6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2007
In order to review this album one must put it in its musical context. The year is 1884, Venom have released "Black Metal", Hellhammer had run their course and Celtic Frost had emerged to replace them, the ground work was being laid for extreme metal of the future. There was, at this point, no distinction made between black, death and speed, all these names were interchangeable. As yet, Sweden had no place in this growing phenomenon, enter Quorthon. After reading satanic comics in his teens, listening to British "oi" punk and (although he denies it) listening to Venom, he created a primitive style of metal not unlike Venom, but not a clone of them either. More overtly Satanic than anything to come before it, more genuine than Venom ever dared to be, this album still stands out even today, as creepy and although not the heaviest or the fastest, it certainly was the darkest. All lyrics pay homage to Satan and the battles of heaven and hell; the riffs, although similar to that of Venom, were more primitive and the vocals added to the ever more extreme style pioneered by the likes of Lemmy. The production is dire, but this is no criticism of this album, poor production only serves to aid the general necro theme of the music. Extreme metal still had a lot of growing up to do after this album, but after its release there was no turning back.
on 8 October 2007
£86.96??? they actually had the cheek to add the .96p too (00) is this seller taking somthing?? bloody RIDICULOUS,anyways where to start with Bathory..a very raw & grim early album..you will realy dig Raise the Dead..EXCELENT old school Black metal.....i prefer this early raw black metal style from Bathory to the viking stuff,under the sign of the black mark is where its at..one of black metal's finest moments and bathorys classic along with blood fire death coming a close second for me.. another high point from Qourthon,but yeah AWSOME early Beginnings right here..very recomended(THE VOCALS!! CHILDREN THE VOCALS!!) Quorthon has one dam bloodcurdling EVIL voice,i wish more black metal bands used this old school Quorthon style.. bands like Bathory & Celtic Frost,Hellhammer and even early Sodom too took that motorhead/Venom raw sound and spawned somthing more sinister dark & evil,they inovated a sound that we all know and worship today called black metal,this band along with celtic frost was some of the most HIGHLY influential bands on the Norwegian black metal scene period \m/
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2006
It's difficult to rate this album because most listeners are likely to consider that the music isn't what they would describe as superb, but it can be - for the more extreme metal fan - a great listen in addition to the fact that it was particularly innovative for its period (1984) - intentional or not, this is the sound that would form the template for many bands who produced what would be described as Black Metal from this point onwards, quietly inspiring a generation of fans to become musicians, and listening to many of the second wave bands (early nineties onwards) can often result in comparisons to this very record (along with the other three that followed to a greater or less extent). The production is technically very weak (ironically, a factor itself that would often be deliberately aped later on) with musical flaws quite evident, but the songs are nicely written and there is a rawness plus energy throughout, whilst lyrics are suitably 'evil' and Satanic as you might expect glancing at the unambiguous cover. The speed is quite slow by today's standards but Quorthon himself would pick up the pace with each subsequent album and hone the songwriting to a point of great efficiency. It is also quite short at approximately half an hour in length.
All in all if you have interest in Black Metal then this album is a must-own because it all pretty much started here (the Venom sound hasn't got much to do with the nineties scene onwards), although it's nowhere near as aggressive as later material. It is because of the innovation of this record and the following five Bathory releases that deservedly cemented Quorthon and his band's place in metal history.