Yesterday (February 17th) was the birthday Thomas Börje Forsberg. Who’s that? Well, he was better known as Quorthon, the man behind the massively influential and utterly awesome black metal/Viking metal band Bathory. After creating the image and sound that is associated with black metal today on the first three Bathory albums, with Under the Sign of the Black Mark being one of the best early black metal albums, legend has it that Quorthon personally fought Odin for the right to bring Viking metal to us unsuspecting masses, and thus the amazing Blood Fire Death, Hammerheart, and Twilight of the Gods albums were gifted to the world. Those three albums cemented Bathory’s and Quorthon’s reputations as masters of the craft. Hammerheart is credited as inventing the Viking metal sound. Bathory went in a more thrash metal direction for a couple years before returning to the more epic Viking metal sound with the Nordland albums, four of which were planned but only two were completed before Quorthon tragically passed away.
Quorthon left this mortal world for the Great Halls of Valhalla in 2004, but his legacy lives on and on in the amazing music he created and the legions of bands who are massively influenced by his work. Black metal and metal in general would not be the same without this man.
Hail Quorthon, man of iron!