David Vincent (ex-Terrorizer) is an amazing vocalist and this is his first release with the band, on vocals/bass. He's just awesome and augments the music's blasphemy (the track "Blasphemy" is tremendous too!) With this lineup, on a whole Vincent, Brunelle, Agazthoth, and Sandoval have a tremendous impact on the world of death metal. No bore in any of this album--it's constantly changing and the eerie sounds make it even more captivating. I'd say they use all avenues here regarding their talent and the mixing too!
Every song is my favorite song. How can one not like this release if you're a death metal fan? I mean, for it's time, it's beyond its time. Not really into the lyrics, just the music and how both guitars mesh, Trey is in mania when he's playing lead--the guy just shreds. Blast beating, slow tempos, fast tempos, moderate tempos, this has it all. I can't stress that enough. I remember when I got a hold of this album as a teenager--I was engulfed and memorized the lyrics. But now I can look back and say, "nah, not really into the lyrics, can't relate to them, but they're suitable for this release."
Another word would be: speechless. It's just amazing how the music goes so well with the vocals. The production quality shys on a little raw sound, but not as raw as some older death metal band releases--it's eerie like I said and you can hear all of the instruments in unison. Nothing left out and not an overuse of solos like on "Covenant", a later release. I think that the concept is clear--the band wanted something coming from nowhere to Earth and made into an incredible work. It's really staggering how the music really is the highlight for the band and they did well with their efforts.
YouTube this album if you don't have it. I used to have it on cassette. Yes, it's that old and so am I! Just expect raw-like sounds, blast beating gallore, Vincent's spews on vocals and guitar frenzies. It all adds up into a balls-out-bad-ass release. The band should split up now--they should leave their death metal origin in the archives. With "Altars of Madness", you have variety, creativity, unholiness, countless surge of repulsion, and a definite "maze of death." They really did nothing wrong on here, nothing drags or bores the listener. Get the CD and play it to death!
Reviewed By: Death8699 (email@example.com)