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Too damn much filler! (Not really) - 91%

Thunderwarrior91, December 30th, 2017

It is very well documented in metal that when a frontman changes his horizons, hordes of fans become disgusted with those changes; although there are numerous enthusiasts who venture to give a chance to something new. There are bands that do this type of experimentation and then they were able to pick everything up and pull through after. Others bands did experience it twice and had survived the first time, but not the next time (you say Octagon?). Five years after releasing the magnificent Blood On Ice, Quorthon, striving to please his fans, did offer us a diverse material, ranging from viking metal to retro thrash stuff. The Swede was one of those who did burn their bridges at cost of giving us hymns of rebellion. The production itself is neither good nor bad this time. It's just Bathory sounding like Bathory.

Beginning with a great opener, it is a crushing and strident one that shows us the infallible identity of Bathory, and worthy to fit on a disc like Twilight of the Gods. Throughout the album, you can see Quorthon's vocals ability which is combined with a mixture of aggressiveness with a bluesy interlude that shows Quorthon's willingness to try new ways without damaging the project's armor. Without sounding like a transgression or a forced turn, this unique moment is an example of evolution that can be appreciated, especially considering that Bathory had to venture beyond its dominions in its last years. Yes, despite how good Nordland I & II were. Also, there are elements which coexist throughout the album, as the death 'n' roll song Krom, the death/groove impulsivity of Death From Above and the fun groove track Sudden Death. All these songs work fine in terms of riffs and solos. The 8+ minutes tracks are two sides of the same coin -like the first three songs- that bear witness to Bathory style, not necessarily in look for a communion point, but in taking advantage to the contrast in intensity transitions. This album, in addition to being pleasant in terms of the sound experience, is a concrete qualitative reference when it comes to imagining the versatile potential of Bathory's music.

I don’t recommend this to starters; this should rather be the last thing you should hear from this band. For some people, Quorthon was wrong for the third and last time. For others, this is simply a misunderstood work. Quorthon's insolence and daring to explore different sounds is more than remarkable. As if we talk about colors, surely this album would be a rainbow in terms of genre. This release can be seen as another enemy and is unquestionably forgotten in its chapter's history. And who knows, if not for Lake of Fire, we probably wouldn’t have other great experimental classics. It’s a striking album that shows Quorthon's versatility when we talk about writing songs in order to please his different fans. I even noticed that the weakest songs here were an improved version of what he had done in Requiem, and to a lesser extent, Octagon. The disc as a whole may be confusing and ambiguous, but you'll get used to it if you follow my tip of what to do with certain fillers, in the next paragraph.

Destroyer of Worlds was a good response to the long wait for a new Bathory album, as well as a return to form, but in a viking/death/groove metal format. Perhaps for some people, this will not be a fundamental piece of the band's discography, but the solidity of this work is undeniable on the compositional level. The brutal and sometimes melodic sections mix in a way that doesn’t lose the band's essence, so this work should be liked by those who followed them before, as well for those who know less about (maybe). After listening to the album a lot of times, I consider that the most disposable songs are 109, Kill Kill Kill and Bleeding. I did get the digital version of this record, and then I created my own tracklist based on 10 songs and 55 minutes. The album as a whole improves considerably and it is most certainly better than Octagon and Requiem.

The Valiant Pioneer Who Lost His Way For a Bit - 59%

bayern, November 20th, 2017

It was panful to see Quorthon (R.I.P.) of all metal artists wandering aimlessly through the 90’s and beyond, looking to hook himself to whichever metal current seemed like the big deal… The man who had laid the foundations for two wholesome genres within the metal field was roaming around in a hypnotized somnambul-like state, grabbing at anything that was floating nearby, trying some bashing old school thrash (“Requiem”) first to a mildly amusing effect, before flopping deplorably with the appaling, too-awful-to-be-described “Octagon”. The project he was running parallel to the Bathory career under his pseudonym wasn’t much to talk about, a vehicle for the man’s infatuations outside the extreme metal roster, but at least this stunt wasn’t an embarrassment…

Then things went back to normal with “Blood on Ice”, and it became only too clear that this was the sound that suited the man the most… then why the album reviewed here? Instead of destroying all competition at the dawn of the new millennium with another ode to the Viking Gods, our Swedish friend decided to mix it up by making allusions to all possible styles he had gotten involved with until that point, and not only, the resultant mish-mash an awkward and not a consistently enjoyable fare.

