Ia, Iak Sakkakh, Iak Sakkakth... Floridian death metal veterans Morbid Angel recorded the mind-blowing and occult-oozing album Abominations of Desolation in 1986, which, as you all know by now, was supposed to be the band's debut album. It features Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle on guitars, John Ortega on bass and, last but not least, Mike Browning on vocals and drums. The album has been bootlegged several times and for some of us the songs it contains have offered some of the band's finest and most wicked moments, ones they haven't been able to recapture since (yes, I can hear those of you who feel their "official" debut album Altars of Madness is the band's best, but opinions vary, right?)
We at the scorched headquarters of The Metal Crypt felt A.o.D. needed to be celebrated a little bit. We asked several musicians for their opinions and experiences regarding that groundbreaking Morbid Angel release, which could have become a true cult release had it been released in 1986 instead of sitting unreleased for five long years. But better late than never, I guess...
All interviews by Luxi Lahtinen
When did you hear Abominations of Desolation for the very first time, and what was your initial reaction to it?
Gene Palubicki (PERDITION TEMPLE): 1991-ish, when the Earache Records version was released. My introduction to Morbid Angel was in 1987 when I heard the song from their demo (Thy Kingdom Come) on the Satan's Revenge 2 compilation album and then the subsequent albums thereafter. It was interesting to hear the early versions of all those songs on Abominations of Desolation, most of which were re-recorded later for future albums. I don't/didn't really feel late to the party on this. I had been tape-trading in my teenage years, so I was accustomed to the crude demo/etc. beginnings of bands that eventually moved into more properly performed/recorded albums, like Hellhammer demos, where many fledgling versions of songs grew into new things later. For sure, my initial reaction was that it was the band still finding their way. Moments of "not quite" blast beats, mixed with a sense of off center Mercyful Fate riff sensibility. And, of course, the total blur noise solos over it all. In its own way, it was an extreme thing for 1986 underground stuff. But for sure it was one branch of MANY that were developing into things that would explode as the late '80s moved into the '90s and the entire surge of that wave of "death metal" that began flowing out with new bands every week through Earache, Century Media, and Roadracer Records.
Rozel Nikolaj Leaño (NULLIFICATION): I can't really recall the first time I heard it. But I do recall that I heard of Formulas, Covenant, Blessed, and Altars before I stumbled upon it. I even have a copy of the bootlegged tapes that were disseminated back when this album was recorded, which was passed down to me by my eldest cousin among many other metal albums. It's worn out now, but it still plays rather well. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a different band. Everything sounded chaotic and bestial. I was hooked! All the demo versions of songs like "Lord of All Fevers and Plagues," "Unholy Blasphemies," and "Angel of Disease" sounded more aggressive, brash, and anarchic. Browning did an amazing job with the vocals, too. I was surprised the day I found out that he played for Morbid Angel before forming Nocturnus.
Malte Gericke (SIJJIN): Despite so many other groundbreaking albums, I sadly cannot remember when I heard this insane masterpiece for the very first time. My devotion to Morbid Angel started in 1989 when I bought Altars of Madness after its release. I could write an exegesis about what this album meant and still means to me and how it affected my musical evolution, but this is another story.
Shamefully I must say that I already might have heard Abominations of Desolation at an older friend's place, who owned one of the many dubbed versions on tape, but it got my full attention when Earache re-released it in 1991. I better not discuss this poorly made version here (how great it could have been with the "original" cover, old pics, etc.), but it opened the gates to another dimension for me. Abominations... is one of the most evil audio assaults of all time, vibrations captured on tape which might have been received straight from the deepest caverns of hell. Blessed we are to taste this record of sin!
Evil Avatar (PUTRID): I think the first time I heard this masterpiece was when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old, so it was in the year 1994. At that time, I was discovering Slayer, because they had released Divine Intervention, and I liked the relation between metal and hardcore. I remember that a friend had Abominations of Desolation recorded on tape and what impressed me was the voice. It was much more forceful and unnatural for me, at that time. I was definitely left with the idea that it was the darkest and most violent thing I had ever heard in my life.
