Bathory Destroyer Of Worlds

Destroyer of Worlds is essentially the first album of all new material from Sweden's Bathory in more than five years, longer if you leave out 1996's Blood Fire Death, which was made up of recordings dating back to 1989. The hype that preceded the album claimed it to be a return to the sound of the band at the turn of the '90s: epic, grandiose black metal that is both melodic and hard-hitting. Unfortunately this new album doesn't make the cut. After a wonderful beginning on the slow-burning "Lake of Fire," the album offers two more songs that are in the classic Bathory style before going of into much more mediocre material. The first three songs would make a great mini-album, but by the time Quorthon starts yelling off-key in the proto-grunge fourth track, "Pestilence," it loses all momentum. For diehard fans only. (Black Mark)