Blood Fire Death
Label: Black Mark
The Swedish inventors of multiple genres let loose the first arrows of the Viking metal wars here, opening this 1988 album with a distant rumble of horses galloping beneath a mournful chorus, called "Odens Ride Over Nordland." From there, "Fine Day to Die" emerges from solemnly plucked guitars before the screaming/crushing churn begins. Blood Fire Death represents the bridge between Bathory's black and Viking metal years, with elements of both genres touching the songs -- namely, a more deliberate pace, purely epic structures and growling wraith vocals.