Bathory – Twilight of the Gods (1991)
I’m not too into the world of Viking metal. I’ve got everything by Enslaved but they just seemed to have Viking elements mixed in with mostly black metal. And Amon Amarth is just melodic death metal played by guys who look like Vikings. I think this album epitomizes what Viking metal is. Every song just has this epic feeling to it. Just listen to the choir in title track and tell me you didn’t fashion a spear out of one of your dads’ three hundred dollar pool cues. Even my three year old son, who spends most days bouncing off walls and jumping on my head, stops dead when he hears that choir and starts zombie walking. What makes this album so awesome
is that the band (or just Quorthon I guess) wasn’t trying as hard as others these days do. The music seems really natural. Like this is music, this is what it’s supposed to sound like. I think he wasn’t setting out to making a Viking metal album. He was making an album and people took it upon themselves to categorize it as "Viking metal". What I love more than anything is Quorthons’ off-key vocals. Some people may wonder why there’s a singer on this album that can’t hold a tune but I think it adds so much charm to the music. Just listen to Under the Runes
. The guy is way off key during the chorus but it really works. Those moments are all over the album and a lot of their other songs as well(One Rode to Asa Bay
wasn't on this album but it's another prime example). I like that most of the black metal is gone from Bathory at this point too. The black metal sections were always really good but the production was always really crappy too. That’s another high point for this album; it sounds pretty much perfect for the band and the time. Cool cover too, Bathory albums always have wicked covers. A simple landscape my not seem too special these days but twenty years ago their weren't as many bands, so it was a really cool thing. I haven’t heard much Bathory but I really have to get around to it, because everything I’ve heard is pretty fantastic. And come on, there’s seven songs on this album and THREE have the word “blood” in the title. How Viking is that?
Favorite Song: Twilight of the Gods