Sound — 8
Though viking elements could be heard on earlier albums Hammerheart is Bathory's first true viking metal album, it's sad but melodic, it has a slow driving rhythm throughout the length of the album, there are a lot horns and choirs that give an epic feel to the whole thing. The production is, even by the lowest of standards, bad, there are lo-fi and self produced albums than sound great, but this is not. A lot of the bass is buried in the background and often the drums overpower the rest of the instruments.
Lyrics — 1
The main theme of this album are Vikings and Norse mythology, some will probably dislike the album because of this, but the lyrics are written very well, and they compliment along with Qourthon's vocals the instrumental aspect of the album. Qourthon's vocals are raw, not without key or accent but with a lot of strength and energy.
Overall Impression — 9
Hammerheart is a far cry from the black metal days, except "Song To Hall Up High" all songs are over 6 and a half minutes, the solos are much better, the whole thing has more cohesion, Hammerheart is generally slow and from the musical aspect generally a superior to its predecessors and it is Bathory's best viking album. A great album even with its bad production and long stapled on intros. I like all the songs, but "One Rode To Asa Bay" is my absolute favorite.