Song of the Day: Hammerheart (by Bathory)

Resident site writer and music-editor necromoonyeti knows more about the history of the Swedish metal band Bathory who helped pioneer not just black metal but an even more awesome subgenre we now know as Viking metal. I’m still educating myself in the sounds of Bathory, but one particular song from their epic discography which has caught my attention would be the 7th song from their 6th album, Twilight of the Gods. This song makes the latest “Song of the Day” and it’s simply called “Hammerheart”.

“Hammerheart” was the only song from Bathory’s sixth album which wasn’t written by it’s founder Quorthon but adapted from English composer Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets. To be more concise this Bathory adaptation uses an excerpt from The Planets’ fourth movement called “Jupiter”. The Holst song must’ve made quite an impression on Quorthon for it remains one of the more memorable Bathory songs once he switched the band from it’s 80’s black metal days to the slower, heavier style which would become Viking metal.

This song, every time I listen to it, makes me think of the cold, icy fjords being plied by dragonships full of Viking raiders as they move in and out of the rivers and tributaries of mainland Europe to bring their unique brand of culture to mainland Europe. It also makes me think of Viking funerals with this song being played as an accompaniment. I may not have Norse blood in my veins but this song lets me imagine that I do.


Now that the wind called my name
And my star had faded now hardly a glimpse
up in the empty space
And the wise one-eyed great father
in the sky stilled my flame

For the ones who stood me near
And you few who were me dear
I ask of thee to have no doubts and no fears

For when the great clouds fills the air
And the thunder roars from o, so
far away up in the sky
Then for sure you will know that I have
reached the joyous hall up high

With my bloodbrothers at side
All sons of father with one eye
We were all born in the land of the blood on ice

And now you all who might hear my song
Brought to you by the northern wind have no fear
Though the night may seem so everlasting
and forever dark

There will come a golden dawn
At ends of nights for all yee on whom
Upon the northstar always shines

The vast gates to hall up high
Shall stand open wide and welcome you
with all its within
And Oden shall hail us bearers of a pounding

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