Under the Sign of the Black Mark
|Under the Sign of the Black Mark|
|Studio album by Bathory|
|Released||11 May 1987|
|Recorded||September 1986 at Heavenshore Studio, Stockholm, Sweden|
|Label||New Renaissance, Under One Flag|
|Producer||Quorthon, Boss Forsberg|
Under the Sign of the Black Mark is the third studio album by Swedish extreme metal band Bathory. It was recorded in September 1986 and released on 11 May 1987 through New Renaissance Records and Under One Flag. It was a key album in the development of the black metal genre, and greatly influenced the Norwegian black metal scene that emerged in the early 1990s.
Background and recording
The song "Woman of Dark Desires" is a tribute to the band's namesake, Elizabeth Báthory. "Enter the Eternal Fire" was the band's first epic, reaching nearly seven minutes in length, with lyrics referring to a deal with the Devil. The song "Equimanthorn" makes references to Hell as well as to Norse mythology, including Odin's "eight-legged black stallion" Sleipnir.
Critical reception and legacy
Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic wrote that the album "remains a career highlight for Bathory, and a crucial LP for all lovers of extreme metal." Fenriz of Darkthrone called it "the quintessential black metal album". He also cited it as a musical inspiration for the 1995 Darkthrone album Panzerfaust, besides Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales and Vader's Necrolust demo.
On the album's impact, Daniel Ekeroth, author of the book Swedish Death Metal, commented in an interview with Decibel magazine in 2012: "Even by Bathory's standards, this was a masterpiece, on par with both Bonded by Blood and Reign in Blood. The songs were perfected, and the sound more atmospheric and uncanny than before. Bathory were now the most extreme and one of the very best metal bands out there." The song "Call from the Grave" was featured in 2009 game Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned
All songs written and composed by Quorthon.
|3.||"Woman of Dark Desires"||4:06|
|4.||"Call from the Grave"||4:53|
|6.||"Enter the Eternal Fire"||6:57|
|7.||"Chariots of Fire"||2:46|
- Quorthon – guitar, vocals, bass guitar, synthesizer
- Paul Pålle Lundburg – drums
- Christer Sandström – additional bass guitar
- "The Quietus | Features | Anniversary | Voices from Valhalla: Quorthorn's Bathory Revisited". The Quietus. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Ekeroth, Daniel: Swedish Death Metal. Second edition. Brooklyn, NY: Bazillion Points 2009, p. 27.
- "Bathory – Under the Sin". bathory.nu. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Under the Sign of the Black Mark - Bathory : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Russell, Xavier (28 May 1987). "Bathory 'Under the Sign of the Black Mark'". Kerrang!. London, United Kingdom: Spotlight Publications Ltd. 147: 16. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Doe, Bernard (1987). "Bathory - Under the Sign of the Black Mark". Metal Forces (23). Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "'Black Mark' Turns 25, Daniel Ekeroth Reflects". decibelmagazine.com. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.