On May 11, 2012, Bazillion Points Books honors main man Quorthon and the memory of black metal’s most influential band, Bathory, on the 25-year anniversary of the group’s incomparable third album, Under the Sign of the Black Mark.
Says Jon Kristiansen, author of METALION: The Slayer Mag Diaries: “For lack of a better word, Bathory brought more ‘class’ to primal black metal. Where certain bands polished their sound over time, you can’t really accuse Bathory of that. They still embraced all their earlier trademarks, but Quorthon took the total darkness concept to a whole new stage. And when I randomly got a copy of the U.S. version, they had printed one of my quotes as a selling point sticker on the cover. I am still extremely proud of that.”
Says Daniel Ekeroth, author of SWEDISH DEATH METAL: “Bathory’s most notable aspect still is the aura of complete mystery. Nobody seemed to know anything about them in the mid-’80s, not even in Sweden. The albums featured no band photos and no names except for the pseudonym Quorthon. Interviews were scarce and they never played live. All you had were albums loaded with fiendish music. Bathory seemed to exist in another dimension, and that made the impact all the greater.”
Says Ian Christe, author of SOUND OF THE BEAST: “Under the Sign of the Black Mark is still the blueprint and point of departure for all black metal. The scorching, all-consuming fire of this record lit the torch that is still passed from hand to hand, year after year. I spent hours talking with Quorthon and his producer Boss Forsberg about the record, and in the end this breakthrough was really a miracle of perfect timing. As far as black metal is concerned, this might as well be the first Black Sabbath album.”