Backtrack-Bathory-Twilight of the Gods

With bands such as Amon Amarth and Enslaved taking the Viking metal sub-genre to new levels I thought it would be cool to go back and take a look at the band that could be looked at as the inventors of the genre.  With what started out as a black metal band in the 80’s, main man Quorthon(AKA Tomas Forsberg) took his bands a different direction at the start of the 90’s.  He moved away from the speed and intensity of black metal and moved to a bigger and more epic sound heavily influenced by the history of the Vikings and Norse mythology on the album Hammerheart.  For the next couple of releases Bathory would continue to pursue this new musical style, then venture into thrash metal territory before returning to Viking metal to ride it out until Quorthon’s untimely death in 2004.

Twilight of the Gods is the follow-up album to Hammerheart and is my personal favorite Bathory album.  The first track (or 3 on some copies of the album) is a marathon song that does some great mood building and really gives you the feeling that this was the music listened to by Vikings.  There’s hard-hitting doom metal style riffing and rhythm, great acoustic passages, awesome and heartfelt guitar solos, and some great anthmatic singing.  This style continues throughout the rest of the album until you hit the final song on the album, “Hammerheart”.  “Hammerheart” is the song one could imagine being sung as Viking warriors send their defeated brethren out on a flaming boat to send them to Valhalla.  Less of a metal song and more of an opera piece it serves as an awesome finisher to a great album.

If you’re into Viking metal bands like Amon Amarth or bands with the big epic sound like Turisas, Moonsorrow, and Ensiferum I would recommend checking out the roots of the genre.  Bathory isn’t as brutal as the aforementioned but you can really see where the influence comes from.  Twilight of the Gods is a great album to start with as well as its predecessor Hammerheart. Hope you all enjoy!!  Peace Love and Valhalla!!!!

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on November 3, 2011, in Backtracks and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I remember the first time I encountered Bathory – on Blood, Fire, Death – and I wasn’t sure what weird shit I’d stumbled into – I’d never heard ‘singing’ like that. Amazing feel, though – real epic stuff. So influential today, as you say.

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