Baptise in Fire and Ice
Label: Black Mark
Bathory's masterwork of hamlet-leveling berserker metal opens with the 11-minute "Shores in Flames," a merciless ritual of violence that sounds as much like Isis and early Mastodon as it does the high-flying cheeseburger metal of Manowar. This is appropriate, as Hammerheart is one of those rare albums whose influence is nearly impossible to calculate, mainly because so many bands sprang from it. At the same time, though, its utterly distinctive take on Viking metal stands on its own. With Hammerheart, Bathory officially became the Black Flag of extreme metal.