BATHORY

Viking Metal / Black Metal / Thrash Metal • Sweden
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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 2.98 | 37 ratings
Bathory
Black Metal 1984
BATHORY The Return...... album cover 3.47 | 28 ratings
The Return......
Black Metal 1985
BATHORY Under the Sign of the Black Mark album cover 3.46 | 34 ratings
Under the Sign of the Black Mark
Black Metal 1987
BATHORY Blood Fire Death album cover 4.12 | 48 ratings
Blood Fire Death
Black Metal 1988
BATHORY Hammerheart album cover 4.04 | 52 ratings
Hammerheart
Viking Metal 1990
BATHORY Twilight of the Gods album cover 3.89 | 32 ratings
Twilight of the Gods
Viking Metal 1991
BATHORY Requiem album cover 2.41 | 17 ratings
Requiem
Thrash Metal 1994
BATHORY Octagon album cover 2.19 | 13 ratings
Octagon
Thrash Metal 1995
BATHORY Blood on Ice album cover 3.42 | 19 ratings
Blood on Ice
Viking Metal 1996
BATHORY Destroyer of Worlds album cover 3.35 | 13 ratings
Destroyer of Worlds
Thrash Metal 2001
BATHORY Nordland I album cover 3.60 | 18 ratings
Nordland I
Viking Metal 2002
BATHORY Nordland II album cover 3.63 | 17 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
Katalog
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 Reviews

BATHORY Twilight of the Gods

Album · 1991 · Viking Metal
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SilentScream213
Bathory (Quorthon) is the type of band that is always innovating. They managed to invent 2 completely original styles of metal, Black Metal with 1984’s Bathory, and Viking Metal 6 years later on Hammerheart. They toyed with this style on 88’s Blood Fire Death, and finally the genre came into fruition here.

While this album is amazingly unique for its time, I do find a slight step down from Blood Fire Death, which is odd because the bookend Viking Metal tracks of that album were my favorite. It turns out, slower paced epic Viking Metal doesn’t feel as powerful without a ton of Blackened Thrash pummeling you in between. Hammerheart has some truly epic songs that amaze (One Rode to Asa Bay is a masterpiece) but the majority of the material doesn’t leave me in the same awe as say, Blood Fire Death or A Fine Day to Die. Since this album is much more uplifting and much less dark, the riffs aren’t really evil or sinister; rather, they are just there. In all honesty, I can’t remember any notable riffs off the album, as it puts much more emphasis on atmosphere and Quorthon’s vocals. The rhythm section is slow and monotonous, but it does create a martial mood befitting the themes.

Off of those notes though, this is still a fantastic album, and Quorthon’s vocals are actually quite awesome. He’s evolved from a pure Black Metal shriek to what sounds like a haggard yell very capable of hitting and holding notes, which was necessary to make the jump from Black to Viking Metal. The atmosphere is effective and the backing vocals provide a great sense of grandeur to the whole package. The songs individually are not always Bathory’s greatest, but the album as a whole works very well due to these connecting themes.

BATHORY Hammerheart

Album · 1990 · Viking Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Bathory (Quorthon) is the type of band that is always innovating. They managed to invent 2 completely original styles of metal, Black Metal with 1984’s Bathory, and Viking Metal 6 years later on Hammerheart. They toyed with this style on 88’s Blood Fire Death, and finally the genre came into fruition here.

While this album is amazingly unique for its time, I do find a slight step down from Blood Fire Death, which is odd because the bookend Viking Metal tracks of that album were my favorite. It turns out, slower paced epic Viking Metal doesn’t feel as powerful without a ton of Blackened Thrash pummeling you in between. Hammerheart has some truly epic songs that amaze (One Rode to Asa Bay is a masterpiece) but the majority of the material doesn’t leave me in the same awe as say, Blood Fire Death or A Fine Day to Die. Since this album is much more uplifting and much less dark, the riffs aren’t really evil or sinister; rather, they are just there. In all honesty, I can’t remember any notable riffs off the album, as it puts much more emphasis on atmosphere and Quorthon’s vocals. The rhythm section is slow and monotonous, but it does create a martial mood befitting the themes.

Off of those notes though, this is still a fantastic album, and Quorthon’s vocals are actually quite awesome. He’s evolved from a pure Black Metal shriek to what sounds like a haggard yell very capable of hitting and holding notes, which was necessary to make the jump from Black to Viking Metal. The atmosphere is effective and the backing vocals provide a great sense of grandeur to the whole package. The songs individually are not always Bathory’s greatest, but the album as a whole works very well due to these connecting themes.

BATHORY Blood Fire Death

Album · 1988 · Black Metal
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SilentScream213
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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SilentScream213
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.

BATHORY Bathory

Album · 1984 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
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.

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