“Lake of Fire”, while being an imposing epic opener, is totally misleading as this isn’t going to be a faithful sequel to the preceding opus although the title-track still keeps the Viking doomy tension up with its officiant battle-rousing rhythms, not to mention “Ode”, a supreme elegiac doomster that must have been left out of “Twilight of the Gods”, also featuring one of the man’s finest vocal showings. If the rest of the album had followed this pattern, we would have had a minor masterpiece; alas, comes “Bleeding”, and this effort starts “bleeding” with some sloppily assembled thrash Quorthon, immediately after his notable performance behind the mike, following with horrible improvised raven-like croaks. The music starts making more sense later, but nothing above the mediocre output of hundreds of underground thrash practitioners from the 80’s.

Back to the epic doomy odes with “Pestilence” the listener still trying to adjust to this fairly uneven combination, and “109” may help him/her in this train of thought with its fast thrashing, headbanging riffage. Again nothing that wouldn’t be forgotten almost immediately to which “Death from Above” adds more with its misguided quasi-thrashy configurations which scarily remind of the disastrous “Octagon”. “Krom” is a short rock-ish non-sense again looking at the octagonal recording (remember the Kiss cover of “Deuce” on it), and from this moment onward the fans will start departing, also seriously pulled back by the groovy alternative charade that is “Liberty & Justice”. “Kill Kill Kill” is noisy industrial that would have sat well on Ministry’s “Psalm 69”, but here it simply doesn’t pair well with anything in the vicinity, least of all with “Sudden Death”, another pointless rockabilia nodding towards the Seattle wave (Alice in Chains, Soundgarden). “White Bones” is a confusing saga as it doesn’t become clear during its 8.5-min what exactly Quorthon wants to achieve with it; is it epic, is it progressive, is it doom, is it romantic lyricism (check the sprawling balladic epitaph), is it even some form of more ponderous thrash… it can pass for all of those, sounding like a very pale copy of the similarly-styled numbers from the gargantuan “Blood, Fire, Death”. No second guessing on “Day of Wrath”, though, Quorthon wrapping on this amalgam the way he started it, with academic epic doom that will keep the fans nodding in uncertain approval for over 8-min.

Throwing everything available into the “furnace” has never worked, and it didn’t work for Quorthon either. The valiant pioneer from the 80’s was lost, condemned to a brief creative purgatory, conveniently started at the beginning of a new millennium when there were clear signs that the old school was going to come back to the front. Not the worst situation to find oneself in, but it was expected a lot more from the father of two genres as his enthusiasm about the restoration of the retro metal canons wasn’t very big at this particular stage. At least half the time is wasted in absolutely pointless references to the past decade having in mind that Quorthon has never fully belonged there, the thrashy outbursts having no nostalgic value whatsoever provided that there already were full-fledged tributes to the genre released. It’s only the epic Viking hymns that may capture the attention, but again with so much ballast thrown around the fan may have second, even third and why not fourth or fifth, thoughts before he/she sets his/her mind on wading through this very diverse, and not in such a good way for a large portion of the time, opus.

