ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review of the Album "Altars of Madness" by American Death Metal Band Morbid Angel

Updated on May 19, 2023
CELEBSFAN78 profile image

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Altars of Madness Is Lacking in the Production Department

Morbid Angel is one of those bands that I was going to write about yet again a few weeks ago until the urge to cover more heavy metal band resurfaced within me and here it is.

Their 1989 studio album called Altars of Madness is their first album and right away we can tell that the production is still kind of not as clean as later albums in the coming decades would be.

"Altars of Madness" Is Not Without Melody However

This is the time period when American death metal was solid enough to compete with the rest of the world. This album has melody that we would see in albums such as In Flames’ Lunar Strain in 1994. But in 1989, as the decade of the 1980’s was coming to a close, Morbid Angel had just started to make their presence felt as raspy vocals, double bass drumming and heavy death metal would be put to good use. I had planned to write at least two more album reviews and this one is one of them. There’s so many bands that a person can discover that it will never end.

A Brief Review of the Album Altars of Madness The Beginning & Style

The first song "Immortal Rites" lyrically talks about the “curse” of human life as immortality is supported. There is a definite Cannibal Corpse feel in this song but Morbid Angel is another one of those extreme metal bands so what can we expect? However, unlike Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel is more technical in nature in some respects though not always. Altars of Madness focuses exclusively on speed at least for the first two songs. Stylistically as the album begins, the drums are fast but you can tell that because of the production, you can’t really hear this first track that well. The second song called "Suffocation" stylistically in the beginning in terms of the riffs and drums sounds a bit like the song Pain Divine which would come out in 1993. A good bass line is present in this song before it switches to David’s raspy vocals. So far at this point in the album, the score is at least 80 points! But that's when we analyze the first three songs.

"Lord of All Fevers and Plague"

Analyzing the Rest of the Album "Altars of Madness"

The song called "Maze of Torment" musically sounds like a song that Swedish band Witchery would write in 1999 as there is a laugh in this song and the lead guitars speed up. The vocals of David Vincent are not as audible in this album as they would be in the album Covenant which would come out in 1993. Upon the third time of listening to this album and trying to analyze it, the riffing is good enough and there is melody present however in these early days,

"Lord of All Fevers and Plague" is one of the weakest songs in this album as the vocals are of a repetitive, raspy nature and the song is just, well kind of boring as the same lyrical content about the extinction of the human race is present.

Morbid Angel fell into the trap of having lyrics about Satanism, evil, and death. Some listeners will not be able to handle Morbid Angel’s music because of this and if you are one of those people that has a hard time dealing with the lyrics, one recommendation I can make for you to listen to in place of this band is the band Death featuring the late Chuck Schuldiner. Those songs have lyrics which are better and more applicable to what happens in this world. The song called "Damnation" is one of the stronger songs in this first Morbid Angel album having the riffing and speedy solos to create a good 1980’s death metal tune and we would see traces of the style that would be on the album Covenant which would come just a few years after this album was made. The bottom line is that Altars of Madness is a decent death metal album for the band that is considered to be one of the pioneers of the early days of American death metal but it lacks that extra wow factor that would have put it into the elite category.

Final Score for the album Altars of Madness: 78 out of 100 points


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)