2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Bathory’s milestone record Hammerheart.
As darkness settles in the North, Stockholm´s Ersta Hårdrock releases the epic, 8.36 minute tribute Ta Mig Med Ner till Hel*, dedicated to the late Quorthon of Bathory. The song is a hail to the multi-talented artist’s endeavours into the realm of Norse mythology.
Continuing the historic quest of Hammerheart, Ersta’s new material could be listened to as an epilogue to the album’s pinnacle track One Rode to Asa Bay.
Set in the early ’90s, Odin’s crow of wisdom has returned, not as a voice from the woods this time but through a needle’s interpretation of tiny irregularities on a black disc. Enthralling vibrations penetrate the mind of a young radical, making him aware of the wrongdoings by Christian missionaries in his country a thousand years earlier.
”Certainly, a few wooden churches would still be standing in Norway if it wasn’t for Hammerheart. I don’t think Quorthon quite saw the revolutionary potential of his own music.”
”Hammerheart is a masterpiece in the interpretation of Norse mythology. It’s almost a religious listening experience. It will never be matched within the metal scene. We’ve heard enough Viking clichés by now.”
In the days of Bathory, a series of films were made by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson which convey a different view of the Viking sagas. Those movies served as another source of inspiration.
“We’re going back to the time when Quorthon wrote Hammerheart and when the mysteries of the Viking Age were decoded into a relatable vision of people and places not very far way. We read the original Icelandic sagas and we looked into anything that would have influenced Quorthon at the time of Hammerheart. This project took us a year to finish. The lyrics, the repetitive guitar riff that simulates bronze lures in between the stanzas, the obvious tribute to Quorthon in the guitar solo and so on, everything had to be relevant.”
“We didn’t try to sound like Bathory. That would be sacrilegious let alone impossible. We always felt the spiritual connection though. Quorthon did most things himself, more and more so over his career it seems. He had huge visions, great integrity and limited production resources. We can relate to that”.