This is the last Bathory
album to feature a full band line-up. Having lost enthusiasm with metal in general (including black metal), Quorthon
's tastes started leaning towards classical music. Those albums from "Blood Fire
Death" to this one are proof of his classical influence.
The quality of the album is similar to that of "Hammerheart
", but this is less black than its predecessor. There aren't many screams to be found, nor any full acoustic tracks.
The opening track is rather lengthy, and has absolutely nothing to do with vikings or black metal: it's Nietzschian and atheistic, with an epic guitar sound behind it. The next three tracks are more-or-less viking-themed, with less high fantasy and more humanistic realism featured within. Track
number 5 feels like "One Rode/Twilight
2" and therefore gets boring after the first three listens. Fortunately, the last two tracks are full viking. There's a bit of an acoustic intro to "Bond of Blood
" (formerly called "In Nomine
Satanas ") followed by an epic length of riffs, chanting, layered vocals and Quorthon
's need to put even a simple guitar solo into everyone of his songs.
The last song is called a cover on here, but is it?. What you find is a symphonic arrangement of Gustav Holst's melody to the movement "Jupiter
" from his Planet Symphony. Albeit slower, and with Quorthon
's own lyrics featuring the viking warrior going to Valhalla
to be with Odin
, this song is named after the previous album, and feels like a good conclusion to the career of a metal-giant.
Fortunately, he came back for round two. Unfortunately, Nordland I
I did not end with as much power as this does.