Review: Bathory

“Nordland 1”
(Black Mark Records)

Bathory has been a band for I don’t know how many god damn years and my only other encounter with the band was hearing their first album over fifteen years ago and that was such a godawful piece of shit that no one can rightfully blame me for never coming back to feed from the Bathory trough again.  That is until now.  I’m listening to a very majestic sounding Bathory: heavy guitars, bigger than life drums, a sonic wall of choirly voices “Awww, Awww, Awwwwing” away in the background and a vocalist, Quorthon I assume since Bathory is Quorthon, singing in a much more gothic, Sisters of Mercy-style than I recall hearing from that first black metal lo-fi piece of self-released trash from this self-stylized vampire of the metal scene.  With maturity for Quorthon, who as a youngster believed he was a vampire (from Nerdland to Nordland), comes a much deeper and thoughtful musical expression and this is really quite enjoyable.  The musical pace is mostly plodding, slow to mid-tempo but does occasionally hit a super-charged moment or two of speed metal oriented riffing and drumming.  Nordland is suitable for Goth metal aficionados, Manowar fans and anyone who lives where the temperatures hit zero and the nights become unbearably long for all but vampires like Quorthon and Countess Bathory.