11 years ago today, the Metal world lost one of it’s leading lights.
Tomas Börje Forsberg, better known as Bathory’s Quorthon, sadly passed away aged just 38 but his influence and legacy remains undiminished.
A truly talismanic figure, fearless originator and auteur, Quorthon may have left us too soon but his enviable catalogue of 12 incredible albums are still finding an audience to this day; those anxious to hear the roots of Black Metal, Viking Metal and Extreme Metal eventually finding their way back to the beginning and to the man who started it all.
Here’s 5 reasons why Quorthon remains one of the greatest visionaries in Metal….
5. Blood Fire Death & Hammerheart
Two perfect albums – and that title should never be bandied around as readily as it does – Blood Fire Death and Hammerheart embody perfection and both took Extreme Metal to new heights on their release in 1988 and 1990 respectively.
Featuring tension filled orchestral arrangements that provided a thrilling contrast and unheard of depth to Quorthon’s banshee wail and rasping malevolence, Bathory’s crowning achievements completely changed the face of Black Metal. Featuring high fidelity production – something Black Metal often steadfastly refuses to accommodate to this day – complex arrangements, melody(!), a clean singing style and the grandest sense of scope and execution heard in Extreme Metal to create two distinct works that sound universally connected and yet the progress from Blood Fire Death to Hammerheart is clear to see.
The sound of galloping roughshod into battle made flesh, these two truly epic albums are as revelatory today as they were 25+ years ago, the work of a man who envisaged bigger things for Black Metal and for music that honoured his heritage.