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Defending the Status Quorthon - 35%

Felix 1666, September 16th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2001, CD, Black Mark Production

"Destroyer of Worlds" was the last regular Bathory album that I bought. Quorthon (R.I.P.) had tortured his audience with a sadistic consequence for more than a decade. From my blackened thrash metal point of view, already "Hammerheart" and "Twilight of the Gods" had been rather boring, but the true milestones of horror were known by other names. "Requiem" and "Octagon", both as charming as an anal enema, had ruined the once fantastic reputation of Quorthon in an unforeseen manner. But lo and behold, "Destroyer of Worlds" starts in a surprisingly strong manner. "Lake of Fire" conveys an intensive atmosphere of desperation and sadness while scoring with an authentic heaviness and the haunting chorus. The song builds a bridge to Quorthon's Viking era and I want to go even a step further. In my humble opinion, this sluggish colossus is the best Viking track of Bathory. The following title track appears as a thunder which rumbles in the distance. Sinister background choirs coalesce with simple melody lines and the overall result is anything else but mediocre. Two good songs in a row? Is this really an album of the late Quorthon?

However, a rude awakening follows. The longer the album progresses, the more Quorthon seems to be confused. He wanders cheerfully through great musical valleys of creative nothingness without realizing that he gets lost in the most barren landscapes. We who have no other option than to follow his crude route are irritated. "Pestilence": gruesome, dissonant barking meets incredibly meaningless guitars. "Bleeding": don't know what to say. Whenever I want to listen to these seven minutes, I fall asleep after the first 90 seconds. I just can confirm that these 90 seconds deliver slow-moving, tedious and uninspired sounds. "109": a mixture of an industrialized beginning with extremely simple-minded guitars and a fast-paced second part with average lines. Well, it's time to stop this list of terror. It does not make sense to go into any more detail. The album just passes by, intelligent song titles ("Kill, Kill, Kill") alternate with absolutely pointless solos or primitive leads. My last hope was that "Liberty and Justice" could be a cover of Agnostic Front. To translate a German proverb: "hope is the last to die". But it dies.

Do I need to provide you with information concerning the production? The more or less thrashing songs sound noisy, the dark atmosphere of the first two songs fades away quickly and leaves nothing but a bloodless, synthetic and emotionless appearance. Aggravating this situation, the clean vocals of "Sudden Death" indicate a serious illness of the artist and the strange keyboard effects support this impression. Tragically, exactly this song could had been another little highlight due to its actually decent riffs and its smooth flow. But I must admit that terms such as "highlights" are absolutely inappropriate in the context of "Destroyer of Worlds". Anyway, the final challenge is to endure the last two songs with a playtime of 17 minutes in total. Marathon of cruelty! "White Bones" sucks, inter alia because of its blousy part. "Day of Wrath" sucks as well, although it does not insult the listener with another blues sequence. The prototypical Viking song fails to deliver opulence or grandeur; absolute lameness is the name of the game. Forget it! Despite its good start, "Destroyer of Worlds" defended the pretty miserable status quo of Quorthon, no more, no less. I will probably never listen to the Nordland albums.