Bathory
Nordland I


1.5
very poor

Review

by ealordofthedepths USER (11 Reviews)
August 6th, 2008 | 28 replies | 10,496 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nordland suffers from playing it safe, redundant, boring, and terribly produced.

In proportion to the amount of bands that have infested and swarmed the Earth since the inception of modern rock music very few accomplish anything with their careers. Very few can claim themselves influential, most bands’ fan base throughout their entire career will consist of their mothers and old friends from high school. Even fewer bands can claim to have influenced or defined entire musical genres. Yet however it is an excessively select number of bands that can rightfully claim to have done so twice. The almighty Bathory is well among them. Since their inception Bathory, or more accurately their front man, mastermind and only constant member Quorthon, have broken barriers, borders and fences writing some of the most influential pure black metal albums of all time in the beginning of the career only to later fluidly evolve away from the raw Satanism into an epic style that evoked, both musically and lyrically, the great battles and stories of the Norse Vikings, thus bringing to life a whole new genre in the process, Viking Metal. Nordland 1 is the first in a four part series; however Quorthon died in 2004, only completing the first two installments.

Nordland 1 starts off with a grandiose epic introduction with a fully synthesized orchestra and choral parts courtesy of Quorthon himself, yet it doesn’t sound cheesy or forced, it all sounds very natural and organic, it truly creates an atmosphere, something that Quorthon has always stated is one of Bathory’s main goals. Then, as if an extension of the introduction comes the title track, roaring with all its Viking might. But there’s something wrong. The guitars are screechy, the synthesizers are excessively cheesy and the main riff has what can probably be called the worst use of cowbell in metal history. Somehow things don’t fit. The music isn’t bad, in some points it’s rather good but the way in which it is executed, the little details, are so terrible that they take away from otherwise strong songs. At some points it even seems like the programmed drums are out of time with the rest of the music.

The lyrics are standard Bathory fare, Viking battles, beautiful nature, pagan pride, and so on. Though they maybe the same old story somehow they don’t seem boring or redundant rather a bit reaffirming in the midst of a musically doubtable album. The dirty guitars and the annoying synthesizers continue for the rest of the album, making it a harder listen. But apart from that there is another problem, most of the songs sound the same, follow the same structure and have the same arrangements. The mid tempo epic rock of the title track manifests itself in an exceedingly similar manner in Vinterblot, Dragons Breath and Mother Earth Father Thunder with even the same little monk chants following the guitar melodies. Though a great guitar solo manages to show itself in Vinterblo the wall of rhythm guitars is so dirty and thick that it is lost in the midst. Ring Of Gold is a pleasant surprise, a nice melodic ditty that serves as a sort of interlude in the middle of the fanfare, with no synthesizers or electric guitars to be heard, and what is perhaps the album’s strongest track is the one that best shows its failures, precisely because they are not there. Though certain tracks distance themselves from the rest of the album, such as the excellent rush of Broken Sword, reminiscent of Bathory’s earlier black metal works they still suffer from the bad production (I hate to be redundant but it’s those goddamn screechy guitars!) that the rest of the album suffers from. The acoustic and clean passages in songs such as Foreverdark Woods are some of the album’s strongest points, providing a rest from the stark redundancy and annoyance that stain the album so strongly.

The album closes to the sound of seagulls in a quiet beach, washing away the disappointment one feels when listening to this album. After years of breaking new ground and exploring new fronts Bathory have somehow made an unoriginal, repetitive and horribly produced album that although only shines in a few places it shines very powerfully thus saving this album from being a complete disgrace.

Pros
• Symphonic and acoustic passages
• Broken Sword
• Lyrics
Cons
• Horrible guitar sound
• Cheesy synths
• All songs sound the same
• Recycling of ideas



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user ratings (177)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
username345 (3.5)
Because of production problems and some inconsistency and repetitiveness in songwriting, ‘Nordland...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ealordofthedepths
August 5th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

first review, plz dont slam TOO badly

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2008


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an excellent first review, loads better than mine was. I'll vote for this, and stay away from this album. I was actually contemplating checking this out because I haven't heard anything from here, but now I'll stick with his older stuff.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 6th 2008


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Look into "Blood Fire Death", "Under The Sign Of The Black Mark", and "Hammerheart".

ealordofthedepths
August 6th 2008


80 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

thanks!

username345
August 6th 2008


594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review, terrible rating. :p

Dethtrasher
August 6th 2008


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Impressive review, I totally agree with you. I don't like this album at all, most because the sound production.

masscows
August 6th 2008


2236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wtf

Rating is way too low, this album is at least solid. Decent enough review though.

Dethtrasher
August 6th 2008


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Blood Fire Death is awesome though.

masscows
August 6th 2008


2236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

uhh duh

Hawks
August 6th 2008


35824 Comments


Yeah thats kind of a no brainer.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Wizard
August 6th 2008


19383 Comments


Very, very well written first review. You back your points up strongly and provide enough sustenance to cement your case. Interesting how two reviews for this popped up in a day (he at least admitted to it being a counter review hahaha). I'm now debating if it's worth my time to check this out. This Message Edited On 08.06.08

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

masscows
August 6th 2008


2236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you've already checked out Bathory's better albums this is worth your time. Otherwise get their (his) first 6 albums and Blood on Ice before this.

Wizard
August 6th 2008


19383 Comments


I have Hammerheart and Blood, Fire Death. Thanks for the rec' masscows.

FadeToBlack
April 9th 2010


10926 Comments


this is a great album, better than Blood On Ice imo

the title track is so gooooood

FadeToBlack
November 1st 2010


10926 Comments


title track still rules my cock

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2010


16373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the riffs in that song are just immense. So good.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album some of quorthon's best riffs.

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

nightlymoon
August 22nd 2012


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bathory's music was well produced. Quorthon did the best job with the stuff that was available to him at the time i like the music that is bathory and yes i would say that you probably need a more open mind to appreciate black metal like darkthrone included but bathory was really epic and Quorthon was able to convey to us all where he lived just like when Ozzy Osboure said "you don't need a ticket to fly with me i'm free"

DoctorVelvet
September 25th 2012


114 Comments


Review reads way than a 1.5. Sounds like it at least deserved a 2.0-2.5.

darkthrone1
December 1st 2012


387 Comments


title track is sweet and so is mother earth father thunder



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