Sound: 1987 is a important year in black metal, Mayhem started writhing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Darkthrone was formed shortly later Old Funeral as well, which gave us Immortal and Burzum, and in 1987 also came "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" the best old school black metal album.
Even though the murky sound kills a lot of the bass, the album still sound good.It features both very fast songs and slower paced heavier ones as well, Qourthon's leads are wide ranged, from fast thrashy solos like on "Chariots of Fire" to more melodic ones like on "Call from the Grave". // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are written better than the previous albums, they have more gravitas and are generally more cohesive. Qourthon's vocals are stronger, clearer, better than before. This is an old black metal album so the lyrics deal with hell, Satan, heresy and darkness. // 8
Overall Impression: As far as their black metal days are concerned this is Bathory's best work, it is more serious and mature than their previous work, instrumentally as well as lyrically, "Blood Fire Death" can be considered better, but would be bad comparison as "Blood Fire Death" had both black and viking element to it. The most impressive song for me is "Call From The Grave" a nice break from the fast songs, and that's the album's greatest flaw, the songs just don't stand out one from the other. // 8