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Quorthon always wanted the best for the fans and when many of them wrote him because they wanted rawer black/thrash in the debut style, he tried to do it. The epic metal was, at the time, the best that was coming from Quorthon’s mind and I think he forgot how to do black, raw metal in a proper way. He was fixed on another genre and I believe it was a quite drastic and violent change. However, I find this album quite bad, like many here say. Yes, the peaks of the first three albums cannot be reached in this genre and this is just a quite weak sample of the old years gone.
Already with its predecessor, Requiem, the things were changing with a return to a more violent and brutal approach and now the things were exasperated. This is a blasting attack under the sign of the most raw and primitive sound; a quite immature and unpolished mixture of old school genres and, already from the opener, we can taste the essence of this album. The first thing you can notice is the ultra plastic/metallic production that gives the drums a fucking sharp and hammering sound. The guitars are the thing I like the most here because the distortion is fucking low and massive.
The structures are really simple and the drums almost cover everything in volumes. The vocals by Quorthon are far more childish than in the past. Forget completely the black metal screams because they are thrash metal in timbre with lots of influences from hardcore too! It’s so strange hear this stuff from him…”Born To Die” is even groove! The violence is, in this song, far less present and the tempo is slow. Damn, this song is quite terrible. The way he plays the guitars is very simple: the open chords riffs are the main technique and he borrowed lots of styles from Hellhammer band. The palm muting riffs are not so present.
Forget the goodness in a song like “Psychopath” because there are strange effects too and the whole track is just annoying. The vocals are simple, childish and almost intolerable. In “Sociopath” we return to speed and it’s a bit better but it’s like in the following “Grey”: he simple couldn’t play this genre; he wasn’t able, no more. There are even wa-wa solos and they sound incredibly strange for Bathory. Also the vocals patterns take lots of speed and timbres from hardcore/thrash metal and I’m a bit stranded. “Century” is mid-paced with more groove (it’s incredibly boring…) while “33 Something” shows ultra fast bass drum triplets and up tempo on the snare to return to dementia death/thrash.
“War Supply” and “Schizianity” are two boring, weak and totally senseless tracks. Quorthon seems completely drunk at the vocals and the slow progression is utter shit. “Judgement of Posterity” features a bit better riffs and some good structures but it’s not enough. This song once again slowly sinks into the limb of mediocrity also because it’s too long to contain three riffs and few ideas. It’s better to fly over the Kiss cover… I really don’t know what to say. Two or three riffs are not that bad but the rest is to throw away. Ok, you wanted to please the fans, but fuck. I’m sorry Quorthon, you just couldn’t play this genre anymore.