Under The Influence #60: Divine Weep on “Hammerheart” by Bathory!
One of the corner stones of the Swedish Black Metal scene, Bathory took their name from the Hungarian Princess Elizabeth Bathory. Formed in 1984 and having a 20 year run, their fifth studio record “Hammerheart” stepped away from the genre with the Viking Metal elements of Amon Amarth present in the sound as the band contributed the transition they had started with its predecessor “Blood Fire Death“. Recorded at HeavenShore Studio in Stockholm Sweden over the summer of 1989, the album was released to critical acclaim the following April with Thomas Börje Forsberg aka Quorthon as a multi instrumentalist supported by a rhythm section of Kothaar on bass and Vvornth playing drums and percussion. For a band to have such an influence on one genre is one thing, but to crush two Metal genres with one blow of Thor’s hammer and have the honour of someone naming their brewing company after it… that’s just incredible.
Divine Weep‘s guitarist and main songwriter – Bartosz Kosacki – has chosen Bathory’s “Hammerheart” as the most influential record in his life: “There were many albums that shaped my music sensitivity and creativity – most of them from the Scandinavian metal scene of the 90s, namely „Storm of the Light’s Bane” (Dissection), „Aspera Hiems Symfonia” (Arcturus) or „Morningrise” (Opeth) – but the album that has had the biggest influence on me would be Bathory’s „Hammerheart”. It is a record that teleports me to the medieval times – the climate, melodies and grandiose vocals bring the images that have been corresponding with me ever since.
As a songwriter, I was always digging the unusual musical solutions and harmonies. I always loved to search, experiment and fuse different elements, play around with sounds to create extraordinary (sometimes atonal) sounds and mix it with harmonic, nostalgic melodies as a way to expand my music vocabulary. The more I think of it the more I’m certain that Divine Weep’s music owes much to Quorthon Seth and his „Hammerheart”, more than to any other artist (even to Iron Maiden, with whom we have been often compared). A lasting piece of art, that’s what it is.”