Jubileum Volume I
In the early 90's Bathory's leader Quorthon decided to do a best of for the fans. To do this he asked the "Bathory Hordes" to vote for their favorites and what they would want. What this ended up being was a three volume series. More were planned but tragically Quorthon died last year of heart disease. This first volume only reaches their 1991 album "Twilight of the Gods", which at the time was the newest album. About a year after this compilation Bathory would enter the studio and record the rather badly recieved album "Requiem", which in hindsight was a pretty good album. As was its follow-up "Octagon". Both of which would be covered on the later "Jubileum" volumes. This volume features three unreleased tracks, one from 1987, one from 1989 and one from 1983, the last one being probably the earliest Bathory recording that I know of. There is also a selection from each Bathory album up until 1991, with their famous 1988 album "Blood Fire Death" having the most tracks on here.
The album opens with a double header, "Rider at the Gate of Dawn" being a pure sound intro of a horse making noise and etc. and then the thrash attack of "Crawl to Your Cross", both of which were unreleased before this album. "Sacrifice" comes next. It is the first released Bathory song, being the song from the "Scandinavian Metal Attack" compilation. It was this track, and another one I believe, that got Bathory their first record deal, and their first album out. It's a pretty good metal influenced punk song, the punk influence being very inspired by Quorthon's beloved band The Exploited, with a very comic book horror theme. Next we have the thrash punk attack of "Dies Irae" from "Blood Fire Death", which totally kills. It's an awesome song for sure.
"Through Blood By Thunder" from "Twilight of the Gods" shakes things up quite a bit, being totally unlike the last few tracks. It's an epic mellow yet heavy tune, and one of my favorites. I particularly like the melody and words. "You Don't Move me (I don't give a fuck)" is not a very good song, but it is interesting from a fans point of view, as it sounds almost totally like a punk song, even in its words. But Quorthon's evil vocals and the attack of the guitars place it as being something totally different. This being perhaps the oldest song that is recorded of Bathory, it makes a good contrast from the last songs refined greatness.
"Odens Ride Over Nordland" is a atmospheric track much like the very first one, but this time it's from an album, "Blood Fire Death" again, and it is one of the most famous openers in metal history, opening for one of the most famous opening songs in metal history (at least black/nordic metal history) "A Fine Day to Die". This song has some classic riffs and a epic heavy feeling that is also brutally heavy and fast. From the epic classic to the simple classic, we have "War" from Bathory's first album, which was simply titled "Bathory". It's a pretty good song, though not the best off of that album, it's not too bad.
"Enter the Eternal Fire" from 1987's "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" is one of the best on here, being extremely bad sounding and very heavy at the same time. It goes along at a more mid-tempo beat, which Quorthon's razor edged guitars and vocals rip along, and a kind of dark evil under-current of sound is there in the background, giving the whole song a dark evil feel. The songs words are some of Quorthon's best as well, painting a very creepy picture of a man being led on to deaths gate, and then being taken to Hell, where he suffers eternal torment for his crimes. Excellent.
Again a sudden change. Here we have the quiet and mournful ode "Song to Hall Up High" from "Hammerheart" Bathory's first true Viking metal through and through. It is a dark sad song, and one of their most effective. It gives me chills.
"Sadist" from their second album 1985's "The Return", is next, and offers a world totally different from the last song. "Sadist" is a fast song, though brutal and very heavy, just like any true black metal. This song really shows the influence Bathory had on the early black metal scene in the same way the later albums would have an influence on later, more epic black metal and viking metal bands.
"Under the Runes" from "Twilight of the Gods" is next. I really like this song. It has a feel of standing up to the enemy and fighting for what's right kind of mood, and I like its epic, yet catchy tone. It's a little more militant than "Through Blood By Thunder".
"Equimanthorn" from "Under the Sign" comes and blasts away with an evil beat. I really like this song as well, it feels even more like true black metal than "Sadist", and it really burns away with an evil feeling. The words are also interesting as well, being both Satanic and Odinist at the same time, which would be a similar topic in Mayhem's, Immortal's and Emperor's music in a few years.
The cd finishes off with "Blood Fire Death" from the cd of the same name. This is a great song to end with, as it is again heavy, fast, brutal and melodic. I love this song too.
The cd is altogether good for both fans new and old. It offers and very good place for new fans to get into Bathory's music, and varied career, and also is good for old fans, as it has some new songs and also is nice for when you feel like hearing all of their periods tossed up next to each other. I've listened to it three times since getting it today, so you can imagine that it is good. Recommended for Bathory fans.
1: Rider at the Gate of Dawn
2: Crawl to Your Cross
4: Dies Irae
5: Through Blood By Thunder
6: You Don't Move Me (I don't give a fuck)
7: Odens Ride Over Nordland
8: A Fine Day to Die
10: Enter the Eternal Fire
11: Song to Hall Up High
13: Under the Runes
15:Blood Fire Death