Quorthon


Album

Quorthon - Album ©1994 Black Mark
1. No More And Never Again
2. Oh No No
3. Boy
4. Major Snooze
5. Too Little Much Too Late
6. Crack In My Mirror
7. Rain
8. Feather
9. Relief
10. Head Over Heels

The only really positive thing one can say about this blight of a record is that Quorthon had the wisdom not to slap the album selling Bathory name on it. Otherwise, this is a tremendously horrible aberration ripe with all sorts of cringe moments. You know what I'm talking about. That second when you hear something so uniquely bad that you cringe as you hear it. In the opener, Quorthon sets the stage by informing us "I"ll never eat pussy again" in his most blithe voice possible. The rest of the album either is steeped in boring slow-paced tepid grunge rock or makes up for it by being unentertaining. Quorthon mentioned later on in interviews that he had to make Album to regain his interest in metal. Maybe this was cathartic for him, but did he really need to subject the rest of us to this drivel in order to find his head?

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998

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Purity Of Essence

Quorthon - Purity Of Essence ©1997 Black Mark
CD one:
1. Rock N Roll
2. I've Had It Coming My Way
3. When Our Day Is Through
4. One Of Those Days
5. Cherrybutt & Firefly
6. Television
7. Hit My Head
8. Hump For Fun
9. Outta Space
10. Fade Away
11. I Want Out
12. Daddy's Girl
13. Coming Down In Pieces
CD two:
14. Roller Coaster
15. It's Ok
16. All In All I Know
17. No Life At All
18. An Inch Above The Ground
19. The Notforgettin'
20. Deep
21. Label On The Wind
22. Just The Same
23. You Just Got To Live

Even demonic firebreathing beasts have a sensitive side, as Quorthon (y'know, that longtime lead heathen from Bathory...oh, who are we kidding...he IS Bathory) proves with this sprawling 2-CD set. At this point, we should just leave our expectations at the CD store counter, forget this guy is involved with one of the most influential black metal bands of all time (though he himself looks at his own work as crappy), and try to fathom this work. Now Quorthon (on a second thought, can I call him Ace, or at the very least Mr. Forsberg, which was one of the names that is supposedly his real one?) has tossed aside his entire back catalogue to purge other musical ideas that have come up over the years. And my first reaction to listening to this was one of shock. Ace isn't exactly blessed with a decent singing voice and his flat, tuneless singing is a major initial turnoff. On some songs, such as "When Our Day is Through" or the especially uncomfortable acoustic ballad "Fade Away", I feel that perhaps I, too, could be a singer in a metal band. (And I'm terrible.) But the groove ridden guitar work pulled me back in for a few more listens and now I'm beginning to really appreciate this album. If nothing else, Ace knows how to write a gripping mid tempo song that is not quite metal, not quite grunge, but a great mix between the two that many Seattle bands would loved to have nicked earlier in the decade. Lyrically, Ace pours his heart out (though you have to keep that in perspective...he isn't Shakespear either), asking the audience not to prejudge him in "Label on the Wind", but also explores a sex-based relationship in "Hump for Fun". (Who let Paul Stanley in the room?) Yet on "Deep", he croons that "When I look in your big brown eyes/It's like a flash outta clear blue sky/and then that gentle smile/when your eyes meet mine/it's like I lose all sense of time". I'm confused, too. This whole album is a mixed bag of surprises, oddities, and things you'd just never expect the man who wrote "A Fine Day to Die" to release on the public. Whether or not this album meets your tastes, at least give Ace credit for not putting out under the Bathory flag merely to attact sales. (Maybe Tom G. Warrior should have released Cold Lake as a solo project and saved Celtic Frost's name.) Overall, I'm somewhat unsure precisely what to think of this album, but I keep putting it in the CD player...

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1998

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