Bathory(Music History)



  • Bathory were one of the pioneers of the first wave of both black metal and viking metal.

    Formed in 1983 by Quorthon, Jonas Åkerlund, and Frederick Melander, but didn't come up with the name of the band until the recording of Scandinavian Metal Attack.

    When Quorthon formed the band in 1983, his nickname was originally Black Spade. He soon changed it to Ace Shoot, then finally to Quorthon, a name he found in a list of demons.

    Contrary to popular belief, Bathory never released an official demo: the first recording is a never released rehearsal containing four tracks: “Sacrifice”, “Live in Sin”, “Die in Fire” and “You Don’t Move Me (I Don't Give a Fuck)”. Only the last two tracks survived and later were bootlegged.

    They played only a few live shows (probably between 6 and 😎 in the early days. Quorthon refused to play live ever since.

    After The Return...... (1985), Quorthon worked on an album to be called Okkulta with drummer Stefan Larsson, but this was scrapped in favor of writing Under the Sign of the Black Mark.

    The style of Bathory has changed many times. On the debut Quorthon played a simple kind of thrash metal influenced by metal and punk bands like GBH, Motörhead and Black Sabbath. On the following albums Quorthon developed the raw and dark atmosphere later adapted by Norwegian black metal bands. Blood Fire Death contains the first experiments with heroic and epic songwriting and Viking-related themes. This style was perfected with Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods. In contrast, Requiem and Octagon were two very different albums sounding like San Francisco thrash metal. All later releases except Destroyer of Worlds are Viking metal again.

    All albums until Hammerheart had the same outro, then the outro was added also to the 2003 reissues.

    While rumours persisted that Börje "Boss" Forsberg, the owner of Black Mark Production, was Quorthon's father, Quorthon himself denied these claims, stating "Boss is 52, I'm 37. Add that up yourself. All these rumours surrounding Bathory are crazy", although Boss was in fact 59 at the time. It was later confirmed that Börje was indeed his father.

    Jennie Tebler is his sister. After years of speculation, it was revealed in Sweden Rock magazine.

    Quorthon died of a heart attack on June 3, 2004 in his apartment in Hässelby, Stockholm. "Ace Börje Forsberg" was the name written on Quorthon's obituary, but his real birth name was Tomas. If someone asked him the real name he always gave invented ones: Runka Snorkråka (Wanked snot(hodded)crow), Pär Vers (a wordplay, means perverted), Fjärt Bengrot (Fart Bengrot), Folke Ostkuksgrissla, Fnoret.

    Vvornth and Kothaar were names used by various members, filling in the role and taking the assigned name.

    Chris Witchhunter (ex-Sodom) jammed with Bathory for a few rehearsals, but never joined the band or played on any recording.

    Quorthon worked on an official Bathory autobiography at various times, originally aiming to publish it as a book. The idea was scrapped, but the material he had written (the whole story, up to Blood Fire Death) appeared on the (now offline) official Bathory website, and in parts in the In Memory of Quorthon booklet.

    Elizabeth (Erzsebet) Bathory was a 17th century Hungarian noblewoman, who allegedly enjoyed bathing in young women's blood to keep herself young. Most estimates on the number of girls she killed are between 600/700.

    Compilation appearances:

    • "Sacrifice" & "The Return of Darkness and Evil" on Scandinavian Metal Attack (Wave, 1984 - first official appearance).
    • "Hades" & "War" on Scandinavian Metal Attack II (Wave, 1985).
    • "Possessed" on Speed Kills II - The Mayhem Continues (Music for Nations, 1986).
    • "Of Doom..." on Speed Kills III (A Catalogue of Destruction) (Music for Nations, 1987).
    • "For All Those Who Died" on Speed Kills...But Who's Dying? (Under One Flag, 1989).
    • "Blood and Iron" on Touch of Death (Black Mark Production, 1992).
    • "Ace of Spades (Motörhead cover)" on A Black Mark Tribute I (Black Mark Production, 1997).
    • "War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)" on A Black Mark Tribute II (Black Mark Production, 1998).
    • "Black Diamond (Kiss cover)" on A Tribute to the Creatures of the Night (Nuclear Blast, 2003).
    • "Twilight of the Gods" on Lords of Chaos - The History of Occult Music (Prophecy Productions, 2002 / Index Verlag, 2008).
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