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Bathory is a band turly deserving of the accolades that is bestowed upon it. The pure genius of it's creator Quorthon has gone on unrivaled since the release of their self-titled debut. Not one but TWO awesome genres, black metal and viking metal, were spawned form this single musician. 'Nordland I' is what I believe was that point in history when Bathory released their magnum opus, the single album Quorthon found his true sound. This when Bathory became more than what it was. This is the true viking metal album.
It kicks off with an epic intro, filled with awesome keyboards and a teaser to Quorthon's new and improved voice. He sings with an incredible level of clarity, worthy of an award presented by Odin himself. He truly has come a long way since that debut album, and this is a perfect example. The album breaks into the title track, a song I've never been able to keep away from. This track is an excellent buffet of epic-sounding riffs, a spirit-lifting atmosphere, and that BEAUTIFUL voice! Even better, the entire album is like this. But it doesn't sound all the same. It keeps you on your toes, which helps keep the album refreshing and interesting. And the riffs! Oh my god, I cannot remember the last time I heard guitar parts as excellently crafted and written as these. The atmosphere is amazing on this album, and when I say spirit-lifting, I meant it. Upon listening to this album, I felt like I could dominate the entire world, with only Thor's hammer to guide me. The tracks all have this uplifting spirit to them, and it's just mind-blowing.
The sound of all the instruments makes this album essential to be played at high volumes, especially with headphones. The guitar tones are heavy and full, unlike previous Bathory releases, where the tone is trebly and one-dimensional. The drums are precise and keep the pace going beautifully while having a awesome, galloping feel to them. While keyboards aren't something Bathory is known for, but they shine like you wouldn't believe on this release. With what sounds like a full on chorus in the background, and thundering bass drums in the background, this is album is Quorthon's most musically ambitous, and it's hard to deny it.
I don't think anybody really saw this coming, despite his previous viking metal releases, but I do think Quorthon eventually had some kind of idea in his mind for this. His musical genius would've taken him to such greater heights if he hadn't of passed away. As a deep admirer of him and his body of work both with Bathory and solo, I dedicate this review in his memory. R.I.P. Qurothon. This was truly your greatest accomplishment.