Though many choose Hammerheart
as their favorite of Bathory
's viking-metal albums, I prefer the later material, which is more viking and less black.
In short, Quorthon
hit the nail on the head for this album. With a nice, ambient intro track, featuring a keyboard orchestra and chorused vocals by him, the album proves to be something epic. Then hits the title track, and your wishes are granted. Chantings of frozen and mysterious lands under the watchful eye of Odin
backed with a killer riff carry this song through all of its nine minutes and twenty seconds. Song number three is a bit slower, and has a "In the Hall of the Mountain King
" feel to the chorus (which is just chorused vocalizing), but the singing during the verses gives the grim, solemn feel of death made to the pagan gods to bring back the blessed sun.
Another slow, riffy song follows: complete with some screaming similar to Destroyer of Worlds
and older viking/black work of Quorthon
's, ending in a guttural death growl as the dragon roars his poisonous green haze into your face and ears. The next song is so unique because, if anyone knows anything about old Bathory
, every acoustic song of his is viewed as a rare gem. Honestly, who, while listening to "War
" from the Bathory
album, could ever have imagined "Ring of Gold"? The next song has a folk-ish feel to it, followed by two break-neck-speed thrash songs ripping with riffs, solos and viking epic-ness. "Mother Earth
" has a very solemn feel, and has a feel that transcends race and location, speaking rather to the spirits of those who worship the spirits of earth and sky. Another keyboard song signals the outro to this masterpiece of epic proportions.
Get it, any way you can! Whether you're a die-hard Bathory
fan, or a viking-metal fan seeking to dirty your hands in the roots of your beloved genre, or whether you just like obscure European metal. It's perfect!