I have taken within myself the spirits of my fathers, long time gone.

10 years ago yesterday marks the passing of Quorthon, easily one of the most important and influential musicians to ever grace and mold the metal world. I think we all connect to artists who impact our lives, some more than others, but Mr. Forsberg’s body of work still has a lot of pull in the Worm realm… especially the Viking metal Era. Albums like Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods are so monumental, timeless and genre sculpting world builders, they never sound dated or stale to me. But it was Blood on Ice… that lost in Quorthon’s closet gem, dusted off, retooled and finished for the ages that rings true as one of my all time favorite albums. Hitting play instantly takes me on the journey. Those massive choirs. Unshakable choruses. Simplistic and amazing layering/riffs. Quorthon was the master. When he picked back up on the Viking theme with the Nordland albums, it was clear that his talent and passion for creating this music defied the ages and his own limitations as a flashy player, and once again demonstrated just how amazing of a songwriter he was. He is sadly missed and I am still pissed and saddened that we will never get to experience “The Vikings”… the album he was working on/writing for when he passed.

So for this week’s update, we have a handful of reviews for you guys to check out but our thoughts are with Ace as he chases those lovely Valkyries around the giant hall. What was your entry point into the Bathory pantheon (mine was The Return)? Thoughts on the man’s body of work and arguments for his best album will now be heard, though you are likely wrong 😉 Hail the Hordes! Hail Quorthon!

Share those those playlists friends!

Marty Rytkonen Playlist
Bathory – Blood on Ice
Panopticon – Roads to the North
Kiss – Various year compilations from that big rarities box set they put out when the reunited with Peter and Ace
Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall
Falls of Rauros – Believe in no Coming Shore
Darkest Era – Severance
Marduk – Panzer Division Marduk
Marduk – Heaven Shall Burn When we are Gathered
Anacrusis – Reason
Celestial Season – Forever Scarlet Passion

Jim Clifton Playlist
Agalloch – The Serpent & The Sphere
Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall
Spectral Lore – III
Zealotry – The Charnel Expanse
Aeternus – … And So The Night Became
Dead Can Dance – s/t
Incantation – Dirges of Elysium
Bolt Thrower – … For Victory
Ifing – Against This Weald
Panopticon / Falls of Rauros split LP

~ by cliftonium on June 4, 2014.

13 Responses to “I have taken within myself the spirits of my fathers, long time gone.”

  1. I have never heard Bathory …. another canonical artist missing from my education. So I’m open to recommendations for where to start …

    My playlist this week:

    Wovenhand – The Threshingfloor
    Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas
    Anaal Nathrakh – Eschaton
    Witch Mountain – Bloodhound (Scion A/V EP)
    Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall
    Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere
    Neurosis & Jarboe – s/t
    Gris – Il Etait une Foret
    Hexvessel – No Holier Temple
    Aluk Todolo – Occult Rock
    Mael Mordha – Damned When Dead
    Elder – Dead Roots Stirring
    Vasaeleth – All Uproarious Darkness

  2. The first 3 Bathory albums for me is where its at, specifically Under the Sign, such classic songs. That album takes me away to that cavernous underworld thats on the front cover, darkness and evil indeed.
    To be honest, most of the viking albums never took with me, don’t know why.

    Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – Folklore Venom
    Satyricon – Now Diabolical
    Survival Knife – Loose Power
    Odonis Odonis – Hard Boiled Soft Boiled
    Die Antwoord – Donker Mag
    Breadwinner – Burner
    The Pixies – Trompe LeMonde
    Morbid Angel – Gateways to Annihilation
    The Crimson Iguanodon – Disintegration is Bliss
    The Cure – Carnage Visions
    Raven – All 4 One

  3. I’m a fan of every era Bathory. There are times I want the old, nasty Bathory, the viking stuff or the later era. I even have a soft spot for the thrash albums. The man and band could do now wrong if you ask me. My personal favorites, that get the most plays are usually Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods.

    Watain – The Wild Hunt
    Diocletian – Gesundrian
    Trap Them – Blissfucker
    Nux Vomica – Nux Vomica
    Anathema – Distant Satellites
    Ministry – Filth Pig
    Barghest – The Virtuous Purge
    Blut Aus Nord/P.H.O.B.O.S. – Triunity Split
    Fucked Up – Glass Boys
    DopeRunner – Demo
    Forest of Tygers – Bruises EP
    Bleed the Pigs – Mortis Fatum EP
    Saor – Aura
    Visigoth – Vengeance Demo
    Sarke – Aruagint
    Darkest Era – Severance

