Immortal Rites

Album: Altars of Madness (1989)

Songfacts®:

  • "Immortal Rights" is written by Morbid Angel frontman Trey Azagthoth and bassist/vocalist David Vincent. As the first track on their first released studio album, this song was the world's introduction to Morbid Angel and most people's introduction to the then-new genre of death metal.

    Both guitarist Richard Brunelle and David Vincent cite this song as their favorite from the whole album. But Vincent comments that he likes all the album's songs equally, but you can't do every song from every album when you do a live set, since "people would be bleeding after four or five hours."
  • In the book Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces, David Vincent also mentions that "Immortal Rights" also had a little extra something in the ingredients: "There was tons of pot smoking during the writing of that song. I can't say that I really smoke that much anymore, but when we were doing these records, we were all constantly smoking pot."
  • Examining the cover art for Altars of Madness, you might recognize the artwork of British illustrator Dan Seagrave. David Vincent says that he basically plucked the cover piece from Seagrave's portfolio, when he flew to England to deliver the masters. To this day, many death metal fans sport tattoos from the faces shown in this illustration. Bands whose albums Seagrave has provided cover art for literally run the alphabet from Benediction to Warbringer.

    Speaking of the alphabet, Morbid Angel always releases their albums titled in alphabetical order.

Comments: 1

  • Zach from Columbus, OhioI cant believe I'm the first to comment on this.

    The intro to this song is actually the opening riff recorded backwards which I always thought was cool.

    The lyrics are also pretty bad ass 'rid us of our human waste,cleanse our earthly lives, make us one with darkness..enlighten us to your ways!" The over arching theme that I got from the album, especially from immortal rights and visions from the darkside, is to think for yourself, don't be a prisoner to pre-conceived man made notions. It's dressed up in a lot of pagan/Lovecraft imagery, but the message is ultimately not too different from the themes a lot of punk music touches on, which is refreshing in a genre that is all too often rather shallow in terms of lyrical content (just check out cannibal corpse).

    Altars of Madness is one of the best metal albums made, and 'Immortal Right's kicks it up to 10 from the start. I remember when I first got into heavy metal I couldnt get death metal for a long time, but this album and Slayers Reign in Blood changed all that for me and how I listened to music in general. The rythym work is absolutely brilliant, and though I love Blessed Are The Sick, Altars of Madness is my favorite MA release.

    Imo, this was the true successor to reign in blood. Morbid Angel pushed the envelope in terms of what death metal could be, they're a great live act, I had the pleasure of seeing them live in NYC after David Vincent rejoined the group and they were amazing. The encore was the entire altars of madness album.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Richie McDonald of Lonestar

Richie McDonald of LonestarSongwriter Interviews

Richie talks about the impact of "Amazed," and how his 4-year-old son inspired another Lonestar hit.

JJ Burnel of The Stranglers

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.