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1996. Quorthon finally decides to release this masterpiece after it's been dusting since 1989. This is as good as Hammerheart. True magic viking atmosphere flows through this album, and Quorthon does his best clean vocal performance up to date. Oftentimes, this album reminds me of Manowar, though it is a lot better than anything I've ever heard by them. Quorthon's got the epic-feeling, sword-wielding aspects of the music and lyrics down pat.
Blood On Ice is yet another strong Viking record from the man who loved to bring back the horned helmets and mead horns every time he failed to bring a new style to the Bathory catalog with any success. Thankfully, this is a rather good release that is claimed to have been fixed up from the vaults with many new parts added on and old mixed repaired. The songs also continues in the vein of Hammerheart and Twilight Of The Gods.
For the most part, this disc contains awesome mid-paced metal with epic choruses. There's also a fair amount of acoustic guitar on this album, which I am a big fan of. Many songs also contain some special effects of some sort, such as horses galloping, water flowing, etc. The album also has a couple of cool solos courtesy of Quorthon, a great guitar work here. The story is also interesting: a young boy who sees his village destroyed by nasty men, and grows up in the forests and gets together all the gear he needs to teach those bastards a right royal lesson. A truly epic story with a truly epic sound and feel to it.
The music itself is quite interesting. Naturally beginning with a short introduction to set the mood, the epic-feeling title track kicks off with a catchy riff. It's very dark and is a perfect way to open this album with. The same riff and basically the same song will re-occur as the last track on this disc, except with a different arrangement, but also cool at the same time. The album then takes its only downhill with "One Eyed Old Man" after a short acoustic song. It's a little strange, but after that the album just gets better and better with superb songs like "The Stallion", "Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain" and one of the best viking-metal songs ever done: "The Lake".
It has great liner notes, containing the full conceptual story and all of the lyrics. There's also some elaborate art on the cover art, which is cool. This album is very underrated, it matches with Hammerheart for sure. If you checked Hammerheart out and liked it, then you must check this album out, it's totally awesome.