Bathory - first album Bathory
NUNSLAUGHTER'S Don Of The Dead on Bathory's 'Bathory'
This is the definitive album marking the beginning of modern "Black Metal". Without this album no other would have existed. I say that with arrogance and conviction because it is the truth.
In a time that most people and bands were looking for a way to conform to a standard configuration of music, Quorthon broke out and showed an aggression on this LP paralleled by none and rivaled by few, even by today's standards. The 80's were a vile time for denim and leather clad Metallists. Lurking in the umbra we craved for someone to stand above the hair bands and yell out, "I'm 'In Conspiracy with Satan' and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" That voice for me, was Quorthon and his seminal 'Bathory' LP was the perfect conveyance.
I purchased this album merely based on the song titles and the brilliant simplicity of a yellow goat on the front and a pentagram on the back. This is what I was into... HELL! And this album gave it to me. After the first listen I set it off to the side because I was not sure it belonged anywhere in my collection. It was a new breed of music and it frightened me... in a good way. Here was a metal band not creating allusions about Hell. I did not need to read into the lyrics to contrive what it was the band was trying to say. The subject was right there in the poetry and titles: 'Hades', 'Reaper' and 'Necromancy'... ah, sweet, sweet hell, where it is always warm and where I am comfortable.
'Bathory' was not a delicate delivery of notes and percussion. It was loose and pissed off, nor did it have melody, choruses or any semblance to 80's metal music. It was a foul, seething boil of hatred that burst onto the record player and ruined any albums that had the misfortune of being placed next to it in a collection. Consisting mainly of single notes picked at ridiculous speeds and a raspy vocal delivery, this became the basis for later day black metal bands. Although modern techniques have been employed such as harmonies and keyboards, the evocation of speed notes accented with an occasional power chord is still prevalent in black metal.
Quorthon's reclusive lifestyle only aided in his myth and unfortunately with his passing in 2004 we lost a titan. He is normally credited with the creation of Viking style metal. This is commendable but I believe this short sells his foresight and originality in the black metal realm.
I proudly wear the artwork on the back of my vest and I am "Forever wrapped in darkness" because of this album.
THANK YOU QUORTHON!