Bathory - Nordland II review
|Release date:||March 2003|
02. Blooded Shore
03. Sea Wolf
05. The Land
06. Death And Resurrection Of A Northern Son
07. The Messenger
08. Flash Of The Silverhammer
09. The Wheel Of Sun
End of the line. This album represents the conclusion of Quorthon's successful carrier, brutally interrupted. Nordland II was recorded in 2002, along with all the songs from Nordland I, but only released in 2003, probably due to commercial interests. It was only a few months later, on June 3 of 2004, that Quorthon was found dead in Stockholm and everything ended. Unfortunately, the conclusion of this amazing carrier is not represented by any masterpiece or acclaimed work.
What we have on Nordland II (and also on Nordland I giving that they are practically the same album) is Bathory's good old folk metal formula, pretty similar to many of his previous releases. The viking thematic at the best use, with a good production, less raw than any other of his albums, and nothing of black metal to mention.
Clearly, the trademark riffs did not need mentioning either, the guitar work flows perfectly within the album, accompanied by the soaring bass and calculated drums. Quorthon's voice, always object of criticism, could not fit the album's atmosphere better giving us the so well-known epic feeling. As for the tracks, they follow a natural linearity without many changes when it comes to emotion, but there are stand-outs like the epic "The Messenger" and the unusual "Flash Of The Silver Hammer", with riffs heavily synthesized very close to industrial music.
Starting with the glacial landscape of the cover art, this album is pure viking style with the lyrics obviously reflecting this. Unfortunately they don't explore the viking culture any further from what has already been shown a zillion times. Lots of ''fatherland'', ''shoreline'', ''battlefield'' and ''raging sea'' going on and on. The structure is good and the texts are well written, but they lack originality and are not much interesting.
In the end, Quorthon has finished his brilliant carrier with a couple of good albums. It is said that another two pieces of the Nordland epic were being planned, but we'll never know, and it doesn't really matter. Even with some contested albums in Bathory's discography and Quorthon's side-project, all of his works deserves notification, and the Nordland albums are highly recommended not only for being a nice piece of epic metal, but for the great name behind the project.
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