Bathory / METAL

Under the Sign of the Black Mark-BATHORY-1987

Under the Sign of the Black Mark was the last album to feature primitive, raw black metal before Bathory went for the much better epic-viking metal songs on Blood Fire Death. So the question is do you really relish bad production, unsteady tempos, trebly thin guitars and harsh screams? Sure, this album lays down the blueprint for the primitive form of black metal followed by the Norwegians for the better part of the 90’s (Darkthrone’s “Transvilian Hunger”, Immortal’s “Pure Holocaust”, Emperor’s “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” being some examples) and it ain’t half a hoot but if you ask me, he was much better at Viking Metal. Songs like “Equimanthorn” belong in the trash bin of honored but irrelevant history if you ask me. However, here I started noticing that the lead guitar parts are much better than the ones on the debut and its sophomore effort. Also, Quorthon started understanding that a change of tempos once in a while is necessary to vary the monotonous raging hyperblasts and tremolo riffs. This results in some songs that are worth hearing which upgrades the status of this release from “Historical but irrelevant, therefore ignore”, to “Recommended with reservations to all heavy music fans, especially recommended to raw black metal fans”. If you are not a heavy music fan, then stick with your Justin Bieber and Kesha bullshit, assholes!!

Recommended Songs – Call of the Grave (spooky in a humorous manner), Enter the Eternal Fire(the centerpiece of the album, an epic song which you cannot ignore.Period.)

Baba T



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