An identity crisis of some sorts? No, I don’t think so; not in this case. A careless nonchalant attitude towards the scene largely caused by the man’s sudden interest in music outside the extreme metal arena… Possible. Many would have packed up and left ages ago with such a voluminous contribution to the metal industry, bathing in underground glory by doing at the same time meaningless 9-5 jobs. No, not our hero; he wasn’t destined to lead an ordinary life. And he had to rise; again, but not with dubious, overblown musical mixtures of the dishevelled “anything goes” type, but by embracing his cultural heritage, and by sticking with it all the way to…

Two colossal odes to his homeland and ancestors was more than the fan could ask for. Quorthon delivered as his last contribution to the world he helped shape with so much vision, dedication, and manic devotion. He played The Wanderer for a bit, but it’s easy to act as such when you know that you would invariably appear, sooner or later, as The Victor on the other end.

A Desperate Comeback - 68%

Iron Wizard, June 14th, 2017

As far as Viking material goes, it seemed that Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods had drained Quorthon of creative energy. Thus, he released two good blackened thrash albums, and also put out the excellent Blood on Ice, which consisted of old material, some harvested straight from the demo tape and some re-recorded. Destroyer of Worlds marks Quorthon's attempt at releasing a triumphant return to the Nordic sound.

Destroyer of Worlds is introduced with "Lake of Fire". The song begins with a very simple and obvious acoustic intro, then it becomes a slow, plodding doom march that edges on going somewhere, but in the end goes nowhere. A few sections reminisce slightly on his earlier music, but for the most part, this song just seems desperate. The title track is next, and it's grooving riffs and fucking awesome lyrics render it to being a fairly good song. Unfortunately, after the next track, the album begins to fall apart into something caught in the rift between black metal and groove metal.

Most of the riffs on Destroyer of Worlds are actually very heavy and energizing, and they are almost reminiscent of groove metal bands like Pantera or Lamb of God. This catchy style is not bad at all, but it creates some inconsistency against the more epic stuff found on the album. Some of these tracks, especially "Death from Above", "Kill Kill Kill", and "Krom" are quite fun to listen to. The lyrics on Destroyer of Worlds mostly deal with the problems that plague society, mainly war and nuclear weapons. His writing style has seemingly returned to the realm of maturity after his stint with writing lines such as "Eat my shit, suck my dick". He employs some excellent descriptive imagery, especially on the title track. Quorthon's vocal delivery isn't very good here. His voice itself is standard fare when it comes to his clean singing, however the production masks it. He still uses some screams as well. These are not, however, his horrifying black metal screams, they are more in the vein of the flat raspy shouts he did during his thrash era, with some distortion added for effect.

One of the biggest problems with Destroyer of Worlds is its length. It is in fact Bathory's longest album, and is over an hour long, which would be okay if this were an hour or masterful black metal or Viking metal, but no, the majority of this album is occupied by groove/death type stuff. Many of these songs work well on their own, but in the context of an hour long album, they become boring and monotonous.

Destroyer of the Worlds is not the kind of album you listen to in its entirety. It's more something to buy digitally and pick out whatever song you want to listen to at the time. Honestly, there isn't a bad song on this album, save for "Lake of Fire", it's just that the album isn't cohesive enough to listen to in full.

Defending the Status Quorthon - 35%

Felix 1666, September 16th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2001, CD, Black Mark Production

"Destroyer of Worlds" was the last regular Bathory album that I bought. Quorthon (R.I.P.) had tortured his audience with a sadistic consequence for more than a decade. From my blackened thrash metal point of view, already "Hammerheart" and "Twilight of the Gods" had been rather boring, but the true milestones of horror were known by other names. "Requiem" and "Octagon", both as charming as an anal enema, had ruined the once fantastic reputation of Quorthon in an unforeseen manner. But lo and behold, "Destroyer of Worlds" starts in a surprisingly strong manner. "Lake of Fire" conveys an intensive atmosphere of desperation and sadness while scoring with an authentic heaviness and the haunting chorus. The song builds a bridge to Quorthon's Viking era and I want to go even a step further. In my humble opinion, this sluggish colossus is the best Viking track of Bathory. The following title track appears as a thunder which rumbles in the distance. Sinister background choirs coalesce with simple melody lines and the overall result is anything else but mediocre. Two good songs in a row? Is this really an album of the late Quorthon?

