notables as Deicide and Obituary, among countless others. From its inception,...
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