first thoughts that came to my mind when I first sat myself
down to write this introducing letter for bathory.nu,
is how very important the underground feel still is and how
ever present that feel is in everything that BATHORY does.
you call it Black, Death, Epic, Viking or Nordic, BATHORY has
made a dent in the history of extreme metal. During the past
two decades, a great deal of frontiers has been explored, boundaries
were crossed and horizons broadened. New sounds and styles created,
new ways to expand in the field of instrumentation and new ways
to arrange extreme metal have been invented.
take great pride in having been a vital part in that evolution.
Extreme metal today is so much more than any of us could even
have dreamed of twenty years ago. And you - the audience - are
the ones that ultimately get the most out of all that in the
in the mid 90’s as we planned the release of an album
entitled BLOOD ON ICE, it was felt a necessary
move to try and explain the sometimes complicated story and
many turns in the life-line of the BLOOD ON ICE-project.
A decision was made to write a one thousand words long story
that would bring almost every little detail up vital in telling
the whole story of the BLOOD ON ICE-project,
and to print all that in the BLOOD ON ICE-CD
booklet. This story would also feature a lot of behind-the-scenes
stuff, things that we deemed interesting to read not only to
the die-hard BATHORY audience but also the public in general.
much mystery, so many legends and strange stories circulated,
that perhaps some details from behind-the-scene could help in
bringing the making of the BATHORY-records into new light. Not
the least the very primitive conditions we had to be content
with during the 80’s.
of those early albums of BATHORY are still considered vital
fundaments in the history of extreme metal, albums that influenced
tons of acts and pleased enough people out there for BATHORY
to have passed the 1.4 million mark in terms of sold units during
the past two decades. It was felt that perhaps some behind-the-scenes
stories would serve to increase people’s admiration for
how we were still able to create those albums despite the many
difficulties and makeshift conditions.
base of the material that would eventually be released as the
complete BLOOD ON ICE-saga, had also been recorded
during these primitive makeshift conditions. Thus we thought
it only appropriate to take the opportunity to shed the light
on those circumstances during which at least four of our early
albums had been recorded.
the response to the behind-the-scene stories and details revealed,
was nothing we could ever have expected. Tons of deeply hurt
die-hard BATHORY fans would write me and use such hard words
as “...sacrilege...” or “...traitors...”.
And how the hell could I "...talk about BATHORY in
such a disrespectful manner..." and who the hell did
I think I was "...to have the right to write things
like that and talk about BATHORY in such a way..." etc.
realized then more than ever before that BATHORY was surrounded
by the same sort of stuff only legends are made from. The element
of mystery and suspense was still very important to a lot of
die-hard BATHORY fans. We hadn't been disrespectful or tactless
- just heedless - in bringing out some behind-the-scenes details.
I suppose people didn't want to know how Quorthon of BATHORY
would squeeze himself into this cleaning cabinet while doing
the vocals for this track or be seated in the bathroom while
recording the acoustic guitar on another track. It was the truth,
but it didn't suit the image that a lot people had of BATHORY
irony is, at that exact moment I was toying with the idea of
writing and publishing a BATHORY book. So finding out how the
only people who would even have the slightest reason to buy
and read a BATHORY book could react so emotionally to some behind-the-scenes
stories revealed - and the pointlessness in writing that BATHORY
book - was a bitter fact to swallow. I would nevertheless make
notes along the road, notes that has come in handy today as
the bathory.nu site goes active.
it has been a thoughtful and eventful journey before the bathory.nu site materialized. And the story begins thus…
always wanted BATHORY to keep an underground atmosphere and
attitude in much of what we were doing. For a number of years
- a long time ago - I didn't want tons of BATHORY shirts and
picture disc’s to flood the market, thus I was very reluctant
to give my consent to the official BATHORY merchandise we are
used to today. Until one day I realized there was a mismatch
in the balance between demand and supply. A gap occurred, a
gap that tons of bootleggers were just too happy to fill with
whatever crap they could produce. At the end of a series of
circumstances, I ended up receiving emails and letters from
fans all over the world telling me how they’d paid big
money for down and outright crap. So we began to produce our
own merchandise. Not for the profit, because we always kept
as low prices as possible, but as a service to our loyal hordes.
same story can be used to describe the talks about an official
BATHORY homepage. For a great number of years - not reading
the metal press myself - I was used to receive letters from
fans telling me about something on BATHORY published in either
a local fanzine or a widely distributed magazine. The article
as such - usually enclosed with the letter as a photocopy and
frequently translated by the fan - would consist mostly of either
the obviously incorrect or hard-to-believe stuff. It took a
lot of my time to personally answer each and every one of the
worried fans that wrote me. I assured them that either this
or that detail in the articles was either an assumption made
by the journalist or a rumor he might have picked up down his
local favorite gay bar.
