Sound — 9
It is hard to describe an album worth of influences towards two musical generations. Bathory (or Quorthon I might add) was a pioneer for early black metal and the very first spree of viking metal and even some folk metal. His first album towards the viking sound and team was blood fire death. Though the music was more of a black metal earth, the lyrics definatly pointed out nordic and germanic religion. Nordland I (for there is a second part in the saga) Is definatly Bathory's highlight in my opinion. It was a shame that Quorthon stopped touring though likely if he hadn't Nordland I might never been born. The first song prelude, an intro really is a perfect kick off. If there is one strong viking theme on the entire album it would be Prelude. The choir performed by Quorthon, known for not singing well at all, comes out amazing. together with the heavy drums and the string ensebles. The next song, again starts of with a short choir. But then it kicks of into the masterpiece title song, know as Nordland. Wich has a perfect building up, heavy guitar riffs suported by what I believe to be synth horn. (correct me if I'm wrong). Vinterblod, the thrid song had a real catchy guitar intro, and sounds even a little bluesy at some point. The lyrics are more monotone spoken really but it is a good song. Dragonsbreath starts of with something reminding me of slayer, a few parts in the song really. The vocals on this song don't really amaze me as it falls back into his black metal themed albums. though some parts in the song, mostly the choired, arestill pretty nice. This next song is gonnna take some time to describe, as for me it was a song that changed my life. Ring of gold. It is a song I think the entire world should here. It is a brilliant acoustic song with some nice ambient sounds over it, the lyrics are amazing and really calls out the pagan spirit. This actual song converted me to paganism, surely not just by listening to it, but it did kick off the process. The next song, foreverdark woods, starts of wit ha folkish sound with some ethnic instruments. then kicks of in an acoustic intro. It has a real nice touch to it and is another one of my favourate songs of the album. When the distorted guitars kick in on the intro the song really gets a noticable riff. again Quorthons choir sections are the partys that make the song memorable. The slow acoustic intro of broken sword kind of make you believe the entire song will be slow and a little depressing, but when quorthon kicks in the guitars ans yet again choires (though of a different sort this time) the song kind of becomes happy, it had very galloping beat and is quite fast for a bathory song. The outro again is acoustic like the intro. Great hall awats a fallen brother starts of real heavy and remains that way, a nice song with some balls. The theme feels good and his vocals are amazing on this song. it doesn't need more explanation really. Mother earth father thunder is also a really noticable song and a highjlight of the album. The choirs wich are followed by guitar make it so catchy it's kind of a viking metal anthem. Quorthon really amazes me with this song. it seems his vocal range gets better every song, first time I heard his voice (on one rode to asa bay) I thought who on earth is this singer. it didn't actuallt bother me as it did sound well with the music but to say he was a good singer back then. not really. The last song Heimfard is more of an outro, though not as epic and amazing as prelude it has a nice catch to it. The seagulls at the start annoy me a little though,, purely because I hate the flyin' rats. But the song is definatly a worthy outro. and that was all I had to say about the sound.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on Nordland are well they're great compared to the black metal stuff he was doing and exactly what we can expect from quorthon in the viking metal era. They aren't cheesy as he doens't repeat the word Oden over and over. They are how viking metal lyrics should be. And I think even people who think viking metal is a stupid genre with too little limitations would acnowledge these lyrics are good.
Overall Impression — 10
As I mentioned earlier I think Nordland is Bathory's highlight, and Nordland II was as good as I. 'Nordland', 'Foreverdark woods', 'ring of gold' and 'mother earth father thunder' we're in my opinion the best songs on the album and there is nothing except maybe the seagulls in the outro that I hate. If my Nordland album was stolen, I'dd get a double bladed battle axe and chop the thieves head of and send it seawords on a burning ship.