However, a rude awakening follows. The longer the album progresses, the more Quorthon seems to be confused. He wanders cheerfully through great musical valleys of creative nothingness without realizing that he gets lost in the most barren landscapes. We who have no other option than to follow his crude route are irritated. "Pestilence": gruesome, dissonant barking meets incredibly meaningless guitars. "Bleeding": don't know what to say. Whenever I want to listen to these seven minutes, I fall asleep after the first 90 seconds. I just can confirm that these 90 seconds deliver slow-moving, tedious and uninspired sounds. "109": a mixture of an industrialized beginning with extremely simple-minded guitars and a fast-paced second part with average lines. Well, it's time to stop this list of terror. It does not make sense to go into any more detail. The album just passes by, intelligent song titles ("Kill, Kill, Kill") alternate with absolutely pointless solos or primitive leads. My last hope was that "Liberty and Justice" could be a cover of Agnostic Front. To translate a German proverb: "hope is the last to die". But it dies.

Do I need to provide you with information concerning the production? The more or less thrashing songs sound noisy, the dark atmosphere of the first two songs fades away quickly and leaves nothing but a bloodless, synthetic and emotionless appearance. Aggravating this situation, the clean vocals of "Sudden Death" indicate a serious illness of the artist and the strange keyboard effects support this impression. Tragically, exactly this song could had been another little highlight due to its actually decent riffs and its smooth flow. But I must admit that terms such as "highlights" are absolutely inappropriate in the context of "Destroyer of Worlds". Anyway, the final challenge is to endure the last two songs with a playtime of 17 minutes in total. Marathon of cruelty! "White Bones" sucks, inter alia because of its blousy part. "Day of Wrath" sucks as well, although it does not insult the listener with another blues sequence. The prototypical Viking song fails to deliver opulence or grandeur; absolute lameness is the name of the game. Forget it! Despite its good start, "Destroyer of Worlds" defended the pretty miserable status quo of Quorthon, no more, no less. I will probably never listen to the Nordland albums.

Destroyer of Worlds - 30%

Noctir, October 9th, 2012

The story of Bathory is one with many twists and turns. From the early period, inspired by hardcore punk and the likes of Motörhead and Venom, on through the more epic Viking-era and then to the strange midlife crisis that characterized the band's mid-'90s output, Quorthon created a musical legacy like no other. And so, six years after the last Bathory full-length, the band released its tenth L.P. Titled Destroyer of Worlds, this record had a lot to live up to. According to interviews, the original material was a bit progressive and ended up being totally scrapped as, once word that a new Bathory album was spread, Quorthon received a lot of fan mail that indicated that what the fans wanted was a return to earlier styles. As the story goes, the band hastily wrote new songs, based on this feedback, and this is what was released to the world in October 2001. Unfortunately, if this is true, it would mean that the only fans that cared enough to write were those with bad taste, as the end result is completely disappointing.

The record begins on somewhat of a positive note, with three tracks that hearken back to the Nordic style that was featured on classic albums such as Hammerheart and even Blood On Ice. “Lake of Fire”, “Destroyer of Worlds” and “Ode” are mid-paced songs that possess an epic feeling that would surely be pleasing to fans of the band's Viking-era. Everything is there, from the acoustic bits to the choir vocals to the memorable guitar melodies. The first and third songs would not have been out of place on Twilight of the Gods, for example. The title track fits in, somewhat, but is the weak link of these three, being a bit repetitive and less-inspired. “Ode” has the most feeling behind it, with Quorthon's vocals really conveying a sombre mood not heard since “Fade Away”, from his second solo effort. Had Destroyer of Worlds been an E.P. That featured only these songs, then it would have been a much more successful endeavour. However, these tracks are followed up by material that is not worthy of the Bathory name.

