Bathory - Under The Sign Of The Black Mark LP (Black vinyl)
A lot has been said about this album, and the majority opinion is one of lavish praise, and frankly there are few albums out there that are equally worthy of it. Considering the lack of advanced studio toys that were readily available to other, less threatening version of metal, this is an accomplishment that is even more significant that the genre defining efforts of earlier figures. It’s an album that was equally as ahead of its time as “Deathcrush”, though far superior in quality and more indicative of the dark, occult oriented sound that Mayhem themselves would adopt during the formative years of the early 90s. In other words, this is an album where innovation lays not merely in shock value, but in how well said shocking themes are perfectly packaged into a timeless piece of work that functions equally as art and entertainment. Essential to any and all who can stomach music on the side of the metal spectrum where melodies are not carried in the vocal lines.