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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.