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Review: Bathory - Blood on Ice
Blood on Ice

Label: Black Mark Productions
Year released: 1996
Duration: 53:40
Tracks: 11
Genre: Viking Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 6, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Blood on Ice

Rated 4.42/5 (88.33%) (12 Votes)

Blood on Ice is the ninth Bathory album, released in 1996, and finds the band getting back in the Viking metal longboat they'd temporarily beached in favor of thrashier pursuits (Requiem, Octagon). It is an album where the band continued to explore different musical and vocal styles after the unremittingly crushing and blackened tone of Blood Fire Death and Hammerheart after starting down this path on Twilight of the Gods.

There are plenty of epic, bombastic songs on Blood on Ice like "Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain" and the excellent "The Stallion." The power of the harsh vocals is driven home by bruising riffs and pounding drums creating the kind of expansive atmospheres Bathory was known for. There are also more restrained compositions, such as "Man of Iron" and "One Eyed Old Man," and while acoustic guitars and clean vocals have their place, these tracks expose some weakness in Quorthon's singing. Despite this one niggle, there isn't a song on here you'll want to skip.

Blood on Ice is something of a transition for Bathory. It doesn't have the unrestrained power and energy of the early Viking-themed albums nor the finely tuned songwriting of the Nordland records. Still, Bathory rarely released anything less than a quality record (except apparently Requiem and Octagon, which I haven't heard but the Internet seems to dislike) so it's a solid addition to your collection and a must own for Bathory fans.

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Review: Nordland I (reviewed by Christian Renner)
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