Sound — 10
This is Morbid Angel's second album, and to me, it defines this genre we have come to love. They spat in the face of the superstition that second albums can suck by actually exceeding the legendary "Altars Of Madness." First, the production. The sound is much less sharp and trebly, which is cool, but the rounded off, bassier production is more appealing to me. The album kicks off with an eerie intro, with tortured chugging sounds with a baby wailing in the background and various other sounds. Then, the opener, "Fall From Grace", in which all the great elements of oldschool death metal are encompassed. Grinding power-chords, doomy parts, screaming blast beats and double-bass, and Death grunts straight from the gut, though you can't hear much bass guitar, which is kind of a bummer. They even get in touch with their classical side, with the excellent "Doomsday Celebration", the lulling acoustic piece "Desolate Ways", and the closer, "In Rememberance." These are the soft moments among a barrage of grinding death metal, with even a doom song, the title track. All killer, no filler.
Lyrics — 8
Maybe the only flaw to this album, though, is that the lyrics could be a little more original, moreso in the later parts of the album. They just seem too standard "satanic" death metal for this caliber of a disc. But, David Vincent's vocal performance is classic death metal. His vocals excell with flying colors.
Overall Impression — 9
This album really shows how raw, brutal, oldschool death metal should be done. Some of the most impressive songs to me, though all are great, are "Day Of Suffering", in which the band grinds out a death metal classic with an instantly recognizable intro in just under two minutes, I think. Also, as said before, "Fall From Grace" is pure death metal rage, and the doom title track is awesome. But maybe my favorite is "The Ancient Ones". Ridiculously groovy, in a very cool way. Overall, this is my favorite Morbid Angel offering. Absolute classic. Period.