Morbid Angel is a Florida-based death metal band assembled in 1984. They, along with Deicide, Death, Possessed, Obituary, Massacre, Cannibal Corpse and a handful of others were crucial in the development of the death metal genre and its standards. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked two Morbid Angel albums in its "Top 40 Greatest Death Metal Albums," with Altars of Madness appearing at #1. Decibel Magazine also rated guitarist Trey Azagthoth as the #1 "Death Metal Guitarist Ever." Their songs are complex in arrangement, owing to the considerable technical skills of both Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval (who also played in the grindcore/death metal band Terrorizer).
The original lyrical themes focused mostly on Satanism, paganism and anti-Christian subject matter, but from the second album, Blessed Are the Sick onward, the lyrics slowly moved toward the ancient Sumerian gods, though much of this is a nod to the Simon Necronomicon, which was influenced by Sumerian mythology as well as the author H. P. Lovecraft, as well as a fascination with the Roman Empire, though "anti-christian" elements continue to permeate the lyrics. Their albums are notable for being released in alphabetical order (their first album starts with the letter A, the second with B, etc.). Guitarist Trey Azagthoth has said in an interview that it was at first a coincidence with the first albums