Bathory
Hammerheart


4.5
superb

Review

by Illska90 USER (3 Reviews)
May 9th, 2007 | 121 replies | 20,639 views


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epic and atmospheric, with good musicianship and amazing songwriting.

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

Bathory released this amazing album in 1990. It continues the change to Viking Metal that begun on the 1988 release Blood Fire Death. A video was made for “One Rode to Asa Bay”.

Sound
It definitely sounds like Bathory. Quorthon’s voice is one of the voices that sounds cool because of the imperfections in it, much like Ozzy’s does or Tom Araya’s voice. Quorthon does not sound anything like them but he has character. The drums are drenched in reverb and not mixed too loud, and the guitars are thin and melodic but very tight. The bass just follows the guitars, or at least does nothing memorable. Conclusion is good sound because you can hear everything, although you have to concentrate a bit to get the bass lines.

Music
The choir, which I think is all Quorthon, is over-used; like in “Baptised in Fire and Ice” it’s there for most of the song and kind of ruins the chorus. It does fit under the solos and in the mellow/acoustic chapters in some of the songs (as in the intro to the first track, Shores in Flames) but it started irritating me right on the first listen, maybe it would have worked if it was mixed lower, I don’t know. The guitar riffs are, as always amazing and very atmospheric, the solos aren’t very catchy nor do they sound difficult to perform, but they FIT. They serve the songs very well.
Kothaar’s bass, again, follows the guitar, not that it’s a bad thing and it fits, just like the solos, no atmosphere is sacrificed for showmanship. Vvornth’s drumming is excellent, it is almost always just standard but when he differs from that rule, he does it so well.
The singing melody on some songs absolutely makes them what they are (“Home Of Once Brave”), and the lyrics to all the record are very “pagan” and “Viking-esque” and suit the music, sometimes the words are a bit awkwardly fit to the vocal melody but that’s a minor con. The outro of this record is very sinister and fitting.

The Single
“One Rode to Asa Bay” begins with a very strange intro but then takes on a very epic form, with it’s epic verses to it’s epic solos, it’s purely amazing, and because at 10:24 it is 1/5th of the record it boosts it up a whole point.

Pros:
Very epic
Very atmospheric
Great songwriting
Even the cons fit the atmosphere.
Very well produced for black metal

Cons:
If you’re not into black metal, this may sound raw.
Quorthon’s voice may bother some people.
Thin guitars.
The choir in “Baptised in Fire and Ice”.

Summary
Very good and epic album, and though it is long it doesn’t feel long, although not a classic a 4,5 is a easy grade for this one.


user ratings (458)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Illska90
May 15th 2007



15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First Review, feel free to rip it apart.

rattlehead42147
May 16th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like it. definitely want to check this out, i have under the sign of the black mark, blood fire death, and bathory.

Dethtrasher
May 23rd 2007



2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty good 1st review but I don't know if I can you votes yet. Bathory is a great band, ''Blood Fire Death'' was awesome and I will probably get this one day, sounds interesting.

kalkal50
May 23rd 2007



2386 Comments


"Blood Fire Death" is my hump toy. If this comes close than I don't have anything against checking it out.

Decent first review, but logically you wouldn't really put "sound" and "music" into sub-headings. A little bit short, and you've also got to work on your transitions. Your technical descriptions show knowledge but all in all you need to work on your formatting. This Message Edited On 05.23.07

rattlehead42147
May 23rd 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah what they said, there are a few things to work on here but this is much better than my first review

kalkal50
June 3rd 2007



2386 Comments


yes i'm gonna have to say that this was better than my first too... i was practically a walking dictionary during my premier review.

LifeInABox
October 17th 2007



3708 Comments


This was not too great of a review, but it's ok. I'm not in a negging mood.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2008



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just bought this, great album. However, the stupid choir in "Baptized In Fire And Ice" nearly kills the entire album. I just wish there were screamed vocals also

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Wizard
February 16th 2008



19329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is their best album IMO. Blood, Fire, Death and their s/t are also fantastic albums as well.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2008



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The guitars are absolutely godly on this album. It's just those vocals.... I don't know.....

Wizard
February 16th 2008



19329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thats what puts me off with these guys too. Shores in Flames is sooooo epic!

Cytologic
March 9th 2008



32 Comments


I love Quorthon's vocals. They have character, as he said in the review.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 5th 2008



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The solo in "Shores In Flames" is just awesome. Just listened to this again a couple times this week and I still love it.

Lunarfall
January 29th 2009



3179 Comments


one rode to asa bay = best bathory song. yes, better than a fine day to die.

BallsToTheWall
May 26th 2009



44164 Comments


Greatest viking metal record ever. It even beats Blood Fire Death just by a smidgeon. Heil the vikings

fireaboveicebelow
May 26th 2009



6837 Comments


twilight of the gods beats this

BallsToTheWall
May 26th 2009



44164 Comments


Eh not even close tbh.

Hawks
May 26th 2009



35562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think Blood Fire Death murders this.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants

BallsToTheWall
May 26th 2009



44164 Comments


Title track maybe. Blood Fire Death is pretty much Quorthon's greatest song. Then comes Asa Bay.

Hawks
May 26th 2009



35562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah that song rules. This album is still great too though, but I think BFD is better overall.



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