Purity of Essence

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Band Name Quorthon
Album Name Purity of Essence
Type Album
Released date 17 June 1997
Music StyleThrash Heavy
Members owning this album32


1. Rock 'n' Roll 00:04
2. I've Had It Coming My Way 03:29
3. When Our Day Is Through 04:26
4. One of Those Days 03:59
5. Cherrybutt and Firefly 03:32
6. Television 03:41
7. Hit My Head 05:28
8. Hump for Fun 03:13
9. Outta Space 04:06
10. Fade Away 06:14
11. I Want Out 04:15
12. Daddy's Girl 04:18
13. Coming Down in Pieces 05:50
1. Roller Coaster 04:07
2. It's Okay 04:18
3. All in All I Know 04:18
4. No Life at All 02:38
5. An Inch Above the Ground 03:34
6. The Notforgettin' 04:09
7. Deep 05:33
8. Label on the Wind 06:48
9. Just the Same 04:54
10. You Just Got to Live 05:03
Total playing time 1:37:57

Review @ vikingman369

27 April 2011

The last great thrash/grunge album of Quorthon

By the time this Album came out, Quorthon had more or less gotten enough inspiration to continue through with Bathory on his own and had already brought out two thrash Albums and the completion of the mysterious Blood on Ice concept Album. However, our great metal hero still had more to bring out that was not fully in the same vein as Bathory.

This brings us to Purity of Essence, a two-disc deal that Quorthon's last exploration into the world of grunge and regular metal. I rate this so high because the Album quality is at the peak of Quorthon/Bathory's career: right alongside Destroyer of Worlds and the Nordland Albums. But that's just the start: it's damn hard for me to find something wrong with this Album. It's just that good.

Purity of Essence explodes into life with a groovy, thrashy number "I've Had It Coming My Way." It happens to be one of my favorite Quorthon songs of all time, even more so than "No More and Never Again." It's short, but there's a lot of good riffs, bad-ass lyrics and guitar-shredding packed into the three-and-a-half minutes of the song.

Since this Album is rather long, consisting of two tracks and a total of twenty-three tracks all-together, I'll focus on the ones that really stand out. Track number three, "When Our Day Is Through", is a good, strong track that sounds like one of the grunge hits of the 90s and early 21st century. Seriously, turn it on and try hard not to imagine that song playing on the radio. Fortunately, this Album succeeds in being hard and fast, but not getting stale. That is because, in addition to a few acoustic/melodic intros in several of the songs, we also have softer numbers to dispel the monotony. After nine, heavy-hitting tracks on the first disc, we get "Fade Away", the soft-track of this side. It really shows that Quorthon is capable of writing songs with more emotions than just anger and such. Even more so, there's an acoustic guitar solo on this song: talk about skill!

Now we enter disc two. Does it start as hard as disc one did? There's definitely enough good riffs on this, and plenty of guitar solos in "Roller Coaster." Furthermore, in regards to those who think that Quorthon cannot sing, I would invite you to listen to this song: his voice never breaks or sounds off-pitch. In fact, here we find Quorthon finding a good, middle ground with his singing voice. As a fellow baritone low-register singer, I now have another great to look up to and admire. Plenty of good tracks on this disc, like "All in All I Know" and "Deep", but there are now more softer tracks as well, to relieve any more monotony. "Just the Same" begins with the soft patting of the rain, and more of Quorthon's clean singing. Yes, they might be a little strained, fooling many into thinking it is incompetence. However, wasn't that a part of the grunge scene, strained clean vocals? Besides, I thought that it was the absence of auto-tune that made a singer good. There's a certain realism that his voice has, sounding rough and all, as opposed to clean and automatically in tune. Hells yeah for the whistling solo!

Now we come to the closer track. Sadly, it is just perfect for the last great thrash/grunge Album of Quorthon. Like "Hammerheart" from Twilight Of The Gods Album of Bathory, "You Just Got To Live" has a conclusive air about it that really helps us realize that this is his last Album of his solo project. Besides that, it is a testament to living. Just existing and experiencing the beauty of life: a sharp contrast to the death, blood, Satanism and Nordic atmosphere of old Bathory. Though it is a soft track and not a true "heavy" song, it is a more fitting conclusion to Quorthon's saga than "The Wheel of Sun" from Nordland II.

It is really sad, in my opinion, that Quorthon's solo material never got recognized. It is truly amazing, not just because it is different than his older material, but because it shows off his skill at being a versatile musician. I hope Dave Grohl is happy that one grunge master lived and died in obscurity, never achieving his due recognition. To me, it is sad. May we enjoy Quorthon's music forever.

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