It is difficult to comprehend the mentality behind the rest of the songs. The music does not encapsulate the band's entire career, as it merely touches upon the Viking sound and then meanders through a miserable hell of garbage that is reminiscent of Octagon. It is a mixture of bad thrash with a lot of unbearable groove nonsense. There are occasional moments where Quorthon obviously tried tying things together with a choir or acoustic part, here or there, but it does nothing to salvage this filth. The thing that makes this so depressing is that he has always been such a talented musician and songwriter, yet sometimes churns out ridiculous trash for his own amusement, possibly. As a longtime Bathory fan, it is truly disturbing to even attempt to listen to the rest of this and it is strongly recommended that no one does so, unless you wish to punish yourself. The production is rather shoddy, but not so terrible. It is not bad in the same sense as the early albums, where it actually adds some rawness to the atmosphere. It just sounds muffled and flat, throughout the majority of the recording. It tends to hold back the few good songs, just slightly, while making the rest all the more atrocious.

If you consider yourself to be a die-hard Bathory fan, find some way to acquire “Lake of Fire” and “Ode”, and then forget that the rest even exist. You will forever regret it, if you decide to let curiosity get the better of you and try exploring the rest of the album. It is one of the most bloody awful things to happen within the realm of metal and truly sickens and offends me as a loyal member of the Bathory Hordes. Avoid this like the plague, or like a hooker with oozing sores around her mouth. Destroyer of Worlds is a despicable blemish on Bathory's legacy and may have been the final nail in the coffin, if not for the brilliant Nordland releases. If this represents what the fans wanted, then all those that wrote letters should be tracked down and massacred.

Written for

A bold title for such generally boring fare - 53%

autothrall, January 26th, 2012

Destroyer of Worlds is an aural exhibition of an important, almost constantly evolving artist who had at long last firmly settled into a particular style, or rather two particular styles, and thus it bears some striking similarities to both the past Bathory canons of the glorious Hammerheart, Twilight of the Gods and Blood On Ice Viking heavy metal trilogy, and the sodden and boring thrash that Quorthon thought for some reason he'd dial in during the mid 90s. The roots of both are set in the grimier blackness of Quorthon's youth, but now structurally manifest through either an emphasis on soaring male choirs, lead guitars reminiscent of the slower Manowar fare, and simplistic riffs that do not exactly inspire outside of their presentation as an atmospheric component; or in lame duck, barreling thrash rhythms that seem effectively pedestrian in intent and impact.

The problems I ran into with this album stem largely from its clear division of content. If one were to glance back at the discography, nothing here is necessarily new or out of place, but there is a crippling inconsistency to how the album flows as a whole. Sorrowful, plodding sequences like "Ode" or "Destroyer of Worlds" provide nostalgia for Hammerheart or Twilight of the Gods, but then you've got the clear delineation between that and a piece like "Death from Above", which while not as miserable as, say, Octagon, is at best fueled by mediocrity, cliche and a guitar riff that some random groove/thrash bar band in 1994 might have thrown together at a moment's notice. To Quorthon's credit, he at least tries to create a bridge between these two forces, this ying and yang: you'll hear some atmosphere, distant synths and such in a few of the thrash bits, but then you've got others like "Liberty and Justice" or the pure groove shite "Sudden Death" which amount to nothing more than massive crap stains over any potential the album might have woven.

Destroyer of Worlds is in dire need of a clipping, so swelled is it with middling content, so teemed with tripe. Not only the 6-7 shoddy bludgeoning thrashers (which, in addition to those mentioned include "109", "Pestilence", and the darker and mildly less annoying "Krom"); but also a few of the more spacious, drawn out pieces. For example, the 8+ minute closers "White Bones" and "Day of Wrath" seem rather dull and bloated: the former impregnated with some pedantic groove metal rhythms in the bridge, the latter for its almost Pink Floyd like progression and inane self-referential lyrics in the third verse. You know you're really running out of ideas when this happens, and this is yet another flaw with Destroyer. It retreads numerous prior trends in Quorthon's composition, but it offers no superior or even interesting slant on any of them...

