Altars of Madness

Altars of Madness

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.

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