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Odin back to Nordland - 99%

WeCanWorkItOut, March 26th, 2017

Bathory had released several inconsistent albums in a big span of time, except Blood On Ice, and expectations had to be low after Destroyer of Worlds. Before I first listened to this I didn't really know what to think, then I gave it a chance. And well, the follow-up was unexpected, this album is just strong. The songs are inspired, and when compared to the albums that came before, this is one of the biggest surprises in metal. Almost every song on here sounds great and the production also is the best.

Quorthon makes full use of chanting on this album and it works beautifully. They help add to the epic atmosphere of the album greatly. The best example of atmosphere on the record would have to be "Foreverdark Woods", the acoustic instruments and sound effects make you feel as if you're traveling through the woods.

“Nordland” is one of my favorite songs on the album, starts off with some choir chants, then punches in with some heavy riffs and pounding drums. Then into a really catchy, almost folksy riff. Then continues to pummel you with more killer riffs. "Ring of Gold" is just beautiful, I know Quorthon doesn't have the best vocals in the world, but on this song his vocals are amazing, he's not Bruce Dickinson, but he can hold a note. This is all acoustic, the overlapping guitars and vocals are what make this song so great, and the beat to it is just great, it's amazing. "Broken Sword" starts off with a nice acoustic intro on top of some waves on the shores then slams in with some killer thrash riffs. The fastest song on the album. "Great Hall Awaits a Fallen Brother" is thrashy at the start, then gets into some slower riffs in the chorus, with some choir singing along with him, then gets slower the rest of the song.

You float through the waters on a boat, wrapped in a heavy fur garb. The longboat draws nearer to the frozen land before you. On a mountain, you see a dragon perched near the top. After landing your ship you walk through the woods to a snowy field being drenched with blood as a battle is waged upon it. As you cross over this cold land you are mesmerized by its beauty. This is the feeling I get when I listen to Nordland I, one of the many works of genius by master songsmith, Quorthon. He proves once again that he is the master of this form of music with the first half of the Nordland saga. As with the other viking albums, the rhythm guitar on this blends together in a beautiful, hypnotic way that leaves you unable to draw yourself out of the music. Listening to it makes you feel as if you are being taken to another land.

This album has turned out to be one of my most loved pieces of music in my collection. I think this album surpasses even Hammerheart. If you liked any of Bathory's viking material, or if you like music period, you owe it to yourself to listen to this album.

Standout Songs: Nordland, Vinterblot, Ring of Gold, Foreverdark Woods, Broken Sword.