Does the world really need yet another tribute to one of the most revered pioneers of the Scandinavian extreme metal scene – the bona-fide legend that is Bathory? Ereb Altor certainly seem to think so and despite initial disquiet at the crisp, ultra-modern production they bring to the table, a few spins of this spirited full-length serves to support their view.
This is a loyal and lovingly crafted homage to one of Sweden’s most venerable musical exports and Ereb Altor do their countrymen (well, countryman given that Bathory is effectively the sole vehicle of the late Quorthon) proud. They add a few twists into the mix – the clean vocals over the verses in ‘A Fine Day to Die’ standout as a brave yet successful decision – and covering ‘The Return of Darkness and Evil’ from Bathory’s seminal appearance on the ‘Scandinavian Metal Attack’ compilation from 1983 shows that Ereb Altor aren’t just zeroing in on Quorthon’s ‘viking’ period.
Nonetheless, it’s the material from the more epic side of Bathory’s output that really carries this tribute and sumptuous renditions of ‘Song to Hall Up High’ and ‘Twilight of the Gods’ render this release a fitting oath of fealty to the legacy of one of the genre’s most important visionaries.
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