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Well folks, it started here; partially. I won't even bother discussing the reputation of this album, as I'm only here to discuss the music in its content.
Clearly, this was recorded in one of the smallest studios on the face of the earth. The shredding, trebly guitars sound like they're being played through age-old practice amps, bass is distant, and the drumming is some of the most straight-forward, simple drumming you'll ever hear. (You won't hear a single hi-hat; only the bass drum, snare, and ride cymbal are used. How's that for "kvlt," fuckers?!) This LP's production is dirty, grimy, lo-fi, and raw; just like the production of nearly all black metal albums to follow suit. Quorthon sounds like an evil Lemmy here, and you won't find a trace of clean vocals. Bathory are one of the only bands, partially due to the time of its release, to channel pure juvenile aggression into a type of music that truly comes off as evil when it's done right.
Quorthon's songwriting chops definitely weren't at the "Twilight of the Gods" level, which I'm grateful for in irony. (Can you imagine a 10-minute "Armageddon"? Fucking crazy.) You'll only find a total of about 3 or 4 riffs each song; thank God that they're good ones. The riffs here are highly reminiscent of Motorhead, but with a pushed degree of speed and aggression. Solos are composed mainly of tremolo picking and tapping, but it works perfectly within the bold, evil context of the music. All of the songs follow a rigid structure of: intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus, end. There's some variation here and there, but you won't find a song here that comes anywhere close to 4 minutes. Bathory's blitzkrieg attack is in, out, and leaves a trail of destruction so vast that it helped forge a genre.
And of course, the lyrics. With classic song titles like "In Conspiracy of Satan" and "Necromansy," how the hell can you go wrong? The lines of the chorus in every song will pretty much force you to raise the horns and shout along, especially on the ripping opener "Hades" and "Sacrifice." (Admit it. You sing along to it just like I do, you bastard.) By no means are the lyrics intelligent, poetic, or mature; but with music so raw, primitive, and dirty, that's not what you should expect.
Pure classic. That's all that needs to be said. Get out the bullet belts, beer, and have a good old time with true classic underground metal.