A revolution has been coming for a long while, everything has a life cycle and this extends into the foregrounds of music where even the most experimental of albums have a lifeline. A place where geniuses are forgotten about, a place where a sound can be replicated a million times and never be remembered, a place where a single changing distinction can redirect the boundaries of music; this is a place where Swedish Metal became a frontrunner of 1970’s-1980’s of the continuing sound for decades to come, with Bathory at the helm. One of the first artists to create a “Black Metal” sound of low-budget, junky, and absolutely filthy recording style, Bathory was an artist that made a continuous shakedown of an industry and revolutionized on the noise that would come from Sweden, and from the rest of the neighboring world even today.
An instant classic album is hard to create, even harder to replicate, but impossible to eliminate. Bathory’s self-titled debut record Bathory has become a staple in hardcore for being a seasoned veteran of the surviving trends. The album is timeless and shows a distinction of being something captured in the spirit of hardcore at that time, and with only two functioning musicians; it is incredible to see exactly what Bathory became. Quorthon, who is the multi-instrumentalist behind the vocals, guitars, songwriting, and atmosphere, but he also worked with Stefan Larsson who handled the percussive aspect on Bathory and while the album itself has withstood the test of time, the true fact behind Bathory was that Quorthon was only eighteen-years old when this album would be released on Black Mark Production. A truly premature mastermind of his craft; Bathory adapted a harshness behind it, making it one of the first punishing records to grace across the Northern Skies
From the beginning of church bells and thunderous crashes, to the eventual pounding of the feverous percussion swelling guitar, Bathory makes quick moves and shows a destructive prowess. Like a recreation of a Stefan Eggeler painting, Bathory uses the shadows to its advantage and summons a shroud of darkness around themselves. There are moments of sudden jumps and punches through the silence that make Bathory seem almost terrifying in instances, but this terror is then brought back into the inevitable silence and mix-ups of atmospheric tracks that overlay throughout Bathory’s debut. Even their short-lived intermissions, Bathory still seems relentless in becoming crushing and showing a distinct, instantly recognizable sound; a sound that would carry on for years after the initial release.