Bathory: Blood Fire Death 12"
Official reissue of Bathory's 4th album, originally released in 1988. This has long been my most listened-to Bathory album, as it has hints of the primitive wailing of the band's early stuff, but weaves that into a much more musically ambitious whole. I'm not sure if "viking metal" is a real genre or not, but if it is this album is it's birthplace, combining the conventions of heavy metal with atmospheric musical modes that could soundtrack a norse battle epic. Of course if you're curious about Bathory you should probably start with the debut, but for me this is a close second in terms of power and (realized) ambition. Black Mark Records