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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.