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Bathory was the project of Tomas "Ace" Börje Forsberg (better known as Quorthon, 17th February 1966 - 3rd June 2004). Bathory was a landmark band in the history of black metal. Most second wave black metal bands were influenced by the ground work laid down by Bathory. The name was taken from Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory, a 17th century Hungarian noblewoman who lived in Csejte (now Cachtice, Slovakia), accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and young women.

Early years (1980s)

Bathory was formed in Stockholm in 1983. Founder Quorthon, a seventeen-year-old guitarist, was joined by bassist Hanoi and drummer Vans. After various name changes (beginning with Nosferatu, then Natas, Mephisto, Elizabeth Bathory and Countess Bathory) they finally settled on Bathory. Their first recording deal came that same year, when Quorthon managed to secure the consent of Tyfon Grammofon's boss to record two tracks for the compilation Scandinavian Metal Attack.
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BATHORY Discography

BATHORY albums / top albums

BATHORY Bathory album cover 3.00 | 37 ratings
Black Metal 1984
BATHORY The Return...... album cover 3.65 | 25 ratings
The Return......
Black Metal 1985
BATHORY Under the Sign of the Black Mark album cover 3.47 | 31 ratings
Under the Sign of the Black Mark
Black Metal 1987
BATHORY Blood Fire Death album cover 4.16 | 44 ratings
Blood Fire Death
Black Metal 1988
BATHORY Hammerheart album cover 4.23 | 47 ratings
Viking Metal 1990
BATHORY Twilight of the Gods album cover 4.04 | 26 ratings
Twilight of the Gods
Viking Metal 1991
BATHORY Requiem album cover 2.43 | 15 ratings
Thrash Metal 1994
BATHORY Octagon album cover 2.41 | 11 ratings
Thrash Metal 1995
BATHORY Blood on Ice album cover 3.56 | 18 ratings
Blood on Ice
Viking Metal 1996
BATHORY Destroyer of Worlds album cover 3.44 | 12 ratings
Destroyer of Worlds
Thrash Metal 2001
BATHORY Nordland I album cover 3.97 | 17 ratings
Nordland I
Viking Metal 2002
BATHORY Nordland II album cover 4.17 | 16 ratings
Nordland II
Viking Metal 2003

BATHORY EPs & splits

BATHORY Scandinavian Metal Attack album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Scandinavian Metal Attack
Thrash Metal 1984
BATHORY Bathory / Tankard / Rage album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bathory / Tankard / Rage
Black Metal 1990

BATHORY live albums

BATHORY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BATHORY re-issues & compilations

BATHORY Jubileum, Volume I album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Jubileum, Volume I
Black Metal 1992
BATHORY Jubileum, Volume II album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Jubileum, Volume II
Black Metal 1993
BATHORY Jubileum, Volume III album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jubileum, Volume III
Thrash Metal 1998
BATHORY Katalog album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Metal 2001
BATHORY In Memory of Quorthon, Volume I album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memory of Quorthon, Volume I
Black Metal 2006
BATHORY In Memory of Quorthon, Volume II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memory of Quorthon, Volume II
Black Metal 2006
BATHORY In Memory of Quorthon, Volume III album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memory of Quorthon, Volume III
Black Metal 2006

BATHORY singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Twilight of the Gods
Viking Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blood on Ice
Viking Metal 1996

BATHORY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


BATHORY Blood Fire Death

Album · 1988 · Black Metal
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Blood Fire Death marks one of the most clear improvements in a band I’ve seen. Bathory’s first album spawned true first wave Black Metal, and the two that followed delivered more quality yet samey material. All were very consistent packages of thrashy Black Metal with amateurish musicianship, horrible production and yet some sort of incredibly alluring interest factor that made it all sound right. On Blood Fire Death, Bathory opted to stop delivering more of the same and put the bar way higher.

Here, they abandon all their weaknesses. The music, while still simple oftentimes, is played fast and sharp; gone are the messy notes and offbeat drums, and in addition there are moments of great skill displayed as well. More importantly, the band continues to focus on mood and use their greater skill to craft awesomely aggressive and sinister soundscapes rather than showing off. The production is also much better here, and somehow they manage to hit a fantastic sweet spot between keeping the raw grit of true Black Metal and keeping all the instruments audible and sounding great. The riffs switch between moody Black and aggressive Thrash riffing and both play off each other perfectly, and despite liking previous Bathory albums, I find the riffs here to be all around much better and more memorable, maybe no small thanks to the guitars being clearly audible.

The band also capitalizes on their strengths. I said their previous albums were consistently good yet samey; this album delivers 7 consistently amazing songs that all have very distinct sounds to them. Opting for a more epic sound (but no less evil and thankfully no less serious), the band adds some keys and synths (usually choirs) here and there, and it works fantastically. They never overdo it, adding just enough to accentuate the songs and add to the individuality of each composition. The obviously synthed sounds might sound cheesy in other cases, but here the synths being not so high quality actually matches the raw mixing and ends up creating this sound that is just somehow off in the best way.

The last thing I’ll say is Quarthon finally perfected his voice. My god that hollow, raspy call is amazing. He even manages to add a lot of variety to the way he screams, switching it up to serve each song individually, and adding a ton of passion to it when he tries. Simply one of the best voices I’ve heard in metal. The lyrics are great too, ranging from the first signs of the Viking themes, to old school Satanic madness, all with peak delivery.

BATHORY The Return......