I'm not willing to entirely throw this album under the bus. It's more of a weak and confused effort than one actively terrible, but at its best, even songs like "Ode", "Lake of Fire" and the title track are underwhelming, average shadows of past glories. The album never feels as if it's transitional, whereas just about every important step of the past felt exciting and revolutionary. Many other bands had by this point taken up the Norse mythos crown conceptually (Enslaved, Amon Amarth etc), so it makes sense that Quorthon was no longer exclusively focused there lyrically, but despite the broader prose, the music itself is not reflective of such expansion. The production values are fairly level throughout, the boxy and dense guitar tone and vocals being consistent even when he's shifting ranges, but as an album it feels both redundant and conflicted, indecisive about the next steps and thus suckling at the teat of prior missteps and majesties.


A destroyer caught between two worlds. - 77%

hells_unicorn, January 25th, 2012

One has to wonder if there is an actual cap on how many times a band can reinvent itself, or an individual musician for that matter. But apparently for Quorthon, this limit would be imposed on him by a short life rather than any shortcoming in his imagination, as he was all over the map between his various incarnations of Bathory and his solo project from 1989 to his untimely end in 2004. Within the context of a stylistic shift, his return to the studio after a 4 year absence (counting his 1997 album “Purity Of Essence”) can be most compared to “Blood Fire Death” in that showed a band trying to move away from a thrash sound and toward a Viking sound, but being more the former than the latter. However, the difference lay in what kind of thrash metal was being departed from, as the modern, raw, hardcore infused characters of “Requiem” and “Octagon” were quite different from Bathory’s blackened early days.

To put it plainly, “Destroyer Of Worlds” is all over the place. Some have rightly pointed out that this album could come off as being a compilation to anyone not familiar with Bathory’s work, with the exception of a largely consistent production character that is aggressive, but notably less raucous and low-fi compared to “Requiem”. The shifting back and forth between thrash, punk and Manowar influences is quite jarring, as are the seemingly random lyrical subjects that range from apocalyptic themes to ice hockey. But the musical back and forth between what sounds like a real attempt at reaching back to the same spirit that originally brought forth Hammerheart (and its technical predecessor “Blood On Ice”) and a slightly cleaned up version of 90s thrash that popped up in the mid 90s, is so blatant that it sounds like two different bands fighting each other, with a slight edge to the modern thrash metal sound when considering the majority of the songs, and the character of even the Viking oriented songs in comparison to both the previous incarnation of the band and the two “Nordland” albums that followed this one.

While a bit inconsistent in what genre this album is going for, this album is a fairly decent listen in terms of overall quality. Generally the longer songs tend to be more geared towards the slower, atmospheric aesthetic associated with the Viking era paradigm, largely coming off as a heavier revisiting of “Blood On Ice”. The opening “Lake Of Fire” and the closer “Day Of Wrath” are the strongest embodiment of that olden, “Into Glory Ride” sound where the acoustic guitars are massive yet distant sounding, layered over with droning choir lines and grooving riffs to create an image of grand mountains and crystal skies over a frostbitten landscape. By contrast, filthy displays of angst and violence such as “109” and “Kill, Kill, Kill” offer up an ugly reminder of where Quorthon had taken Bathory not too long before, though the production quality (especially the drum sound) is a bit more digestible and the vocal work is not quite as raw. “Bleeding” actually goes a bit further and combines the modern thrash character of before with some of the grunge elements of Quorthon’s solo work, sporting a verse riff that sounds strikingly similar to Alice In Chains’ “Them Bones”.

