With a shockingly tight performance and a handful of evil anthems, Glen Benton and company managed to craft a death metal classic with their eponymous debut. Taking their Satanism to a new level of seriousness, Benton was burning crosses into his forehead and desecrating churches to promote this album, something that didn't exactly endear them to the mainstream metal media. While similar (and even weaker) groups were getting hyped up as the leaders of the death metal underworld, this album struck a chord that would, for good or bad, instantly inspire legions of like-minded groups. The riffs are actually memorable, with insane blastbeat drums and an uncanny sense of timing guiding the songs as they charge through one by one. "Lunatic of God's Creation" may be one of the best death metal songs written in this period, taking all of these elements to their natural extreme and crafting an ugly Satanic epic. "Carnage in the Temple of the Damned" is a speed-happy chunk of blasphemy that borders on grindcore, while "Dead by Dawn" is another gem that survives on the creative riffing and horrible vocals. Benton's vocals are actually one of the main features, as his guttural growl is touched up by production tricks to sound absolutely hideous and tortured as he spews his Satanic nonsense. At the time it seemed quite evil, and the press surrounding him suggested that he was willingly possessed by demons that sang through him. On top of that, he also claimed that since he was the antithesis of Jesus Christ, that he would kill himself at the age of 32 to mimic Christ's death. Heady stuff for a death metal band, but even though the gimmick may have banished them from the cover of Hit Parader, it didn't take away from the effectiveness of the album. They would later go on to make questionable musical progress and strip away much of the brash suggestiveness of their image (for the record, Benton failed to commit suicide when he claimed he would), but before all of that they still managed to craft one truly great album in the death metal genre that will survive long after the gimmicks are gone.
AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano