This might have been a surprise to most in 1994 due to the previous albums progressively becoming more epic and slower. Waiting for three years for a new album, in the interim we were treated to a couple of compilations, Quorthon's solo 'album', and then this maelstrom of aggressive metal. I was marginally disappointed at the time because I felt Quorthon had already accomplished what he needed in this area but the fact is there is some very good and powerful material on here - it grows on you over time.
The guitar work is pretty violent and adept (particularly some of the whirlwind solos we'd come to love from the main man several albums prior to this) but in my opinion what let the album down a bit was the drum sound, which appears artificial and doesn't blend with the general sound. The other thing against the album is that some of this material could have been developed further to create something more than just hard thrash, for example there was plenty of speed and power on Blood Fire Death but many of the songs often went through tempo changes and various evolutionary phases, making the album as a whole much more interesting. Clearly though Quorthon was aiming for a return to the stripped down thrash attack from which he originally arose, and in that respect the album is a success.
Despite one or two shortcomings the album has retained its impact more than a decade on and if anything I actually enjoy this more than I did back in the day. So, Requiem is a real good blast of thrash/near-black metal but its full potential was to remain unrealised. The most average tracks on the album are the title slice and Distinguish to Kill. Stand-out tracks are Apocalypse, Suffocate, and Nectroticus, all featuring some pummelling riffs. Blood & Soil, Pax Vobiscum, and War Machine are also great tracks. Overall, 3.5 out of 5.