Woman of Dark Desires again follows the Dark Angel ideology of “don’t slow it down, just switch it up.” It’s still fast, but it’s still super heavy. Blood Fire Death however, was an entirely different concept. In June 2004, Quorthon was found dead in his home, apparently due to heart failure. And this is undoubtedly the best song of the album. Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the fastest of them all? But what makes this yet another great chapter in Bathory’s inverted bible is the songs themselves which are almost uniformly among their best, and indeed some of the best ever in Black Metal.  These traits came to define black metal and the band used this style on their first four albums. Another epic and impressive song is the title track… this one finishes the album in very similar vein to the opener “A Fine Way to Die” and trust me, it is equally thrilling and memorable as “A Fine Day to Die”!!!! The riff assault is a pure exercise in blinding fury, not quite descending to the near atonal, heavily dissonant character of Slayer’s proto-death metal sound on “Reign In Blood”, but is near equal to the intensity of the delivery. The real towering inferno of this album, however, is the eight or so minutes of “Enter the Eternal Fire”, which is simply one of the greatest BM songs ever. Kothaar - bass The guitars, drums and the vocals kick in simultaneously. The lyrics of the song are from the perspective of a dead soul who is trapped in his own grave and unable to escape, calling to God for help but no one hears his pleas. I mean, if you listen to all three previous records it will be certain that none of them sounds like its predecessors and each brings something different to the sound and style of the band. It plods along with not much creativity in the riff department, clearly the worst (or should I say “least awesome”) song on the album. This album arrived alongside the top crop of the best overall year in metal history, and thousands of bands have been trying to live up to it since. Motorhead influences abounded, and the band played loud and fast, with more than a passing nod to Venom and other black metal luminaries. Although they may pale in comparison to the scope of, say, "Twilight of the Gods", the raw bite in these tracks creates a niche of their own. It is a drama that Quorthon died much too soon, even though some of his works are really a pain in the ass. Final rate: 100 / 100, I usually detest the concept of putting the first athlete/band/album of it’s kind as the best of it's kind. This album is full of great riffs and solos, unique and effective production and powerful vocals. This influence ended up on the music quite noticeably as you can easily compare the main beat with the latter band "Hail to England" song from the same title 1984 album. “The Golden Wall of Heaven” forgoes any of kind of beautiful opening in favor of untapped power, since it comes flying out of nowhere, gritting it’s teeth and never letting up it’s un-relentless attack. Not convinced? Great music, Weird Music, Important Music. http://www.fromthedustreturned.com. And the gathered masses deliver their chant: “Venom is dead, Bathory is king… long live Quorthon and his cursed offspring!” Well maybe not, but it sounds cool…. It seems like Motorhead's philosophy of "everything louder than everything else" was put into practice here. “For Those Who Died” is kind of a midpaced thrash song. But hey, I can do it! Death had Spiritual Healing. 1. “13 Candles” is another slow march in the obscurity with again some epic passages, like in the riffs or the chorus! Quorthon - vocals, guitars, percussion, effects Quorthon grew in skills and abilities in playing instruments and the whole album seemed a bit more mature, even if it was always devastating and truly evil. Quorthon either knew of the Venom cover, prior to the release of the first Bathory record, or he only heard them later on and discovered that they, coincidentally, used similar imagery. The chorus itself is catchy as fuck. It's hard to call anything on Blood Fire Death truly evil compared to the first three records but the balance of deep arrangement and rawness counts for a lot here. Massacre - Without warning, this insane tune kicks right in through your speakers like a fire ball out of Hell. Recommended tracks: This is a perfect balanced song between innovation and tradition. 13 Candles is another mid tempo beast that is very effective and super heavy. “A Fine Day to Die” starts with a fabulous arpeggio on acoustic guitar; and this is exactly what one might entitle ‘The Calm before the Storm’.
The first three Bathory albums though in essence defined all black metal that would follow (at least in Norway), listen to the intro that turns into "Massacre" and tell me that it doesn't remind you of Darkthrone's Kathaarian Life Code. The first three albums, Bathory, The Return of Darkness and Evil and Under The Sign of the Black Mark were simple raw primitive black metal, whereas Blood Fire Death was much more epic, and atmospheric.
That is no small feat. I'll note here that despite the larger, epic structure of its tracks, Quorthon retained a lot of what made his earlier albums so ripe...so vibrantly destructive and misanthropic. From here Bathory’s path became crooked in my view. The first assault, “Massacre” is an up tempo song with lots of brutal sounds and obscure vocals.
The sound is crisp, at times too crisp, and the higher frequencies can be painful on the eardrums if not careful. The bass is rather audible throughout every track and provides the onslaught with the rhythm needed to keep you listening along. Many prominent bands in black metal and viking metal mention Bathory as a big influence. But when this album was out, it took Bathory’s and Quorthon’s name to a completely new dimension. I also have to note that the main rhythm of the two epics is the same as the previous showstopper Enter The Eternal Fire. Yea, there’s chanting. This is a band I once thought were overrated but, ever since my expectations were lowered and I knew what I was going to hear the second time round, after many months of having left the dust to settle, I was blown away. The material featured on this album is more varied than one could think for a first time listen compared to the previous ones despite its brutal kick-off after the intro "Nocternal Obeisance". They thrash around make loud noises and scream, which must be good fun for the musicians, but in the end isn't musically inspired. Bathory has always been one to attack religion, but with this track, the message seriously gets across pretty damn well instead of the band just blabbering about Satan, death and blasphemy, which can still be good, by the way, but those kinds of lyrics tend to get old pretty fast. I give it a 94 out of 100. It is interesting that Bathory's most popular masterpiece was also their transition work. And I do mean all (tho we can't deny Venom either while we're at it)! ), the not so good yet compelling musicianship...it's all there. You can hear it due to older sound-quality, but that’s really about it. Overall Rating – 4.5/5 (90) Standout tracks: “A Fine Day to Die”, “Blood Fire Death”, "For All Those Who Died", “Dies Irae” His vocal delivery returns not only to a more purposeful and mighty style, but he also incorporates slight melodic toning in the death style. The drums bash away in a minimalistic style that creates something almost ritualistic, never letting up they blast away with a harsh tone that if in the right stereo actually hurts, the guitar tone is bone dry and all trebble, blasting wave after wave of hatred and contempt. Horses, gongs, rumbling mountains- it almost makes you feel as though the Ragnarok is about to happen. The band's lyrics focused on 'dark' topics and included anti-Christian and 'Satanic' references. Woman Of Dark Desires - Well this tune a bit more mid-paced, and much catchier than the previous tune, particularly with the chorus. Quorthon ended up pioneering two different genres of metal, and he bridged the gap with this album. These musicians included Abbath (Immortal), Apollyon (Aura Noir), Faust and Samoth (Emperor and Zyklon), Gaahl (Gorgoroth), Grutle Kjellson and Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved), Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone) and Satyr (Satyricon).. All in all, this album is one that should permanently remain in at least moderate rotation in the listening queue of any black metal fan. Quorthon spits forth the lyrics at like….500 miles per hour!
And can only be matched by “A Fine Day To Die”, it has some keboards in the background that sounds really awesome! And WOW, for the first time other band members (Wornth and Kothaar of the great Norwegian tribe of unpronounceable warriors) are actually named and pictured!! Yes, it does slow down for about a minute, but the speed resumes 'till the very end. "For All Those Who Died", for example, scores with its overarching vehemence.