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Bathory was a Swedish extreme metal band and considered by many to be a pioneer of several prominent extreme metal genres. The band was formed in Vällingby in 1983 and named after the infamous Hungarian countess, Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory, by the band’s frontman, main songwriter (and, for most of the band’s career, sole member) Thomas “Ace” Börje Forsberg (better known as Quorthon, 17th February 1966 - 3rd June 2004).

Bathory’s first four albums are claimed to be the blueprint for Scandinavian black metal and introduced many of the stylistic touches that would go on to be adopted as a trademark of the Norwegian Black Metal sound. Bathory, however, departed from this style on their fifth album, Hammerheart (1990), which is often cited as the first Viking metal album. Bathory continued in the Viking metal style throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, although the band forayed into thrash metal with the albums Requiem (1994) and Octagon (1995). Bathory ended when Quorthon died from heart failure in 2004.

Although at times constituted as a full band, even playing gigs on occasion, Bathory was predominately a studio project. An early member of the band was Jonas Åkerlund, the music video and film director - he played bass.

Early years (1980s)

Bathory was formed by Quorthon, a seventeen-year-old guitarist, who was joined by bassist Hanoi and drummer Vans. After various name changes (beginning with Nosferatu, then Natas, Mephisto, Elizabeth Bathory and Countess Bathory) they finally settled on Bathory.


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