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Altars of Madness Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 13, 2008
$6.08 $33.10

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Earache UK
  • ASIN: B00006YXKD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John K. Trump on December 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness, released in 1989 continues to tear faces off 21 years later.

From the first snap of Pete's snare drum following the reverse intro on Immortal Rites, to the eerie outro riff of Evil Spells, this album takes the listener on a journey unlike any other death metal album ever produced. This album holds a special quality being released so early on in the death metal genre. The cookie cutter sound had yet to be created and the most guttural vocals of the time period are considered tame by today's standards. Which leads to one of the albums high points - David Vincent's vocals. His raspy delivery is both understandable, haunting, and downright vicious. The lyrical content is interesting and has good imagery throughout. Trey's signature riffing and soloing is at it's best on this album, and Brunelle does a good job of molding himself into Trey's vision. I could write a book about Pete Sandoval's drumming on this album. It's a cornerstone of death metal percussion. His precision blasting and fill-work is second to none, while his groove sections provide perfect headbangability consistently. This album was the first death metal album that I noticed a drummer making a concentrated effort to match the drumming to the riffs being played rather than double time or blasting. Sandoval's ability to accentuate riffs through cymbal and tom work astounds me to this day. The production is surprisingly clear, albeit a bit noisy.

All in all, if you consider yourself a fan of death metal, or even metal in general and haven't heard this, you are doing yourself a disservice. Buy this album YESTERDAY.
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Format: Audio CD
Unleashed upon the public in 1989 during the time when Guns & Roses and "Glam Metal" were the rage, this is the first full length album from the Tampa, FLA natives. The cover is a vortex of grinning ghouls staring at you from another dimension. How does this initial offering sound? Here are my reviews of the songs based out of 5 *****:

"Immortal Rites" - Backwards/swirling sounding guitars open the album. The drums pummel in at a breakneck speed and the tempo then switches to a midtempo chugfest. Vincent's vocals are throaty/growl like. The song goes from thrash to Sabbath and back, with some wicked guitar solos. A tune about rites of immortality. A sonic assault to the ears that demolishes all musical boundaries. A fantastic piece! Rating - *****

"Suffocation" - VERY FAST drumming begins the onslaught. Numerous tempo/rhythm changes abound. There is one brief moment in which Vincent gets a two second bass solo, and then he fades into the background as Sandoval/Azagthoth/Brunelle resume control and resume crushing the wind out of your lungs with their technical power. There is one part during the second verse where Vincent almost sounds like he's rapping ala "Baby's Got Back"...'Caverns below, await the wine to flow, rape the harvest of souls.' Listen to that verse and you'll hear what I mean. The song has an abrupt ending. Overall, another superb piece. Rating - *****

"Visions From The Dark Side" - or 'Hey!It's just Capitalism!' Very fast and tight drumming/rhythm. Sandoval is just great with the dexterity/speed/force of his drumming! The lyrics are anti-war and anti-corporation.."Dogs of war, satan's own, plotting all their sins. Weapons aimed at liberty. My vision - no one wins." Lets hope Vincent's vision isn't right, but it appears it might be!
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Format: Audio CD
I gotta say that the early period of DM is definitely the best, when it was first coming into being as a solid subgenre of metal, before it become all technical and before all the melodic death metal jazz and whatnot. Don't get me wrong, I like albums like "The Jester Race" and Death's Symbolic (which is quite amazing actually) it's just that I liked it when the music was a little more raw and simple ya know? If you're not convinced then I compel you to give this album a spin because this is some or the most terrifying music I've heard, but in a good way of course. The synergy of Dave Vincent's scathingly evil vocals (who's my fave DM vocalist) and Trey Azagthoth's shredding is an explosion straight outta Hell itself. I have to say that man definitely knows how to play the guitar and deserves a lot more praise if ya ask me. This album has some of my favorite DM songs ever such as Immortal Rites and Maze of Torment which I call the "seizure song" because Pete Sandoval's machine gun blast beats will have you not only headbanging but your body going into full-blown convulsions! This is 2nd only to the almighty SEVEN CHURCHES for the title of best DM album ever in my humble opinion.

Hey if you like the 90s era DM better that's more progressive and technical (such as Death's SOP) I perfectly undertand, however, you have to check out the early stuff to see the true potential that death metal has as a formidable genre of music. Oh yeah I won't forget to warn the unsuspecting listener that this is pretty Satanic (like most early DM) so hopefully that won't bother you. Personally I like that kind of stuff, it gets me even more pumped along with the intense music. Plus the teenyboppers HATE this stuff! Just drive around a high school or something and blast this sh*t and see them run in fear!

My recommendation- so if you like this get MA's other albums up to Domination, early Death, SEVEN CHURCHES, Deicide, Obituary for some good old school death metal. LATER
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