Mixing hell-paced death metal from yester-year with their own new unique sound and style, Bathory's fourth album included tales of a pre-Christian era. While still occasionally visiting the battlefields of above and below,... more » this album showcased the diversity and multi-faceted nature of the true pioneers. It's enormous sound and innovative arrangements is a delight guaranteed to bring a smile to the lips of every listener more than a decade after release« less
Mixing hell-paced death metal from yester-year with their own new unique sound and style, Bathory's fourth album included tales of a pre-Christian era. While still occasionally visiting the battlefields of above and below, this album showcased the diversity and multi-faceted nature of the true pioneers. It's enormous sound and innovative arrangements is a delight guaranteed to bring a smile to the lips of every listener more than a decade after release
"So, although I give this 5 stars, the audio quality of the Kraze version is pretty bad, but I look right past it. This is album is just amazing from start to finish. Quorthon made a landmark album with this one. The standout songs for me are "A Fine Day To Die", "Holocaust", "For All Those Who Died" and "Blood Fire Death"...don't get me wrong, every song is amazing, but these few are the ones that stood out the most in my opinion. Now considering the fact that the audio quality and production was never the greatest on any version of this album, the one released by Kraze is pretty horrible. There is no book, it's just an insert which looks to have been bootlegged although it isn't. But I still recommend ANY version of this just because the songs "For All Those..." and "Blood Fire Death" is worth the horrible production. Recommended for anyone who appreciates old school black metal, or just any metal in general."
Don C | Albany, NY | 02/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a great disc. Starts up with the atmospheric opener and then breaks into 'A Fine Day To Die'. A mid paced stomping opener. It gives the album a good start before the onslaught begins. and the production on this sound wise, is a touch better than 'Under the Sign'..
'The Golden Walls of Heaven', Holocaust' and ' Pace Til Death' are just Bathory speed at its best. Just brutal as hell. Tough to make out the lyrics, but it doesn't much matter. Its the guttural heaviness that makes it work. 'Dies Irae' follows the same speed pattern. These tracks just burn.
'For All Those Who Died' is another mid paced track that fits well as a breather from all the speed. Really good and most accessible track. It has a memorable yet basic chorus and riff. Reminds me of 'Woman of Dark Desires' off of Under the Sign.. Same tempo. And then there is the epic Title track. A Very long, but good song that builds nicely. Definitely the first acoustic guitar heard on a Bathory CD. A sign of what would come with the follow up 'Hammerheart'. It's a slower paced track, more in the 'viking' style. Though, I must confess, sometimes I skip it. Its a Good finish to a very good album.
Between this and 'Under the Sign..' you get the best from Quorthon. Though later albums would be decent enough, and some would be mediocre, these 2 were the best of the best as far as I am concerned. Must have for Speed/Black Metal fans.
The 'Kraze' version gets a D- for packaging. The cover art looks OK but the back of the inner card and back cover are horrendous! Almost looks like a bad bootleg because there is Nothing to it but the cover art basically. Not even the pic of Quorthon with the sword like in the original gate-fold LP. Just a black card is all! No info whatsoever. They certainly didn't go out of their way to make this an interesting package. Maybe the imports are better where that is concerned, so beware if you are a collector. Get a different version.
I personally don't think it sounds bad at all. It never was well produced, but it comes off fine. Definitely not remixed or anything. Obviously the label put no money into this, but it still sounds like the original, just the packaging is horrible."
Where's my hammer?
Andreas Faust | Tasmanian Autonomous Zone | 03/14/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album continued developments only hinted at on the preceding 'Under the Sign of the Black Mark', and took Bathory's music to a new level of splendor and intensity.
'Odens Ride Over Nordland' breathes mystery over the darkening world before segueing into the opening of 'A Fine Day to Die', a paean to dying in battle. An eerie acoustic passage recounts the night before the conflict, then thunderously heavy guitars announce the onset of battle. Another piece, 'For All Those Who Died', is a tribute to the victims of institutionalised Christianity, who died "burning naked but smiling, not full of fear but pride."
But the most epic and moving song is the title track, which seems to sing of the fate of Europeans, who have lost their identity and are now mental slaves:
"Children of all slaves, unite be proud Rise out of darkness and pain
"A chariot of thunder and gold will come loud And a warrior with thunder and rain
"With hair white as snow, hammer of steel To set you free of your chains
"And lead you all where horses run free And the souls of your ancient ones reign."
This messianic longing is actually a bad thing - it's up to us to save ourselves, and no 'warrior with thunder and rain' is going to do it for us. But it's hard not to be moved by the intense emotion with which Quorthon sings those lines. Maybe we should interpret the 'warrior' as our own innermost Selves, who will rise and fight in our hour of deepest need...
Now where's my hammer?"
Bathory's Best Black Metal Album.
Six | Hell Centro, CA | 05/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is pretty killer for some old school black metal, especially if you wanna hear some of the very roots of the Black Metal genre... definitely the best while the band was going in that direction, this album I believe was right before they headed for Viking land, and while the "Viking" Bathory is still pretty cool, I prefer my metal riffing, ripping and thrashing... Complaints about production?? Why are you listening to this then... it's the Oldest of Old School BLACK METAL... a definite classic for the genre."