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Epic! - 89%

Snxke, July 6th, 2004

This is the record Manowar probably wishes they could make. Viking lyrics, epic song structures and a feeling of intensity mark this record as one of the more debated, but still amazing Bathory releases. (Probably the last to really mean anything as well.) The vocals are a little odd, but with riff-monsters like these in your bag you could sing like a dying rat and still sound good. Quothorn proved that he was THE composer in viking metal and few even came close to touching the epic nature of this material. Well produced, well played, decently vocalized and epic as movie...

Many classic songs appear on this record. "Shores in Flames" opens the CD with a bombastic overture, "Babtised in Fire and Ice" (the best riff ever at the 3:41 breakdown) sounds massive and the guitar-monster "Father and Son" all kick like a mule and flow like a river. The entire CD follows suit as well with no song falling off the edge as a "filler" song. Perfect in composition...and good in performance...I was left wanting little to satisfy my inner viking after hearing this record.

Quothorn recorded many strange and dissapointing records after this one but I could care little. Records such as this and "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" marked him as being one of the most talented and diverse of all the black metal musicians.

In Quothorns memory...this CD may even stand higher than many of the "black metal" records as a signal of who the man really was in terms of what he wanted to express.