Here it is, the very first album that spawned the viking metal sub-genre.
I give it 19 of 20 because it still sounds like Bathory
(since it isn't just Quorthon
at this time) is still trying hard to sound black. Guttural vocals on "Valhalla
" and "Baptised in Fire
and Ice" are proof of what I speak, to name but a few.
Unlike its predecessor, Blood Fire Death
, this album is plainly less black. Songs of blood, witchcraft and death in the cause of Satan
are replaced with tales of blood, viking-lore and death in the cause of Odin
one has a drawn-out acoustic intro, followed by the next 10 minutes of heaviness. Track
two begins semi-distorted, then goes into an acoustic prelude, before exploding into life. Complete with a vocalizing chorus-line (see Jubeleim III) and a chanting chorus, it makes up for the otherwise black feel of the song: the same goes for the next track.
If one can swallow the "Thundercats" feel of the riff/melody of the verses, the pre-chorus and chorus itself of "Father to Son" is sure to wow any and all. Then comes an acoustic line...wait, an acoustic song? Surely the author of The Return
, once called the most evil album of all time, could not have stooped down to making a full acoustic song? But it works, and the reverence one feels in his voice fits well into the viking-feel of the album. A mid-paced song follows afterward, feeling more viking up until Quorthon
's death-growls at the end.
Then comes everyone's favorite track off this album: One Rode to Asa Bay. It begins ambient, then goes acoustic and then takes off on a slow but heavy journey through the Christianization of Scandinavia. Of course, it shows the foreign invaders as being cruel, repressive and deceptive, while the rest of the album praises the otherwise violent culture of the Norse
men. Obviously it made some people happy, because this seems to be everyone's favorite Bathory
Should you get it? Definitely