Altars of Madness is the debut album of Florida-based death metal band Morbid Angel. Bonus tracks were included on the CD version as well as the remastered 2003 release. These are remixed versions of songs from the album. 2006 saw a dualdisc release with the 2003 remaster on the audio side and Live Madness 89 recorded at Nottingham Rock City on November 14, 1989, on the DVD side.
The cover artwork, by Dan Seagrave, depicts "a flat disk made of a fossil material, that has captured souls".
Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic wrote that one "cannot deny its influence". UK magazine Terrorizer rates this album as both Morbid Angel's and death metal's finest hour, describing it as "bludgeoning and raw but also technical, exacting and intimidatingly consistent". Robban Becirovic of Close-Up Magazine credits Altars of Madness with launching the popularity of death metal in Sweden:
"...Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness changed everything [about the Swedish scene]. Before that there was no clear distinction between death, speed, or thrash among regular metalheads. It was just brutal metal. But Altars of Madness opened people's eyes, and made us realize something new was going on. Everybody bought that record. Everybody. And thrash was executed by it – the whole genre just disappeared."
Altars of Madness has appeared at the top of lists of the greatest death metal albums from Decibel magazine and Terrorizer magazine.