Album · 1985 · Black Metal
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Bathory is back at it again with more of the same for their sophomore album. The differences between this and the debut are minimal; same terrible production quality, same evil riffs and lyrics, same snarling screams. Which is good, because the first album succeeded in all these aspects. The songs stay almost exclusively fast tempo, and the drumming definitely sounds more controlled. The good stuff isn’t really better than their debut, but it definitely sounds like the album is more consistent, with almost no weak moments throughout. Bathory would later go on to pioneer new genres of metal, but here they stick to their original style, and there’s not much else to say about it.


Album · 1984 · Black Metal
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Venom planted the seeds of Black Metal with their simple, Satanic, and raw style that aimed to be as fast and abrasive as possible. Bathory was the plant that grew from those seeds. Although not an astounding effort on it’s own, Bathory was an album that was indisputably Black Metal, and – whether purposefully or due to lack of money – set the standard for the use of terrible production as a tool to create atmosphere. Indeed, the album sounds like you’re listening to some cultists play in the middle of the woods from inside your bedroom. However, it works – the album sounds very dark, and very evil, and it’s convincing in that darkness, unlike Venom which were rather humorous in the end. Imperfect, but a brilliant first child for the genre of Black Metal.


Album · 1984 · Black Metal
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"Bathory" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Swedish speed/heavy metal act Bathory. The album was released through Tyfon Grammofon in October 1984. Lead vocalist/guitarist Quorthon formed Bathory in 1983. The band´s first recordings where done in January 1984. It was the tracks "Sacrifice" and "The Return of the Darkness and Evil". Both appeared on the "Scandinavian Metal Attack" compilation (a split compilation with other Swedish and Finnish heavy metal artists), which was released in March 1984 through the Tyfon Grammofon label. The label received a lot of positive feedback from fans over the two Bathory tracks, and decided to offer the band to record a full-length studio album. When the offer came up Quorthon had to find a new drummer and a new bassist though because both Freddan (bass) and Jonas Åkerlund (drums) were no longer in the band. Therefore Rickard Bergman (bass) and Stefan Larsson (drums) were added to the lineup instead. The new three-piece lineup had one rehearsal in May 1984 before entering Heavenshore Studio in Stockholm in June 1984 to record their debut album. The album was recorded and mixed in 2 days.

Stylistically the music on the album is a blackened speed/heavy metal style, which sounds like it´s heavily influenced by early Venom. An act like Motörhead also often comes to mind. The sound is a bit darker and the vocals are snarling and pretty extreme for the time too though, and there is a gloomy occult atmosphere to the material. Bathory are often credited as one of the pioneers of black metal, and it´s abundantly clear why that is when listening to this album. It´s arguably an incredibly influential album in the genre, but it´s not what most people think of, when they think of black metal today. So no blast beats or anything else too extreme, other than the vocals. The music is both raw and pretty filthy too though, and the vocals are definitely of the blackened sort.

The tracks are pretty basic vers/chorus structured material featuring energetic and organic playing/singing. It´s not the most tight performance I´ve ever heard, but the guys in the band deliver their music with both passion and conviction, which is always far more important. The sound production is pretty lo-fi and raw, but it suits the music and there´s definitely a primal charm to it, that you won´t find on many more professionally produced releases. This is as "straight from the rehearsal room/live in the studio" as it gets.

The influential nature of the release earns it some points, but it is for the most part also a pretty enjoyable listen, although it is a slightly one-dimensional release. Most tracks are similarly structured and features about the same mid-to fast paced tempo, but there are moments when Bathory play a little slower and add some heaviness. It´s an album which is a bit hard to rate, because it speaks to a pretty specific audience of black/speed/thrash metal fans, who worship it like it´s the unholy grail. My opinion is probably a bit more objective and a bit more biased too, as I find it an interesting and adventurous release (for the time), but it´s also a bit immature and rough around the edges. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

BATHORY Scandinavian Metal Attack

Split · 1984 · Thrash Metal
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"Scandinavian Metal Attack" is a split release by Tyfon Grammofon, released in January 1984. It features 10 tracks and a full playing time of 41:08 minutes. Each of the five artists featured on the album are represented by two tracks. The five acts featured on the album are Oz, Zero Nine, Spitfire, Trash, and Bathory. The two former artists are from Finland, while the three latter are from Sweden. Out of the five artists featured on the album it´s only Zero Nine, who are still active today. Oz, Spitfire, and Trash all had relatively short careers, which ended in the early- to mid 80s, while Bathory had a relatively long and succesful career, which ended in 2004 with the death of band founder Quorthon.

To most listeners the most interesting thing about "Scandinavian Metal Attack" is probably the presence of the legendary Swedish exteme metal act Bathory. The two tracks by Bathory featured on this split album, are actually the first material ever released by the band. "Sacrifice" and "The Return of Darkness and Evil" are both early Bathory classics (seen with the eyes of today), and while they were later featured on the band´s debut and second album releases "Bathory (1984)" and "The Return...... (1985)" respectively, these versions were recorded by another early lineup of the band and therefore differ from the album versions. The rest of the material on the album is in a heavy metal/hard rock style, and none of the artists really stand out compared to what was the standard of the time. Nothing is really bad, but nothing is really outstanding either.

The sound productions on the various artists material vary some and it´s obvious this is an early 80s heavy metal release, but overall the sound is decent on most material on the album. Upon conclusion "Scandinavian Metal Attack" is a decent quality split release, which works a lot like a compilation does, which means it introduces the artists featured on the compilation to the listener, without going more in depth. Here we´re just treated to two tracks per artist, which provides a slightly better introduction to an artist. A 3 star (60%) rating is deserved.

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