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I fondly remember the time one of my first ever music trading contacts (in my tape trading days in the late 80s-early 90s) sent me a vinyl copy of this album, the first Bathory I'd ever heard. It blew me through the wall with its savage intensity from first note to last, and it still occupies a proud position in my vinyl collection these days.
This most definitely is one of the most important and influential Black Metal releases in the history of metal, and all the hallmarks that have become part of the modern BM movement are there; the blazing fast tempos, the cavernous, "necro" production values (funny how something that was born of necessity on Quorthon's part--lack of studio time and money--has become something that most "true" black metal bands slavishly copy!), the not so good yet compelling musicianship...it's all there. And his amusingly mangled English language lyrics are always a fun read, too. That guitar sound is one of the most abrasive and attention-getting I've ever heard as well.
To this day, I have a hard time picking my fave tracks on this album because it's all so damn good! But I would pick "Equimanthorn" above all for the maniacal buzzsaw guitar frenzy that it builds to after a minimalist guitar intro, and crazed ending solo, not to mention the big, noisy, crashing ending--gotta love it!!! "Enter The Eternal Fire" is another favorite of mine, and I always found it ironic how the lyrics actually ended with the protagonist crying out to God to save him from the damnation he thought he'd craved until then--a nice nod to the old Black Sabbath records. Everything else, well, it's there, it's brilliant, and that's all you need to know! If you don't have this all time classic, then what's wrong with you??? Get it and see where the second wave of Scandi black metal as well as all the US black metal weenies in this day and age got it all from whether they know (or admit) it or not. And I do mean all (tho we can't deny Venom either while we're at it)!