  4. I was not quite old enough to be on top of things when Bathory, The Return, and Under the Sign of the Black Mark were first released.
    If I remember correctly, my first introduction to Bathory was via Hammerheart. ‘BAPTIZIED … IN FIRE AND ICE!’ As a teenager, I recall looking through the stacks of my favorite record store … an hour and thirty minutes from my rural home. I worked a lot from an early age, so always seemed to scrounge up the gas money to spend traveling there about once a month. I had seen the album on some of my previous visits; sitting on the rack, starring at me, begging to be given attention. I finally decided to snag it, and picked up BFD shortly afterward.
    Hammerheart was huge, and I still enjoy it to this day. Due to various reasons, which I can quickly explain, Blood on Ice was a bit lost in the melee of the mid 90’s for me personally.
    I will fully admit that, for me, the early 90’s were more about ‘A Blaze in the Northern Sky’ than they were about ‘Blood Fire Death’. By the time Blood on Ice was released, I was already entrenched in Viking-esque hordes like Mock, Kampfar, Enslaved, Mithotyn, etc … who were all releasing their first albums around the same time. At that time, I simply enjoyed the harsher takes on the theme. Although Bathory had plenty of epic quality under the helm, I am also not ashamed to admit that it was completely squashed by the likes of Summoning (Minas Morgul in 1995). The epic nature of Blood on Ice was heavily overshadowed by the two Austrian Wizards, and the burgeoning Austrian Black Metal Syndicate in general. I have always enjoyed some of the albums from Bathory; but, in all honesty, I would be lying if I gave them any truly remarkable standing in my personal musical journey and/or listening rotation. The influence he had on the developing musical style(s) was/is obviously HUGE, on many levels. With that in mind, I give tons of credit to Quorthon for helping lay the foundations for the music that has become so important in my life. If I had to pick a favorite ‘Viking era’ album, it would have to be Hammerheart … nostalgia and timing included in the equation. The rest is ‘Under the Sign …’. Due to this post, I look forward to spending some time, once again, with these albums that have not been spun in a long time. It will be an interesting couple of weeks.
    Playlist is in current flux … so I shall post a few things later.
    For now, all I can say is:

  5. Pete, you lucky man. Start with ‘Under the Sign of the Black Mark’. This album is the primary inspiration of the 2nd wave Norwegian Black Metal sound. No disputing there. 2nd to that, go to ‘Hammerheart’ to hear his Viking tradition. For more of the Venom style, go prior to ‘Under the Sign’.

    Marty, no need to go to ‘Blood on Ice’. We’ve danced that dance : )

    In any case, this week no playlist, just a final comment: All hail one of the true and mighty kings of Metal, Quorthon. Your legacy writhes deep in my veins…

  6. I just listened to some songs from ‘Under the Sign of the Black Mark’. So THIS is where it all came from … there’s suddenly a gaping (black) hole in my CD collection between Azarath and Behexen.

  7. …. and my head just exploded listening to the guitar solo on ‘Shores In Flames’ …

  8. Hell yeah, Pete. ‘Shores in Flames’ is a great viking track to start out on. “FIRE!”
    Yep, it has been a few years, but after spinning it in its entirety last night … Hammerheart is still where it is at for me.

  9. Its been ages since I have listened to the old albums, or even the newest ones. Its kinda of like they are there in my head. Haven’t felt the desire to hear one for a long time (expect for the thrash stuff, cause that was new to me last year).

  10. I think I understand what you mean, ScarPump, about it already being in your head. I enjoyed re-listening to Hammerheart, but it didn’t truly feel like I needed to. It has a strangely ingrained quality that I can only describe as being ‘woven into the fabric of my musical mind’. Again, enjoyable and utterly iconic, but I never seem drawn back to it for a ‘fresh’ listen. Maybe there is just too much other stuff competing for my attention these days; but, there ARE older albums that do call to me for fresh repeats. Hard to explain.


    Bathory – Hammerheart
    Desecresy – Chasmic Transcendence
    Scald – Will of Gods is a Great Power
    Longings Past – Meadows of Maseilya
    Inquisition – Krank (weird stuff, bits of awesome, bits of not … giving it some patience)

  11. The ‘staying power’ of an album to me is not so much the # of times I spin it over a period of time, but more so its lasting impression. There are some albums I have spinned a handful of times and they left indelible marks on my spirit, but I don’t feel the need to re-spin them. They are just were they are, and that is just fine by me. While a lot of this probably has to do with the amount of content thrown at us these days, but some of it is age too. ANyways, hail satan, AND:

    Lovers of Triptykon’s ‘Melana Chasmata’ – suggestion – play the album from last song to first, but leave out ‘Waiting’. This song order is fucking amazing. Either way you play it, this is a fantastic Doom album through and through.

  12. Honestly don’t remember my first exposure to Bathory. It was probably ‘The Return’, which my g/f in college had. It is possible, however, I heard some of the viking-era stuff before that. What can I say? It’s been 20 years ago, and some things run together.

    I know that the first Bathory album I bought (probably around fall of ’96) was a CD copy of ‘Hammerheart’ and I took to it instantly. ‘One Rode to Asa Bay’ remains my favorite track on that album. The same g/f mentioned bought ‘Blood on Ice’ soon after it was released and we both liked that one a lot. I think I got ‘Under the Sign’ on vinyl soon thereafter (sometime in early ’97). SO I heard those 4 albums within about an 18 month time frame. I also got the ‘Scandinavian Metal Attack’ compilation around that time, so throw those tracks into the mix too 🙂

    Personally I like the blackened and viking stylings about equally. The two ‘Nordland’ albums never really snk in when they were released; while not bad, I just always chose HH/TotG/BoI when I wanted to hear viking-era Bathory.

    –Haven’t had time to play stuff lately, but this morning I d/l’ed a few things for the commute tomorrow:
    Mayhem- esoteric warfare
    House of Lords- precious metal
    Pure Hell- noise addiction
    also need to give the new Agalloch more time

  13. “The ‘staying power’ of an album to me is not so much the # of times I spin it over a period of time, but more so its lasting impression.”

    Very well said, Scarlet Pumpernickel. That statement brings to mind a band I saw about a decade ago. They were one of a couple ‘no name’ opening acts at a concert I attended. They absolutely destroyed on all levels. I never found out who they were. I later inquired with the headlining band, and they had no information other than that they were a local band who filled in at the last moment, and were no longer together.
    Essentially, I only heard/’spun’ those guys once, but I will absolutely never forget the atmosphere they summoned that evening. It was, by far, the most enjoyable live show I have ever experienced.

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