Bathory - _Octagon_
(Black Mark, 1995)
by: Gino Filicetti (8 out of 10)
I'll be straight up with you guys out there, I don't want to lie to you, and it's nothing that I'm proud of, but unfortunately this is the first Bathory album I've ever heard. Now before you start to scream and yell "Poseur! Poseur!" let me say that I am a die-hard Venom fan, and I believe that fully redeems me. As for this album, I will admit that it was very well done, however, the first track on this CD is pure shit. It had me scared thinking that the the rest of this outing was going to sound just as horrible, but my fears were quickly dissipated as soon as the second track rolled around. There are more than a few songs on this release that I found very catchy, possessing that brutal bass grind that I love so much, such as "Born to Die", "Century", and "War Supply". However, it is also unfortunate that Quorthon and the boys have felt it necessary to include a good heaping of cheese-filled songs. They try to pull off Cannibal Corpsesque blast beats in "Sociopath", as well as breakneck speed-punk in "Grey" with less than favourable results. My favorite song off this CD has got to be "Century". It has an irresistable magnetic groove/crunch that seems to flow with Quorthon's quasi-stoned, very well thought out lyrics. The album ends with one of the best Kiss covers I've ever heard (next to Anthrax's "Parasite", of course) for the immortal song, "Deuce". Quorthon even manages to pull off a good duplication of Gene Simmons' voice. If this is a good or bad thing, it's up to the listener to decide. Definitely something worth buying, even if (GASP!) you've never heard Bathory before.

(article published 1/10/1995)

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