Wannes Gubbels (PENTACLE): Abominations... entered my bedroom on the A-side of a TDK D90 tape and featured Messiah's Hymn to Abramelin on the other side. I acquired these recordings through a Dutch tape trader. The first actual music of Morbid Angel I heard was the 1987 Unholy Blasphemies rehearsal demo, which was a major scorcher to my ears. I totally loved this recording and as a result, I started to hunt down everything Morbid Angel-related. Rehearsals, live tapes and of course Abominations. After so many years, it's hard to remember my actual thoughts, but I do recall I loved the intro. It really made one aware you weren't listening to a regular heavy metal record. I love(d) Mike Browning's vocal delivery, the crazy solos, and great rhythms parts. There's some intense bass playing going on as well. The songs offered a level of intensity and darkness which appealed to me. It was material I was craving, namely obscure death metal!
I was very proud of my Abominations... shirt, which I bought from then-Thanatos bass player, André Scherpenberg. It clearly shows in photos from that time as I wore it rather often, so the shirt was featured on a regular base.
The classic Satanic Records bootleg LP was bought at the Willem II venue, a club where I experienced my first Morbid Angel gig (the tour with Napalm Death, promoting Altars of Madness). I can't remember which bands were performing. Was it the Dutch Carcass/Dead Head tour? No idea, but it was around that time or maybe even earlier. It was before the official release of Abominations... on Earache for sure and I was really proud of this piece of black cult. It looked and sounded great. With such classic artwork, one can do little wrong. Wasn't it the Italian guy from Nosferatu Records who released the album? Anyway, it was and still is a classic album in my collection and I am really glad to own it. Compared to the bootleg, the official release looked very watered down. I do understand why it was presented this way, but still, not even the line-up or recording credits are mentioned. How lame. I remember finding it rather strange to listen to the official recordings. I mean, after years of listening to the dubbed tape and later the vinyl bootleg, I was used to another sound, you know? More muffled and raw. Now it was all bright and shining, haha! I am still drawn towards the raw version and bought myself a bootleg CD with the Satanic Records version as the master a while ago. Call me nostalgic, but I prefer the bootleg to the original release.
It's the same with the first three Bathory albums. I never got used to the Black Mark remasters on CD (they sounded way too clean to me), so when a couple of years ago those bootlegs with the original vinyl masters were released, I bought the three albums on CD. Way better audio and visual presentation than the original versions, which puzzles me, but it is what it is. It has something to do with how you perceive an album after being used to a certain sound, having listened to it for so many times. It's definitely the case with Abominations...
R. (OMEGAVORTEX): More than 20 years ago. Unfortunately, it was the Earache CD version first which sounds totally harmless due to the revised sound. There had to be a more evil-sounding version. I already knew it existed. THEN, luckily, I found one of the original Satanic Records 666 Abominations of Desolation LP bootlegs from 1991 with the original cover. This felt like the ultimate dark revelation. Truly possessed, a totally blackened Morbid Angel, from forgotten times. This version got me hooked, especially because the source here is the rough mix taken from a whatever generation tape, directly from the mixing console with all the drumstick counting, hiss, mids, noise, hellish volume errors bleeding through. At times my copy wouldn't even run at normal speed which gives it extra anomaly and pure demonic mood. This recording has all the evil magic that made it so far ahead of its time. All-time classic. In my opinion, every album of this style should be released as a rough take, period. It is easily on the same level as any other obscure classic from back then, (i.e., Morbid Visions, INRI), even given the fact that Altars of Madness became huge years later on. Mike Browning's vocals are especially possessed. He is the best Morbid Angel singer; Vincent is not even close on Altars. Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle are much more out of control and even John Ortega's bass playing is spot on with little chaos solos here and there which totally disappeared after this line-up. It's easily wilder than Altars of Madness in that aspect. No band pictures, not too much information. Just pure black magic. One of the best album covers ever. R.I.P. Richard Brunelle.
Paul Ray (FALSE PROPHET): Honestly, I don't think I heard this until it was released in '91 by Earache but I was definitely blown away by this album. Mike's vocals set the tone for what was to come in the future. His vocals were a big influence for me personally and the riffs these guys were putting out were incredible and brutal. This was the format that would make Morbid Angel one of the best death metal bands ever.
