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Epic! - 80%

CryOfMankind, March 18th, 2004

Bathory is a band that has gone through many changes since its creation in 1983. The bands early album helped give birth to "Black Metal" and in 1988 Bathory released "Blood, Fire, Death" which created a new sub-genre in metal "Viking Metal" During the 90's the band went into a completly different direction, playing speed/thrash metal but 2001 saw a return to the Viking metal with "Destroyer of Worlds” “Nordland I” was released in 2003 and finally “Nordland II” came out in 2003.
Nordland II is a very epic album featuring lyrics describing Viking battles and nature. Overall it is a very good album with many great guitar riffs and leads, beautiful keyboard/ synth work and great vocals, all done by Quorthon. The album begins with “Fanfare” which is an all synth song that drags on for three and a half minutes, only about one maybe two minutes of this song is needed. The next song is “Blooded Shore” which opens with some very epic choir-esque singing, this song features excellent riffs and singing a great first song. “Sea Wolf” and Vinland” both sound pretty similar to me, but both are good nontheless. Next is my personal favourite “The Land”, this is the pinnacle of the album, during its six minutes it never slows down or gets boring. “Death And Resurrection Of A Northern Son” is one of the albums few let downs, while the chorus of the song is good the rest is not, Qourthon does a bad job singing on this one and it lasts for eight minutes which is far too long. “The Messenger” is another song that lasts too long at 10 minutes, aside from that it has a great guitar lead which is accompanied by the sound of running horses, a very epic song. The albums last two songs “Flash of the Silver Hammer” and “The Wheel of Sun” are much slower and heavier than anything else on the album. both do feature good guitar riffs though. The album closes with an unusually short song simply titles “Instrumental” and is nothing but a short sound.
Nordland II is a great Epic album and I would recommend it to anyone how is into Viking/Folk music. The best songs on this album are “Blooded Shores” “The Land” and the Messenger”