the past handful of years however, with the arrival of hundreds
of metal sites on the web, the scene was repeated. Fans would
begin to email me about something they’d read on a website,
asking me if this or that was true. They’d normally enclose
a link allowing me to check various sites up for the degree
of truth in what the site had down as their version of the history
of BATHORY. To this day, I can not claim to have seen even one
so-called BATHORY-biography on the web that was even remotely
close to accurate. The most horrifying examples would contain
up to 99% inaccurate information, vicious lies, malevolent rumors,
irrelevant bullshit and utter crap.
couldn't have cared less myself personally. But just imagining
the number of fans that at any given moment could unsuspectingly
read and perhaps believe these sites, made me appalled. It literally
tore my heart out just contemplating the number of people who
might just have thrown a quick eye on these false biographies
and taken what they had just read for the truth.
must have written up to a hundred emails - asking the folks
responsible for a site - to contemplate dropping me an email
just once with any questions they might have regarding BATHORY.
I assured them that I’d be all ears and that I’d
truthfully answer anything they could possibly come up with.
All in an effort to try and set the record straight and to serve
both the BATHORY fans and the rest of the people who might visit
I would judge a particular case as nothing other than lack of
knowledge on their part and I would go easy on them. Other times,
I sensed a more vicious tone in the way they’d handle
the history of BATHORY. The details brought up as facts - apart
from being inaccurate - had nothing to do with music and such
a huge portion of their BATHORY story seemed to have been written
with the sole intent to do nothing but harm.
once said: in order to make room for the new Gods you're gonna have to
kill off some of the old Gods. BATHORY has indeed been labeled
as pioneers, masters and Gods alike by an entire scene for almost
two decades. I could live with the epithet “pioneer” or even “master”, that’s just a telltale
sign of the impact and importance your music has had on millions
of people around the world over a period of two decades. I was
never was too comfortable with that “God”
thing, though. But there might be some truth in that "killing
the old Gods off" phrase.
the time the second generation of extreme metal bands of various
styles - highly influenced by BATHORY - began to release their
first couple of albums in the mid 90’s, it was high time
to consider BATHORY as old Gods indeed. Along with that came
an attitude that said it was justifiable - even expected - to
cut BATHORY by the ankles in any way and for any reason. Along
with that change in attitude came a new way to write about BATHORY.
the fan mail received would still be full of praise and hails,
only very few times in the past ten years roughly would I encounter
a fanzine, magazine or a webzine that approached the subject
of BATHORY without a grin or a poorly hidden smirk. I tried
very hard to find out why. Only recently did I find out how
people would talk behind doors and in closed circuits at release
parties, in beer tents during festivals and up the editorial
domains. A few acquaintances - occasionally active within the
metal media in Europe - informed me how it would even be indulged
to bad mouth BATHORY and myself personally as much as possible.
This would not only spread an ugly atmosphere but in the end
also harm the relationship between BATHORY and our audience,
since most of what our audience got to read would be this malevolent
bullshit and incorrect crap.
explained for the change of tone in the way some media would
write about BATHORY. Reviews would very seldom be about the
music at all. Interviews would be full of instances where words
had been put into my mouth. Things that I had actually said
would some times be twisted around to such a degree you couldn't
blame all of that on language problems or a bad telephone line.
And both malicious and sarcastic comments slid in by the journalist
or even the editorials would either end every second passage
or even make up the headline.
would occasionally tell a journalist at the end of an interview
how much I thought his questions had been way off the only relevant
issue: the music. And I would be frank about my feelings for
the media in general. I’d be open about how I thought
the big magazines were less about the music and more about fashion.
I couldn't have cared less when people told me I should perhaps
not be so outspoken. I wasn't a twenty-year old newcomer to
the scene. I did not nourish dreams of top reviews and spreads
in their glossy magazines. I had done all that and more.
wasn't asking for unconditional praise and hails from the media.