Mathias Johansson (PROTECTOR): I believe I heard it sometimes around 1989-1990 through tape trading and I liked it a lot! But the first time I really began to worship the album was when I bought the bootleg vinyl that was released in early 1991 from a record store named House of Kicks located in Stockholm. It was totally different to hold the album in your hands vs. a dubbed version of it on a tape. That front cover is just fucking brilliant. I think the album has a really evil feeling to it, and I really love the vocals and drumming from Mike Browning. They give the songs a really evil atmosphere, I think.
Apostolos Papadimitriou (RAPTURE, GR): To be honest, I cannot quite remember. It was some years later after discovering Morbid Angel and listening to their full "official" catalog. Around 2015-2016, when I was 18-19, we started digging more into the demo/7 inch/unreleased stuff from the extreme metal scene and admiring the rawness and grittiness of such releases. So, you could say that the timing was perfect. We really dug the shit out of it from the very beginning. Morbid Angel is a huge influence for us in Rapture, and we pretty much love everything from their first demo up to Gateways to Annihilation. Personally, I would put it quite high on my list of favorite Morbid Angel releases, and not just "albums." The ultra-early era of Morbid Angel (up to Thy Kingdom Come demo/EP) is truly unmatched and I do not think that it can be replicated.
Hugo "Witchhammer" Uribe (WITCHTRAP): Well, I was just a teenager when I heard it for the very first time around 1989, a couple of years after it was released. In Colombia, to get import music back in those days was a pain in the ass because not many releases came over here for sale. When some music store in some bigger city got something, they probably got only 2-3 copies of each and there were thousands of metalheads fighting to get their hands on them.
A good friend of mine once loaned me a recorded tape which had Abomination of Desolation on it, and when I gave it a listen, I was like, "Fuck man, this shit is more evil than even early Venom or Slayer." I was totally blown away by it and got very excited listening to it because there was this prevailing Satanic atmosphere constantly present on the album.
Some months later, I found out that Mauricio Montoya, a.k.a. "Bull Metal (R.I.P.)", who was a well-known metalhead in Colombia, had the original bootleg album of Abominations..., and when he showed the album's artwork to me at his home, I realized how well it actually matches with the music that I heard on the tape I had borrowed from a friend. Abominations... was, and still is for that matter, absolutely awesome and kick-ass stuff from start to finish.
Avenger (NOCTURNAL): Not entirely sure about that but I got my Abominations... LP signed by Trey at a Morbid Angel/Emperor show in 1999. I got into MA with the release of Domination, which was 1995. I picked up Abominations... from a second-hand vinyl store in our area a year or two later. This is where I got many classics for good prices because everyone was getting rid of their vinyl and changing over to CDs. I don't remember any initial reaction listening to it to be honest. Everything I say would be made up, haha!
Dustin James (CHURCH OF DISGUST): I heard it a bit later than many, as I was born in 1983! I was quite taken aback at first, as I had heard the classic albums with Dave Vincent on vocals. To me, Abominations... sounds raw, unhinged and genuinely menacing. There's not another recording out there quite like it, save for maybe the Necrovore demo. That impression stuck with me throughout the years, as it led me to asking Mike Browning to contribute guest vocals to our 2016 Veneration of Filth album, and even getting to jam with Richard Brunelle a few years prior to his passing.
Daniel Maganto (CANCER / ETERNAL STORM): Since I was born in the early '90s, I missed the original release of the record and the endless discussions about whether or not it's a bootleg and all that jazz. I didn't come into it until I was 14 and discovered it around 2007, when I was finding my way through the discographies of Morbid Angel and Nocturnus. I was genuinely surprised at how raw (and kind of slow) it sounded and that so many of those ideas would appear on future Morbid Angel albums, some of them more than a decade after A.o.D. was recorded, which speaks a lot of the quality and timelessness of the material! I have to admit that at first, I kind of missed the blast beats, but the amazing riffs and vicious vocals are still there, so I liked it anyway.
It feels pretty amazing that the album was recorded in 1986 when the thrash metal boom had reached its peak with the release of many cult albums. Do you believe Abominations of Desolation was "too extreme" and ahead of its time for many metalheads back in 1986 and brought something a little bit more extreme, more demonic, and let's say overtly Satanic to the metal genre?
