Obituary on Quorthon

Ein Artikel von Opa Steve vom 10.06.2004 (8797 mal gelesen)
I remember the time very well as I was a young metal fan and enjoyed the visits at a good recordstore. Sometimes - it was in the mid-80s - I discovered the first "evil" and extreme longplayers for me and there was this very underground-stylish and cool record named "The Return" from "Bathory". You didn't learn anything about this band, instead the whole atmosphere was very mysterious. The stuff that shot through the headphones wasn't compareable with anything at this time. Crazy riffs, terrible croaking, satanic lyrics, machinegun drums. Compared to Bathory Venom were just choir lads. The next record, "Under The Sign Of The Black Mark", just increased the extreme attitude, and it should be the hardest and fastest record for this time. Every trademark of the "true" nordic black metal 10 years later was already celebrated by the early Bathory - without examples, without pioneers - Bathory themself were the pioneers and unique.

One began to talk about this mysterious band. Musicians hid behind strange pseudonyms like "Quorthon", "Vvornth" and "Kothaar". Also there were rumors about live shows. Do they live shows or not? Also the press tried everything while interviews to learn more about the backgrounds, and they tried some tricks with imaginary hotel forms, but hotel rooms are booked on the names of the promotion agencies. Nothing worked. Mastermind Quorthon let nothing about himself or the rest of Bathory out.

The epic and in my opinion best record of bathory, "Blood Fire Death", brought a little sensation. On the inner gatefold of the vinyl album there was a giant photo of the band. For the first (and last) time there were the faces of the members on a cover!

Stylistic there came an upheaval, too. The two following records "Hammerheart" and "Twilight Of The Gods" turned away from the grinding black metal and consolidated the epic moments of the "Blood..." album. The predecessor of the viking/pagan-metal was born in the early 90s. The stuff was hard to take for the old fans, because Quorthon really tried to sing - but he wasn't able to. Nevertheless this very innovative and self-confident performed mixture of authentic "ugly" viking singing, choirs and bombastic arrangements offered an incomparable hearing experience, so that these records become some of the most famous ones in the metal scene.

The attention of the press and audicence seems to be the cause for Quorthon's additional tactics of confusion. There were a lot of contradictory statements about the Jubileum albums, wether they are really old recordings, or new recordings of the old school style.

Personally I always had some problems with the newer material from Bathory. There is a lack of stylistic sharpness, although the Nordland doublefeature showed that Bathory could be a great act - if they want to. Certainly Quorthon doesn't want this to be. Musically constantly better and versatile there was an increasing lack of interest while interviews if his actual work got compared with his early ones. The old problem for people, who created something really new out of nothing, and became a legend.

Quorthon always did what he wanted to do. He was an original, which you rarely can find within the scene. His music was a vision, and so he was a pioneer for many bands, which members were just born at the beginning of his work.

Quorthon died on 06-07-2004 at the age of 39 because of heart failure. He will live on in metal forever.


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