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Bathory (band)

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Sweden's Bathory was formed in Stokholm in May, 1983. This extremely influental band, now regarded as one of the forefathers of the Black and Viking Metal genres, was started for fun by 15-year-old teenager Quorthon[?]. After numerous name and member changes, Quorthon managed to secure the consent of Tyfon Grammofon's boss to record two tracks for the compilation Scandinavian Metal Attack. These tracks gained unexpected attention by the fans, and Tyfon Grammofon contacted Quorthon, asking him to record a full-length album.

Bathory's subsequent releases, the self-titled debut, The Return and Under the Sign of the Black Mark are now regarded as major influences on the Norwegian bands which made Black Metal popular in the beginning of the 1990s. Although Venom's Black Metal was the first record to coin the term, it was Bathory's early albums, featuring primitive music with abrasive sound and Satanic lyrics, low-fi production, and croaked vocals, that defined the genre.

The first signs of what was to follow appeared on what some fans consider to be Bathory's best album: Blood Fire Death, where on some of the tracks the pace had slowed down to allow for a more epic songwriting approach. It was also here that the Viking theme was introduced. Most of the musical elements of Black Metal were still present, however. It was with the release of Hammerheart that Bathory surprised many of its fans. The style had now drastically changed towards less aggressive, more epic and atmospheric music; the lyrics dealt with themes about Vikings and Scandinavia's pagan mythology. Bathory had become pioneers in yet another genre within the world of extreme music—that of Viking Metal. Hammerhearts approach was further perfected on subsequent records Twilight of the Gods and Blood on Ice.

With 1994's Requiem, Bathory changed style once more, this time turning to vicious retro-thrash in the vein of 1980s Bay Area bands. In recent years, critics have seen Quorthon's output as increasingly erratic.


Bathory (1984)
The Return (1985)
Under The Sign Of The Black Mark (1986)
Blood Fire Death (1987)
Hammerheart (1990)
Twilight Of The Gods (1991)
Jubileum Volume 1 (1993)
Jubileum Volume 2 (1993)
Requiem (1994)
Octogon (1995)
Blood On Ice (1996)
Jubileum Volume 3 (1998)
Destroyer Of Worlds (2001)
Nordland Part I (2002)

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