All I asked for was an objective approach to music beyond fashion
and trends. I
couldn't care less if Nu Metal was the flavor of the month or
if Gothic was considered hotter than retro-spandex-whatever
had been the previous month. But I did care when reviews would
be nothing but personal insults and when more than half of what
went down as my words in interviews had been re-written and
twisted around to the point I did not only sound like a retard
but would come across as a complete idiot all together.
or not frank about my thoughts and views of the media in general
and what went wrong in the way they cover music. Truth is -
though - the almost infamous relationship between the media
and myself has been horrendously blown out of proportions. Not
wanting to make that the main issue whenever I did talk to the
fanzines, magazines, webzines or radio stations, I decided that
enough was enough. I didn't want to push the focus away from
the music any further than what was the case already.
very positive response from the fans that wrote or emailed me
was proof enough that I had made my point and reached out. I
knew I had stirred some shit around and made people think. But
there was still some work to be done in terms of offering the
many webzines out there a direct link to correct information,
cold facts and the answers to any questions they might have
regarding BATHORY. Thus, I would spend all that time emailing
webzines to inform them of the vast portion of misinformation
they had down as their version of the BATHORY history.
this day, less than a handful of the close to a hundred folks
I’d email actually did reply. Most of them would say they
were indeed sorry and went on to claim they of course agreed
with me totally in that they of course should have contemplated
spending two minutes of their lives to write me that email.
Others would come back saying things like “...tough
luck...” or “...that’s life...”,
displaying a total disrespect towards the unfortunate people
who might just happen to end up with their website on their
way these people would deliberately neglect the chance to get
the facts straight from me, the way they chose to ignore the
opportunity to ask me that one question they’d always
wanted to know the answer to, and the way the couldn't be bothered
with the level of misinformation on their website, was a frightening
these hemorrhoids were the last instance, if people like these
had the tools and position to reach out to the audience of all
act's, and to deliver their crap to readers in general and fans
especially, then the whole web-culture really needed a clean-up.
If their lack of judgment, lack of care and lack of professionalism
really shaped peoples image of something that had been the biggest
part of my life and my creation for the past twenty years, my
prayers could only be with the unsuspecting fans.
was around this time that I realized only an official BATHORY
website would sort the problem out. With an official site on
the web, there would be a place where fans especially and people
in general could go for the plain truth, the correct story,
the hard facts, the accurate information and even the stuff
no journalist even bothered to ask. Never again would a journalist,
a web editor or a general hemorrhoid be able to claim lack of
accessible or official information as an excuse for the vicious
lies, malicious misinformation, malevolent rumors, irrelevant
bullshit and utter crap they’d consistently brought up
when writing about BATHORY. Thus the decision was made to create bathory.nu.
remembering the harsh response to some of the stories and details
brought up in the BLOOD ON ICE-CD booklet,
there was still some reluctance lurking in the back of our minds.
Would bathory.nu be met in a similar
fashion? Could the response be the same this time around? A
golden opportunity to get the answer to that would be the release
of the twin saga NORDLAND.
decided to create a long web article and feature that on blackmark.net
simultaneously with the release of NORDLAND I.
The article would be about the NORDLAND-saga
specifically and the BATHORY history generally. At the end of
that article, we asked you the fans to contribute in making
part of the NORDLAND II web article a forum
for the BATHORY Hordes. We asked you the fans to send us your
questions for a selection we called The Fans Asks The
Questions or the FAQ-section.
response was overwhelming. We received well over a thousand
emails. And although there simply wasn't enough time to allow
for all emails to make it to the FAQ-section, great care was
taken to try and answer as many questions as possible with a
personal email. Once the NORDLAND web article
part two hit the net around the release of NORDLAND
II, and the response was that of praise and hails,
we realized then that the time was ripe for bathory.nu.
hope that bathory.nu will be an interesting
spot on the web for all of you. We hope that you will trust
bathory.nu as the home to all BATHORY
fans. We hope that you will think of bathory.nu
as the place to go in order to get the news on BATHORY.
hope that when you come here to get an insight into two decades
of extreme metal history, you will get what you came for. Whether
you are looking for a specific detail from the past or want
to read about a special phase in BATHORY history, we hope to
be able to serve you with all the facts you want. And when you
want to read the story seldom told, the answer to the question
rarely asked, this will be the site for you.
you are dead tired of the garbage delivered by your favorite
metal magazines, then bathory.nu is
the place for you. We trust that we will be able to serve you
all the behind-the-scenes details and inside stories. You can
always trust on bathory.nu. for the
correct, true, accurate and honest history of BATHORY.
have been told this site will be updated and expand further
down the road. Yet should there be anything that you feel we
have missed or should there be an issue you feel we didn't expand
on enough, hesitate not to drop us an email anytime and we'll
try to incorporate whatever the issue when up-dating the site.
And similarly, should there be anything at all that you would
like to share with us and the BATHORY HORDES around the world,
hesitate not to drop us any jpeg's or scanned items.
for now, please enjoy bathory.nu and
stand proud brothers and sisters......
Hail the Hordes!