There were a handful of bands that influenced the birth of Scandinavian black metal (frequently referred to as the Second Wave of Black Metal), but few are worshipped as faithfully as Sweden’s Bathory. Formed in 1983 and led (and most instrumentation provided) by Quorthon (Thomas Forsberg), their first four albums laid the groundwork for black metal’s sonic aesthetics: lo-fi production, heavy distortion, trebly and abrasive tone, rapid-fire tempo, and raspy, barking vocals. With their fifth album, Hammerheart, Bathory practically invented the Viking metal sub-genre. Bathory continued as a hugely influential recording act (they gave up live performances in 1985) until Quorthon’s 2004 sudden death from heart failure.
This song is the concluding track (if you don’t count the 23 second “Outro”) from their second album, The Return…… The full title of the album and its tracklisting were hidden in a poem on the back cover of the LP, revealed in the title of the final song: “The Return of the Darkness and Evil.”
Happy Sunday, Kids.