Gene Palubicki (PERDITION TEMPLE): Surely not "too extreme." Look at Repulsion's Horrified from 1986. Literally THE prototype for what Terrorizer would do a few years later. And apart from some of the faster drum parts on a few songs, the music itself was not that much more extreme than contemporary albums like Darkness Descends, Reign in Blood, Pleasure to Kill, etc. Abominations of Desolation surely had some ideas that were different from those bands, and the somewhat crude recording made it a more "harsh" or "extreme" listening, but not so alarming in a world where Sadistik Exekution or Poison (Germany) were elevating thrash metal into something far more attacking in the mid-80s underground. Abominations of Desolation is for sure a great addition to any collection of great and formative underground recordings from that period.
Rozel Nikolaj Leaño (NULLIFICATION): They were definitely the most aggressive band to put out such a demo back in 1986. It definitely outshines anything the Florida death metal scene was putting out at the time. And it's all thanks to Trey's crazy guitar work. He was unlike any other guitarist at the time. His solos would melt steel and his riffs are ungodly fast and brutal. He and Brunelle complemented each other rather well. But you have to remember that this demo did not see the light back in the day. A couple of bootlegged copies made it into the underground tape-trading scene, but it never got the attention it deserved up until '91 when Earache decided to give it a proper release (and change the exquisite artwork to a boring new one). That said, Altars of Madness brought more to the table in terms of madness and extremeness solely because it was properly released and marketed, making it more successful than its demo counterpart.
Malte Gericke (SIJJIN): Absolutely! To listen to the record is always an extreme experience, so just imagine what it meant back in 1986, holy shit. It was a slap in the face to those bands that focused on a wider audience. Many thrash combos succumbed to the temptation of getting accepted by the mainstream music circus in order to sell more records whereas Abominations... was a ritual made in hell, an oath sealed with demons whose voices I still can hear through Master Brunelle's and Master Azagthoth's solos. It is horrific energy invoked in its purest form and I worship the record from beginning to end.
Evil Avatar (PUTRID): When I listened to that record when I was 13 years old, everything seemed brutal to me. Perhaps I was still too young to be able to tell the difference between one thing and the other. Now, it is evident that Trey had a huge influence on quite a few guitarists that we were forming bands at that time. The lyrics that were brewing went beyond what the bands of the time were doing with darker, twisted issues.
Wannes Gubbels (PENTACLE): Hmm, a good question. For me personally, no. I mean, by that time I was firmly into extreme metal. Albums like Seven Churches, Hell Awaits, Pleasure to Kill or Darkness Descends ruled my world, so I was used to some infernal noise. I do remember I needed some time to get accustomed to Scream Bloody Gore, which I still think is weird as I was already into the demos and live tapes, but hey, being a teenager, the world is sometimes strange. I have no recollections of Abominations... being too extreme for my ears. Death metal wasn't everybody's cup of tea, which is understandable, but in the underground Morbid Angel had a place of their own. I do think the album holds its own compared to the ones I mentioned before. It would have made sense if the album was released in the year it was recorded. It's a child of its time and while being a tad more extreme and obscure than the classic speed/thrash albums of these amazing years, Abominations... is not light years ahead of the records being released in 1986. Maybe the artwork was more extreme, but not the music or the lyrics. Not to me. In my book, it would have fit perfectly between the Morbid Visions or the earlier mentioned Hymn to Abramelin LPs on the record shelf. The album was the natural next step in metal; every time a bit further and reaching for/crossing the boundaries of bands/albums before.
For those not used to more extreme sounds, I think it was. I do remember only too well playing the record for some guys at school and they thought it was shit. A couple of years later, they wore their Morbid Angel shirts proudly, banging their heads to the same songs they put down earlier, which annoyed me to no end, but what can you do? It's strange this era offers some amazing yet rejected recording sessions of bands like Repulsion, Necrophagia, Master, Death and yes, Morbid Angel. All classics in their own way, but maybe it says something (to a certain degree) about the (bigger) record companies as well. Would Abominations... have had a chance on Combat Records? They signed Possessed and (reluctantly) Death, so why not Morbid Angel? It's interesting to give it a thought. A classic "what if..."
