Sound: Well, some people say that this is the true first album by Morbid Angel, instead of 1989's classic "Altars Of Madness". It was actually meant to be, but the band didn't liked the final result, so they kinda abandoned the album. With the exception of "Demon Seed", all the songs from this album were re-recorded for later releases like "Blessed Are The Sick", "Covenant" and "Altars Of Madness". Some people claim that this album sounds sloppy compared to other Morbid Angel releases. Well, that's not totally wrong. Mike Browning was the drummer and also performed the vocal duties, before Pete Sandoval and David Vincent joining the band. I like his work here, but honestly, he's nowhere as good as Pete Sandoval, who would later give to songs like "Chapel Of Ghouls" a great upgrade, especially when it comes to the blast beats. Guitar work is great, really.
Kinda obvious, since most of the songs here are Morbid Angel's classics that helped them to be placed among the biggest death metal bands of all time. Riffs are sick and stunningly fast, as well as guitar solos, that are basically insane shredding and whammy bar rape. So, like I was saying, some people claim that this album sounds sloppy compared to other albums, but I still love it. This kind of "silly", raw and poorly produced metal album just tends to amaze me, and this is no exception. While it's undeniable that the band later took a big step forward when it comes to musicianship, I really love this album, and I think it is some interesting early material from one of the bands that helped to spawn death metal around the world. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrics on this album are basically focused on themes like rituals and sacrifices, but also making a lot of references to mythology, for an example, Mesopotamian gods like Abzu, Tiamat and Pazuzu in songs like "Angel Of Disease" and "Azagthoth", and even citing Cthulhu in "Lord Of All Fevers". They also approach themes like death, hate, diseases and suffering constantly. I actually think they're kinda well written, overall. As for the vocals, Mike Browning is also no David Vincent when it comes to vocals, but still, I think he did a nice job here. I kinda enjoy his growls and screams, especially in "Chapel Of Ghouls". If we can make a comparison here, I think his voice sounds slightly "shrieked" if compared to David Vincent's, which is really, really low pitched. // 8
Overall Impression: Well, enough said. Like I've said before, I think it is some interesting example of early death metal, coming from one of the bands that helped to build death metal. It's sad, because it seems like most of the time, this album is just ignored. I would point "Angel Of Disease", "Chapel Of Ghouls" and "Azagthoth" as the best songs here, but I really enjoy the whole album, no exceptions. Well, I would not tell you to go out there right now and buy this album, instead, I would tell you to buy many other Morbid Angel's classics, since almost all songs here were re-recorded on them, like I've said. But still, if you're a fan of that unique sounding of an early metal record like me, then you should totally buy this. Great album. // 9