|Review: Bathory - Nordland II|
Label: Black Mark Productions
Year released: 2003
Genre: Viking Metal
Review online: May 28, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.22/5 (84.44%) (27 Votes)
It's almost inevitable that second parts are not as good as the originals. Virgin Steel's "House Of Atreus Part 2" was not as good as part 1, and this is not as good as "Nordland 1". But this is a pretty fine CD nonetheless.
If you liked part one, you will like this too, as it is the same epic, doomy style as the first album, with heavy, crushing metal riffs and lots of atmosphere. There are some great cuts on here, as the big opener "Blooded Shore", "Sea Wolf" and the killer "The Land". It's not that this is a bad album at all, it just falls short of the awesome riffery of the first album. The songwriting is very consistent, but that also means it's consistently a notch below the first CD. One big drawback on this one is Quorthon's vocals. Now on the first part he kept his voice mixed low and layered on the backing vox to help cover up his considerable shortcomings as a singer. I guess everybody was so nice about the first album he felt emboldened to put his vocals more upfront on this one—he really shouldn't have. The man is a legend, but he's a so-so singer on a good day, and some of these tracks have vocals that are actively bad, not just an acquired taste. If he had kept his voice down and layered, like he did on part 1, then this would have been a better album.
So if you like Viking Metal that sounds like an epic Omen or Doomsword, get the first "Nordland" disc. If you have that one and like it, then you can safely get this one too. It isn't as good musically or vocally, but it is certainly worth having.
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