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Okay, so I'm not exactly the biggest BM fan, so why would I review Bathory? A friend of mine insisted that I get this album, and after putting it off for ages, I gave in and bought it. Needless to say I'm glad I bought it. This album is full of great riffs and solos, unique and effective production and powerful vocals.
There's a ton of great riffing in this albums. While a lot of the tunes go through at light speed, particularly the brutal Equimanthron and Massacre, some songs are slowed down to great effect. Enter the Eternal FIre is a massive epic full of great mid-tempo riffs, before breaking into a quite nice bit of melodic respite. It's an awesome track, probably the best track here. Very effective use of synth on that track too. 13 Candles is another mid tempo beast that is very effective and super heavy. Or course, a lot of the fast tunes are good as well, with plenty of great tremelo picked riffs coming at you. While some of the faster tunes will sound similar on the first few listens, repeated listenings will reveal plenty of differences in the tunes.
One thing that's common in Black Metal, or at least in my perception of Black Metal is the production (or lack of it). The production in this album is pretty freaking cool, I thought. The guitars are slightly reverbed, and the drums are very loud. The vocals are buried in the mix, but the high pitched screams come out really nicely. This album is a great example of how unusual production can work very well in some cases, as the screaming and the guitars sound very sinister buried in the mix. The screaming is great too.. It's pretty evil, fairly harsh, but it complements the music perfectly and it's fairly comprehensible.
I don't like super depressing black metal. But I do like Black Metal that rocks, that's full of great riffs, that is heavy and has interesting and appropriate production. Maybe you're someone who normally doesn't like this kind of music. Well, give this album a chance. Chances are you'll be headbanging along to it before too long.