Bathory – Bathory – 1984


The somewhat legendary Black Metal band Bathory ‘s first album is a violent musical journey that came to influence an entire generation of musicians. It’s not hard to find the elements that later became some form of standard, at least within the early Black Metal movement. There are fast guitars and drums with a dismal “singing” produced with a truly awful sound. Which back then became the archetype for how this type of music would be performed, at least in the first wave.

Personally, I don’t quite understand the point of making the music sound as tinny and bad as possible, at least not as a norm in this context. The fact that this particular album the self-titled Bathory, along with a few others, sounds the way it does is more justifiable because there was essentially no money to record the album with. You took what you had and made the best of it, plain and simple. With this in mind, this is actually a fantastic album, but it’s simply unavoidable that the passage of time has caught up and allowed this album to age in an unfavorable way.

Quorthon (RIP), Bathory’s front figure, certainly helped create a whole new genre but has long been surpassed by other, more quality-conscious, musicians. The album serves well as reference material and is even almost necessary in context, but musically it becomes quite repetitive and boring.

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Tommy Snöberg Söderberg

Autodidact film scholar and music-loving thinker who reads the occasional book.

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