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Not essential, but worth a listen - 80%

TheStormIRide, January 31st, 2006

Bathory's Requiem is almost a reverse swansong of sorts. Many fans were split into two when Bathory started meddling in Viking / Folkish anthems rather than blackened metal of the earlier albums. So Quorthon went and wrote a thrashing album with the Christian-bashing back intact. I believe this album, when placed beside its previous effort, is even more heavy. This album takes Bathory to a place where God-bashing, primal riffs, and substandard drumming work well.

This album is not Bathory's musical climax, nor is the heaviest work; but it still does what it set out to do... quell the naysayers! The riffs are very heavy, almost an 80's German thrash feel (such as Kreator or Destruction). The drums, like I said before, are very substandard, but they keep the time, and they actually work well within this album. The lack of frills within the drumming helps the listener focus on the thrashing riffs and the lyrical concepts of this album. The vocals are very raw, almost like a grating shout: a mix between the black metal rasp of old and the German thrashers hoarse shouts of the late 80's.

The production is actually quite good for the style. Despite what others may say, I believe that the instrument levels and muddy quality lend an amazing chaotic air to the album. By having the guitars and vocals high in the mix, the focus is on the lyrics and guitar riffs. The drums are good enough to be heard, and the bass can be heard most of the time chugging along. The muddy quality of this recording makes this album sound more primal than thrash albums though. There is a very energetic feeling about this album, and a sense of urgency that Quorthon uses to his advantage.

Overall, this album is best viewed as a way to qualm naysayers about Bathory's heaviness. Is should also be viewed as a stepping stone in one metal's most amazing careers. Once again, this is not Quorthon's best musical work, but the lyrical content, the riffs, and the basic structures are impressive. This is recommended to fans of thrash looking to get into Bathory, as well as Bathory fans and completists. This is not an essential album, but a fun listen none-the-less.