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What more can be said that hasn't been already? - 95%

Snxke, June 8th, 2004

This record is a classic. This record exists on the shelf next to such pounding metal classics such as De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Burzum, Black Sabbath, and Killers as one of the records that shattered a mold and created a new feel in a stagnant genre.

Folks...gone but not forgotten...Bathory endure.

"Under the Sign of the Black Mark" is an undertaking of low-fi hammer-on metal that defies it's muddy production values to create a misted blood-storm of metal that few have been able to touch. Far ahead of it's time "Under the Sign..." growls, snarls and cuts it's way through increasingly intelligent lyrical topics and increasingly musical compositions that do not lose the bleak violence of the first two releases.

The hammering "Woman of Dark Desires" (always a fave of mine) and the epic "To Enter the Eternal Fire" set a standard for raw black metal that few bands have managed to dance near. The dark emotions bleed through the stark production to build a haze of despair, anger and violence that few bands could match. As a songwriter, Qouthorn updates the influential nature of his first two records on this, and gives them a compositional boost that made Bathory not only extreme, but showed their musical talents as well.

I can add little more to the legend of "Under the Sign...", it is a superior release from one of the forefathers of a movement that I have been a part of for many years. Quothorn, despite his recent loss has left with with some incredible music...if I had to pick a favorite it would be this release, as it brought black metal to a new level, allowed musicians to write with both melody and violence, and set the stage for many other bands to come.

This record the perfect third culmination of satanic black metal from Bathory...this record has inspired thousands and will continue to inspire thousands.

Bathory are legends...