The Return

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Band Name Bathory
Album Name The Return
Type Album
Erscheinungsdatum 02 Mai 1985
Recorded at Electra Studio
Musik GenreBlack Metal
Mitglieder die dieses Album besitzen388


 Intro / Revelation of Doom
 Total Destruction
 Born for Burning
 The Wind of Mayhem
 Bestial Lust
 The Rite of Darkness
 Reap of Evil
 Son of the Damned
 The Return of Darkness and Evil

Total playing time: 36:47

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Review @ vikingman369

15 April 2011

The most evil album ever made

It is often the custom with the sophomore album of bands to be darker than their original material, in an attempt to out-do the old and show that they are a force to be reckoned with. The forerunners of Scandinavian black metal are no exception.

After a lengthy and very haunting intro, the band explodes with their thrash speed and power in "Total Destruction." The drumming is simple as ever, and Quorthon's vocals are as growling in his best imitation of Lemmy Kilmister (for Bathory was indeed influenced by Motörhead), but the riffage is killer. The major weakness of this song is the lack of a guitar solo.

But wait, black metal isn't supposed to have guitar solos. However, Bathory never was black metal. He didn't get around with Hanoi and Vans McBurger and say "Hey, let's make music that sounds like its coming from out of a hissing tin can, as ugly as it can be, with no guitar solos, no real singing, no audible bass, no drum solos and sing all about Satan and we'll call it black metal!" Like every other boundary pushing, revolutionary musician, they came across it by accident. Later albums get progressively better than the previous, though none of them are perfect quality wise by far. The low quality was because of circumstance, not choice.

As for the guitar solos, let us rejoice that we have love a musician who is not only a writer of dark, bad-ass and epic lyrics, and a riff-master rivaled only by Tony Iommi and the other greats, but a shredder as well. Instances of Quorthon's shredding skills can be heard on "Winds of Mayhem", "Bestial Lust" (my personal favorite off this album), "Possessed", "The Rite of Darkness"...Oh fuck it, only three tracks on this album don't have guitar solos!

Where this album suffers greatly is the recording quality. It would make the tin-can albums of the 60s and 70s sound loud and explosive, to say but the very least. It was not done for atmospheric sake, or to be unappealing, but it was because Bathory was always under-funded and couldn't afford better recording equipment (or environment: if I recall correctly, Quorthon said that Heavenshore, where this album was recorded, was a garage with an uneven gravel floor). Oh, how the great riffs and shredding solos could come to life if bands who covered Bathory only dared to make their covers in better quality, and not attempt to imitate the terrible quality of this album (some, like Vlad Tepes' "Bestial Lust", are even worse than the album version quality-wise).

The most evil album ever made. That's what The Return was once called. Maybe the terrible quality had something to make it seem more evil, since the black metalists of the Norwegian underground scene found it appealing enough to imitate. Lyrically, there is far less Satan and more just plain old gore, evil and fucking. Well, that also can disturb people (not me, I smile when I hear "Bestial Lust" despite the hideous connotations that doing so imply), so some would indeed call it the most evil because not only is it dark and Satanic, but also blunt and gory. And Quorthon uses "fuck" several times in this album, and several other choice words the "trve kvlt" scene have been too afraid to use in their lyrics.

In the end, though this may not have been as much of an influence on the black metal scene as Under the Sign of the Black Mark had been, it is still brutal and dark as ever. Kvlties will love the dark atmosphere and satanic lyrics, while thrash-fans will be drawn to its fast-pace, killer riffs and guitar solos. It gets 15 of 20 for terrible quality. It may not be my favorite Bathory album, but it kicks ass nonetheless.

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