In terms of individual songs, this is a very strong album with a little of something for consumers of both of Bathory’s post-black metal eras, but as a whole album “Requiem” has the edge in terms of a consistent listen from one song to the next. It’s difficult to really fit together epic throwbacks to “Hammerheart” like that of “Ode” with a hybrid of early 90s Metallica and Pantera like “Krom” occupying the same album, and to this day it’s difficult for me to fully get through this album without thinking that some of these songs should have been separated out into a different album. Chalk it up to the paradox of going forward by taking a few steps back into the past, and also waiting for 4 years of studio silence before doing so, leading many to postulate that some of these songs may have been written years apart from each other. Either way, Quorthon never had a dull moment in his career, but this would qualify as one of his lesser appreciated ones, and in comparison to the towering masterpieces that it has to contend with, it’s easy to see why.

Despite Popular Belief, Lives Up To Prior Glory - 91%

divortium, June 24th, 2009

Destroyer of Worlds is sort of odd as far as Bathory albums go. It doesn't really have any sort of theme, and mixes seemingly unrelated tracks that sort of combine the different themes of past Bathory albums. Alas, a neophyte to black metal could be excused for thinking "Destroyer of Worlds" was a compilation album. However, I assure you, it is not.

A lot of people dislike "Destroyer of Worlds", and I really don't see why. The epic "Lake of Fire", the gritty, speedy ode to ice hockey "Sudden Death", the beautiful and shifting "White Bones", it has the best of all worlds. Granted, Bathory is at their most powerful when some sort of theme ties together an album. For example, Hammerheart is often regarded as their magnum opus, and for good reason (although Nordland came close, in my opinion). The crude production and dark content of "Under The Sign..." and "Bathory", the Odinist "Twilight of the Gods", the descent into musical Valhalla with "Blood Fire Death", "Destroyer of Worlds" is definitely the black sheep of the family. But it works. Magnificently.

A lot of people complain about how Bathory albums get stale after a while. As a big fan of Quorthon's work, I never experienced this first hand, but no one can possibly hold that complaint to this album. There is plenty of variety, and it's all done properly. Quorthon proved that once again, he knew what he was doing. Stylistically, it's sort of a combination of "Viking Bathory", Quorthon's "Album", and the band's eponymous debut. Is it a little scattered? Yes. It's by no means perfect. But the tracks are, for the most part, very strong. The album is accessable, and a good starting point for folks just getting into Bathory. I highly recommend it.

Side note: It's been my cycling album as of late. Functions admirably there too. Few things beat weaving in and out of traffic, illuminated by dim street lamps and moonlight, to the tune of "Sudden Death".

R.I.P. Quorthon.

bathory destroyer review - 75%

abraxus, March 12th, 2006

The trouble with being Bathory is having such a classic back catalogue to emulate is no mean feat. Not that the legend has already been tarnished with the nonchalant release of the Requiem and Octagon albums in the mid nineties. These quite awful long players were a far cry from the grandeur that was found on ‘Blood, Fire, Death’ or ‘Hammerheart’. In fact, Bathory had run out of steam by the time ‘Twilight of the Gods’ was released in 1991.

So here we are in 2001 and a new Bathory album which could have been an absolute killer. The trouble with ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ is that it borrows much of its contents from Requiem and Octagon, as well as Hammerheart. There are sublime moments that echo the bands glorious past on tracks like, Day of Wrath, Lake of Fire, Ode, and the epic nature of the title track. Here we find a new surge of passion that is 100% classic Bathory.

But then we have the thrashy mess that condemns the rest of the album to oblivion. To be fair the faster material does have its moments but there never seems to be a good reason for their inclusion. They are like album fillers when set against the aforementioned slower tracks. Destroyer of Worlds is definitely the bands finest opus since ‘Twilight of the Gods’, and yet it is a mixed affair that will both please and annoy anyone who is into the bands past history. It is a pity Quorthon couldn’t find it in himself to give the fans what they wanted to hear. He has obviously split the difference and that has resulted in an album split into two halves.