R. (OMEGAVORTEX): It was definitely ahead of its time, no doubt. One can wonder how things would have gone by if they kept working with this lineup and actually released it on Goreque. You can still hear some funny punk riffs here and there in songs which were removed in later versions. Depending on your mood, sometimes it might sound out of place. Didn't even Dead mention he thought it was wimpy? Hehe... It is perfect the way it is and a true time capsule of ancient death metal. It easily stands the test of time. Some of the riffs on here as well as other pre-Abominations of Desolation NWOBHM stuff were butchered for the F album later on and these parts and songs still ruled a decade later. Speaks for the longevity in and around the blackest Morbid Angel era. The inspiration and hunger for more were unmatched.
Paul Ray (FALSE PROPHET): Honestly, it probably was too extreme for most people at that time. For me with Possessed being one of my favorite bands, I was drawn to this. The more Satanic, darker and faster the better. But they still had some killer grooves going on too. The song "Abominations" is a good example of some of those riffs. They changed the way death metal would sound and be played in the future. A game-changing album for sure.
Mathias Johansson (PROTECTOR): In my opinion the album is an underground classic much like, for example, some Necrophagia (Ohio), Messiah (CH), Sarcófago, etc. albums. Abominations... is a really Satanic album conceptually. I guess they got a lot of inspiration from bands like Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Celtic Frost and the like and they kind of mixed their inspirations into a style of their own. Trey Azagthoth's Van Halen-inspired lead guitars were also totally different compared to other bands at the time.
So yeah, the album sounds really occult in a deep fucking way I think. Mike and Trey were deeply into that kind of morbid and sick sound, and you can for sure hear it in their sound. The album sounds truly underground if you will, and that made a huge difference compared to some other bands. Back then, Morbid Angel really did this for real, no gimmicks whatsoever. I think they lost that magical feeling of Morbid Angel completely when David Vincent joined the band. I know it's harsh to say, but he was more like some wannabe poser when he became the band's new front man.
Apostolos Papadimitriou (RAPTURE, GR): Oh, absolutely! Actually, the entire proto-death/grind scene (1985-1987) sounded "too extreme" for its era. And to be honest, I do not consider this to be a bad thing. It's amazing to think that was a time when thrash metal wasn't yet fully established, with a huge chunk of the now-classic albums being released in the second half of the 1980s. For us as a band, thrash metal reached its absolute peak in 1986 with Darkness Descends. Our favorite albums of the genre, excluding the aforementioned sophomore album from Dark Angel, are Pleasure to Kill (1986), Hell Awaits (1985), Persecution Mania (1987) and Bonded by Blood (1985). With these in mind, the fact that a whole new genre (more like two genres, death metal and grindcore) was actually in its first steps before the thrash cycle was concluded is otherworldly! For us, the absolute peak of death metal is Altars of Madness or Covenant, but the proto-death/grind scene which included a great variety of bands and influenced most of the more distinctively established genres to follow, offers a unique kind of rawness and aggressiveness that cannot be surpassed by releases from other genres, be it more sophisticated or masterfully performed. So, in this way, Abominations of Desolation (alongside Possessed's debut, Seven Churches) is the absolute TOP of this proto-death/grind scene, spearheading a catalog of killer releases, which includes unreleased albums, demos and EPs. To mention a few, for us this great album represents the zenith of releases such as Death Strike's Fuckin' Death, Master's Master (the 1985 unreleased album), Terminal Death's Faces of Death, Necrovore's Divus de Mortuus, Slaughter Lord's Taste of Blood, and Repulsion's Slaughter of the Innocent.
Hugo "Witchhammer" Uribe (WITCHTRAP): From my point of view, I almost agree with your point. Indeed, the stuff on Abominations... sounds similar to Possessed's debut Seven Churches, but I think Morbid Angel on that particular record sounds more intense and playing faster compared to Seven Churches, reminding me of what Slayer did on Reign in Blood. So, having said this, I think this album has the early roots of death metal and some touches of old-school thrash metal squeezed into one package. In 1986 when this album was originally recorded, I considered it as some sort of a true crown jewel of extreme metal music due to its more evil and Satanic atmosphere. In my sincere opinion, there was no other album out there in 1986 that sounded nearly as extreme as Abominations....
