The 12th and final album from Bathory is a continuation of the Nordland saga set forth on 2002’s Nordland I. For better or worse, Nordland II is a case of “second verse, same as the first” meaning there are pockets of brilliance and pockets of just waiting for the next song to come on. You can argue whether one album is better than another, but the truth is there’s a remarkable consistency to the records. That consistency however means everything feels interchangeable instead of progression that leads to fabled destination. Continue reading “Bathroy: Nordland II (2003)”
After Twilight of the Gods solidified the place of Bathory among the progenitors of viking metal, things went a bit astray. Quorthon put out a solo album, and Bathory went back to the blackened thrash of the earlier albums for a time. Nothing quite seemed to congeal. That is until Nordland I, the first of a planned four-part masterwork that would bring back the viking metal in full force to walk through the tales of Nordic myths and legends. This was my first real experience experience with Bathory, and similar to to when I first heard it, there’s a lot that works and admittedly a bit that doesn’t. Continue reading “Bathory: Nordland I (2002)”
By now the switch from any kind of extreme thrash/black metal is gone, and Twilight of the Gods represents the full vision of Bathory into pure anthemic Viking Metal. Taken as a template for the style and a touchstone for dozens of bands who would iterate on the idea later, it might be near perfect. As a satisfying and cohesive album there’s a lot to love, though I’d be lying if I didn’t say I missed a little of the punch and pleasure from the faster, more immediate songs from the past. Continue reading “Bathory: Twilight of the Gods (1991)”
So here’s why you sometimes have to be dubious of what you buy. After finally succumbing to the black metal bug, I decided I needed to dig deeper in Bathory, one of the primal godfathers of the genre. I had heard the earlier stuff but didn’t own anything beyond the final two albums which – as we’ll see in a few days – were decidedly different. So after deliberation I decided to start with Blood Fire Death, the touchstone for mainman Quorthon’s transition from the gnarly black metal of his earlier album into the more viking metal pomp if his later stuff. And so I bought a CD off of Amazon.
From the Kraze label. Continue reading “Bathory: Blood Fire Death (1988)”