Bathory, Bathory, Bathory. This self titled release is the first in the 'trilogy' and is one of the most influential releases in extreme metal history. It was released in 1984 one Black Mark records and was only limited to 1000 copies (It has since been re-issued twice I believe).
Spanning 20 years, Bathory has been mapping unmapped territory throughout their career. Through the years they have had several lineup changes, until eventually Quorthon decided to do it all himself, but it all started with this album.
Quorthon : Vocals, guitars
Freddan : Bass
Jonas Åkerlund : Drums
The intro, Storm of damation is just that. It's just some odd sounds that lead right into Hades. Hades gets the album started with some thrashy guitars and simple drumming. Quorthon's screams on this song, and the rest of the album are absolutely relentless.
The next track Reaper is more or less of a continuation on from Hades, the riffs here fit here well with Quorthon's screaches. The solo here is typical of any thrash song from the mid 80's, nothing special but not bad, and it fits well.
Necromansy is a bit of a pace change, some elements of melodic death are prevalent in this song, though i gaurantee you won't be saying 'whoa these guys are like At The Gates!' after you listen to this song, but they are there. This is the longest track on the album at a whopping 3 minutes and 40 seconds of solid thrash metal. The song goes out on a nice solo and leads into probably my favorite track on the album, Sacrifice. This is one of the most 'black metal' songs on the album, starting with a nice fast thrash/black riff and a shriek from Quorthon this song is high intesity throughout the riffs, blasting drums and very audible bass in this song. This song has a very fitting solo before going back to Quorthon's screams about midway through the song. Awesome song.
In Conspiracy With Satan is full on black metal from the beginning with blaring drums and cymbal crashes throughout and the screams of 'In conspiracy with Satan' give this song an awesome atmosphere. This song is a whopping 2:29 but is christraping black metal throughout. Awesome. This atmosphere carries right into Armageddon which wastes absolutely no time before going into speed/black metal mode. The guitar volume goes in and out on this song along with some feedback problems, but no objections from me, it just adds to the atmosphere. Solid track.
Raise the Dead starts off with some church bells ringing in the background, these bells soon turn into a heart beat. This heartbeat is suddenly interrupted by some blaring, crisp guitars and a spirit crushing shriek from Quorthon. This song is creepy, in all forms of the word. The song ends abruptly on a gong, then goes right into the next song; War. War essentially somes up all the elements used on this elements, there is some thrash here and some black metal along with blaring guitars and beyond the dead shrieks from Quorthon.
The song ends on a hidden track outro, this outro was used on every Bathory album up until HammerHeart. A good atmospheric way to close the album.
Overall this album gets 3.5/5 from me. This album combines elements of both thrash and black metal, this is the first album to be made in the so-called 'first wave of black metal.' The sound of this album can basically be summed up by this...
Thrash metal with satanic lyrics and screams.
The atmosphere, this album is nothing short of a masterpiece in terms of the weird atmosphere this album creates.
The band flows together here well, they really know what they are doing.
This is the legendary Bathory's first album, and one of/if not the most influential albums in extreme metal history. Just the sentimental value of this album is enough to be a strength.
The length of each song averages to about 3 minutes each. The total playing time of this album is only 26:55
The music can get a bit repetitive at times.
The sound quality, i personally enjoy the sound quality because it's how this particular album should be produced. This album was recorded in a garage, you can do the math on how the sound quality is. I have a re-mastered version so you can hear everything fine but the tone is pretty weak.
This album is a must have for Bathory or any extreme metal fan, if not for the music, but for the sentimental value it has.