Avenger (NOCTURNAL): In my opinion, albums like Seven Churches, Scream Bloody Gore, and Pleasure to Kill still feel more extreme than Abominations.... I think the production is lacking a bit and the songs feel a bit sloppy compared to later offerings. I know this is probably also why so many prefer those recordings. From a musician's perspective, I can totally understand why they did not want to go out with that album. I think they realized with the new lineup and Pete Sandoval behind the drums they could do much better. He gave those great songs what they needed to really shine which is a tight drumming. I mean if Abominations... was all we ever got from that band I would love it as it is, but to me Altars of Madness is where everything comes together and made Morbid Angel a truly special band.
Dustin James (CHURCH OF DISGUST): I would say yes, it was perhaps a bit too "extreme" for its time. As the members would tell you, they weren't just using Satan and Lovecraft as lyrical inspiration, they took it very seriously, studying The Necronomicon, performing their own rituals. Just ask Mike Browning about the "rusty knife"! I think that despite the album's imperfections, they did a great job of capturing that feeling. I distinctly remember drinking one night and starting up the tape, and my girlfriend (now wife) said that the chanting in "The Invocation" creeped her out, hah! She was no stranger to death metal, but it was still too much for her. Back to the original question, the content on Abominations... was definitely ahead of the curve, as most metalheads were still shouting at the devil back in '86 (although that album rules too!)
Daniel Maganto (CANCER / ETERNAL STORM): There's no doubt it is one of the earliest death metal albums ever recorded/released/whatever you want to call it. Of course, Possessed and Slayer were already releasing amazing music with their satanic imagery and shocking lyrics, and it wasn't long until other bands like Death or Sepultura would release their debuts, but this one is often overlooked because of the whole story around it. I am sure that anyone who was lucky enough to find their way to this recording in the '80s had their minds blown away and that it inspired many other bands to get heavier and more blasphemous! I always felt some connection between these songs and the Amon demos, for example.
Has your opinion about the album changed over the years, for better or for worse?
Gene Palubicki (PERDITION TEMPLE): Not too much. Abominations of Desolation is a great snapshot of a band developing and not afraid to throw some wild ideas out with a "devil may care" sense of abandon, which gives the dark charm to the recording as a whole. If I recall the history at all, the lineup immediately after this recording changed, and as subsequent demos in the late '80s emerged, the sway of where the band's direction and intentions began to change into something that was not really all that related to the sounds/ideas that were presented on Abominations of Desolation. Evident in later re-recorded versions of the songs, the evolution into something of a different intention is quite clear. Over the years I've come to appreciate the early versions (Abominations of Desolation) and their later counterparts (Altars – Formulas Fatal to the Flesh) equally for their own unique merits.
Rozel Nikolaj Leaño (NULLIFICATION): I don't play the tape now as often as I did back then because I'm afraid it will fall apart one of these days. I simply cannot let this piece of history go down like that. But yeah, I listen to it from time to time via mp3 (suck it losers), and nope, my opinions toward it will never fucking change. Morbid Angel from Abominations of Desolation up to Gateways of Annihilation era will forever be the best band to ever do it.
Malte Gericke (SIJJIN): I adore it more every time I listen to it. It is evil music done with absolute passion and with no fucking compromises. I don't want to repeat myself, so I would like to add that I am a huge fan of Mike Browning. I don't give a damn about what people say, he was responsible for some of the greatest stuff in death metal history with Abominations..., the insane and mysterious Incubus (one of the best demos of all time!) and his work with Nocturnus is still absolutely underrated. Without his input and evil voice, Abominations... wouldn't have been the classic it surely is, a cult record for the few who can hear the Ancient Ones crawling through the gates beyond the sheer inferno Abominations... invoke.
Time to listen to it again... and again... and again!
Evil Avatar (PUTRID): The gestation of this album is essential for the sound of Morbid Angel, although I have Covenant in an ALTAR, it is important to recognize Abominations of Desolation as the most violent and chaotic beginning of this style.
Wannes Gubbels (PENTACLE): No, not really. Together with Altars of Madness, Abominations of Desolation are my favorite Morbid Angel albums, ever since they were released. I followed the band through the years and own every single record they released, but the first two albums are really something special. There was and still is a certain magic in the air when you spin them. Abominations... being the underground hit and Altars... the "professional" second take of a debut album. They offer something otherworldly to me. It's hard to explain, but I hope you understand my feelings towards these albums. I will always hold a candle for Abominations... as it was their first record I listened to, and the vibe of the album and that particular era of the underground mean a lot to me.
R. (OMEGAVORTEX): The only thing that has changed is that it has gotten more attention from younger generations over time. Sometimes it feels more demonic due to the fact that so much time has already passed. A dusty book full of evil spells, it is untouchable and luckily cannot be ruined by the modern world. Timeless impurity. It is still among my favorites and every once in a while I blast it at full volume in total darkness. I AM THE HELLSPAWN.
Paul Ray (FALSE PROPHET): I listened to it quite a bit and it's still a brutal album. Even though it's a little slower than the same songs on Altars... it cannot be overlooked.
Mathias Johansson (PROTECTOR): I play the album a lot and prefer the bootleg version of it because it sounds much rawer. The Earache release from late 1991 looks so boring. The album is growing in me all the time and is for sure, a true 666 points album. Don't get me wrong, I also was digging the Altars of Madness and Blessed Are the Sick albums when they were released back in the day. But to be honest I think Abomination of Desolation is still their best album.
Apostolos Papadimitriou (RAPTURE, GR): It has remained quite the same. This album fucking rips. Nothing more, nothing less.
Hugo "Witchhammer" Uribe (WITCHTRAP): Hey, are you kidding me? Even today there is no other album that comes even close to the wicked and twisted sound that's found on Abominations.... Each time I spin this master of an album, I am like, "Wow this shit is the real deal of how death metal should be done," and gives me goosebumps while the album is on my turntable. I'm absolutely sure that every metalhead feels the same as me once they have heard the album. Of course, there are some idiots and/or posers that don't like it much at all, but hey that's completely fine, too. But for me, this album rightfully belongs to my top five death metal albums ever done. I have one more thing to ask. Why on earth did Earache, that officially released the album in 1991, change the album's original cover artwork? I think it was a big mistake! I mean, the original artwork on it is really fucking awesome, just radiating all kinds of evilness, and totally mirroring the music on it very well.
Avenger (NOCTURNAL): I don't listen to it very much. I just did again to refresh my memory and see if there's still something hidden that I didn't catch through all the years. But it's still the same thing to me, a fuckin' excellent demo of a band which shortly later brought us a milestone of evil metal!
Dustin James (CHURCH OF DISGUST): I still love it! You can't deny the classic Morbid albums, but A.o.D. is such a special recording. Browning's vocals are so evil, the tradeoff leads between Trey and Richard are batshit insane, and you can hear the hunger of this young band on the recording. There was no death metal scene to speak of at that time, but these guys were doing things their way. Richard said that they built and modified their own amps until later on Earache made them buy "real gear." Abominations... is raw (almost to a fault), and definitely isn't for everyone, but it captured a moment of time that can never be recreated of a legendary band that younger bands are still ripping off to this day. R.I.P. Richard Brunelle!
Daniel Maganto (CANCER / ETERNAL STORM): I still enjoy Abominations... a lot, but to be honest, I think that in the long run it was better for Morbid Angel that a lot of people discovered Altars of Madness first. During the three-year gap between both releases, the band got much tighter and Pete was such an unmatched drummer back then. Hell, he even sounds impressive to this day! The production also got much better on Altars... and, obviously, Earache was much bigger than Goreque. I don't mean to disrespect Mike Browning's craft by any means. He's a great vocalist, lyricist and he played some cool grooves on this album but, in hindsight, I believe the songs benefitted from the extra speed and maturity they achieved during that time. Don't forget, three years is quite a long time for young bands, especially back then when there were no rules regarding what was considered death metal and other flourishing extreme music genres! Anyway, enough with the comparisons and please bear in mind that I was born years after this music was created, so probably a lot of people who witnessed those magic years will rightfully disagree with me!
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