Morbid Angel – Altars Of Madness (1989)
Altars Of Madness is still the pinnacle of death metal and one of the finest extreme albums ever conceived. Chuck and Death may have popularised the genre but Morbid Angel chrystalised it, gave it a complete and recognisable identity and produced one of the greatest albums in Metal history on their genre defining debut.
How songs with this much groove could be performed in such a non-standard manner still blows minds! Here were unconventional musicians, unafraid, challenging preconceptions and embracing the extreme and yet somehow composing music that invites rather than repels; each track lingering long in the mind and although “Immortal Rites”, “Visions From The Dark Side” and “Evil Spells” are highlights, the entire album is utterly indispensable.
Altars Of Madness captured the souls of millions of newly-converted death metal fanatics and the flood gates were well and truly open; Morbid Angel had arrived and, with this iconic debut, so had death metal!
Honourable mentions: Incantation – Onward To Golgotha / Cannibal Corpse – Eaten Back to Life / Obituary – Slowly We Rot / Monstrosity – Imperial Doom / Necrophagia – Seasons Of The Dead / Asphyx – The Rack / Grave – Into The Grave / Nocturnus – The Key / Unleashed – Where No Life Dwells / Atheist – Piece Of Time / Demigod – Slumber Of Sullen Eyes / Benediction – Subconscious Terror / Nile – Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka / Broken Hope – Swamped In Gore / Massacre – From Beyond / Cryptopsy – Blasphemy Made Flesh / Convulse – World Without God / Baphomet – The Dead Shall Inherit / Killing Addiction – Omega Factor / Morta Skuld – Dying Remains / Oppressor – Solstice Of Oppression / Revenant – Prophecies Of A Dying World / Brutality – Screams Of Anguish / Ripping Corpse – Dreaming With The Dead / Edge Of Sanity – Nothing But Death Remains / Gorefest – Mindloss (we could go on and on!)