Bathory was formed by Quorthon in Stockholm, Sweden in 1983. They are regarded as pioneers of both black metal and Viking metal. In 1988 Bathory released their fourth album ‘Blood Fire Death’ which began the transition from black metal to Viking metal. With the release of ‘Hammerheart’ in 1990, Bathory formally introduced the metal world to the archetypal Viking metal album. The epic style of ‘Hammerheart’ was further demonstrated on the subsequent ‘Twilight Of The Gods.’ This Barking Chicken Production focuses exclusively on material from these three albums. It is impossible to deny the influence this Viking-obsessed period of Bathory's history had on metal. These albums were the blueprint followed by Enslaved, Amon Amarth and many others that followed in Bathory’s footsteps.

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Bathory – Viking Kvlt
01 Oden’s Ride Over Nordland > A Fine Day to Die
02 Shores In Flames
03 Blood And Iron
04 Baptised In Fire And Ice
05 One Rode To Asa Bay
06 Blood Fire Death
07 Twilight Of The Gods

One need only read the lyrics of “One Rode To Asa Bay” to get an idea of where Quorthon’s head was at during this period. The parallel between black metal and Viking metal is clear.


One man rode the way through the woods
Down to Asa Bay
Where dragon ships had sailed to sea
More times than one could say
To see with own eyes the wonder
People told of from man to man
The God of all almightyness
Had arrived from a foreign land

The rumours told of a man
Who had come from the other side the seas
Carrying gold cross around neck in chain
And spoke in strange tongue of peace
He had come with strange men in armour
Dressed in purple shirts and lace
Smelling not of beer but flowers
And with no hair in face

And the bold man carrying cross
Had told all one of Asa Bay
The God of all man woman child had come
To them all save
And to thank Lord of Heaven
One should build to God a house
And to save one's soul from Hell
One should be baptised and say vows

A man of pride with the Hammer told new God
To build his house on own
And spoke loud of the Gods of their fathers
Not too long time gone
The rumours said the man with a beard like fire
And the Hammer in chain
By men in armour silenced was and by
Their swords was slain

Those who did not pay the one coin
Of four to man of new God
Whipped was twenty and put in chains then locked
By their neck to the log
And so all of Asa Bay did build
A house of the cross
Every hour of daylight they did sweat
Limbs ached because faith does cost

And on the day two hundred
There it stood white to the sky
The house of the God of the cross
Big enough to take two dragon ships inside
And all of Asa Bay did watch
The wonder raise to the sky
Now must the God of the cross be pleased
And satisfied

Just outside the circle of the crowd
One old man did stand
He looked across the waters
And blotted the sun out of his eyes with one hand
And his old eyes could almost see
The dragon ships set sail
And his old ears could almost hear
Men of great numbers call out Oden's hail

And though he did know already
Though he turned face towards sky
And whispered silent words forgotten
Spoken only way up high
Now this house of a foreign God does stand
Now must they leave us alone
Still he heard from somewhere in the woods
Old crow of wisdom say
People of Asa land, it's only just begun . . .