Saturday, November 12, 2016
Cvlt Nation Sessions : Bathory's s/t Debut
Once again my other blog family Cvlt Nation is releasing a tribute album to offer a different look at an old classic, this time around it's the self titled debut from Bathory . As you might guess I am going to continue to review these with an impartial ear. To be honest, while I appreciate the historic nature of this album, the first album from Bathory is not my favorite it's too close to punk and the production sucks. This is what makes it appeal to punks crossing over into metal. For my money Bathory did not get good until Quorthon who originally got his start in an oi! band started getting more metal and breaking out the epic Viking hymns on "Hammerheart" . In fact it had been so long since I listened to the first Bathory album that I went and pulled it up so I could do an a/b these songs against the originals. These bands have better production value than what was going on when this album originally recorded. Grave Coven gives "Hades" more of a death metal touch. You are still reminded to how similar Bathory and early Slayer are in my respects. There are still hints of early thrash in the original version of the "Reaper", Plagues clearly comes from more of a grinding hard core back ground gives "Reaper' a little rougher beating.
One case where the original version is improved upon would be True Love's take on "Necromansy" which is slowed to achieve something that is darker and feels more sinister than the original. Expander and Worsen offer pretty straight forward versions of the more feral songs "Sacrifice" and "In Conspiracy with Satan" to remind us of black metal's thrash roots. After True Love the next best performance might be Morast's slaying of "Armageddon". It's very deliberate and powerful. Ultha goes full blasty mcnasty on "Raise the Dead", if this was an original it might not be half bad , but it takes some of charm out of the chorus at this pace. Things stay raw and nasty for Fever Nest's version of "War'. While this is rawer than some of the other songs, the production value is overall pretty solid on all of these songs. Bathory fans will find this a worthwhile listen and a free downloaded version is available on Cvlt Nation's Bandcamp page. I'll give this an 8.5. Which might be a tad higher than what I would rate the original version.