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An All Time Classic - 100%

corviderrant, February 28th, 2004

Years ago, I walked into my local record store--the year this album came out, in fact--and saw this album on the shelves. Now, I'd heard about this insane band from Florida but never actually heard them, so after getting such amazing reviews from friends and zines both, I had to snap it up. Popping it into the Walkman on the way home, I was instantly blown away by what is easily the most classic and definitive USDM album of all time. Oh, and did I mention that I snagged it for domestic price even though it was only available as an import at the time? *evil chuckle*

There are still riffs on this album that I am still trying to figure out what, 15 years after the fact?! That ought to tell you something. Every song on this album is a head-spinning assault of wild, atonal riffage, Pete Sandoval's godly drum assaults, and David Vincent's menacing snarl--and this isn't even one of his better vocal performances. Every song unmercifully batters you to pulp in a maelstrom of carefully calculated chaos and mayhem, and I do mean every single last tune on this album. From the trippy, reversed riff that opens "Immortal Rites" to the doom riff that ends "Evil Spells", it is a monument of gripping, inventive and inspired Death Fucking Metal!

This is the album that cemented Morbid Angel's reputation as Gods of the USDM scene, with its unending wellspring of dark madness, and still holds up to this day as a bastion of what true Death Metal ought to be. Unfortunately, too many USDM bands these days are lacking the edge of brilliance that made MA in their prime the best of the best, preferring to simply flail and make noise. With rare exceptions like Nile, we need more bands taking cues from this album to revitalize USDM into the juggernaut it once was!