Album that changed my life:
"Hammerheart" by Bathory
In my last entry, I noted that the slower material by Nile had sent me looking for long, epic metal. In my humble opinion, it doesn't get much more epic than this. I bought Hammerheart some time in the late fall or or early winter of 2006, and it was one of the first albums (besides the In Flames back-catalog) that I can remember buying online. My search for epic, sweeping metal had yielded an all-time classic that introduced me to Viking metal, introduced me to one of my absolute favorite bands, and contained my single favorite metal song ever recorded (One Rode to Asa Bay). In a nutshell, this was one of the best musical purchases I ever made, and though I love much of Bathory's material, this remains my favorite of their albums. Through this record I would find myself latching onto numerous other bands. Admittedly I did not hear bands like Moonsorrow, Falkenbach, and Månegarm until somewhat later but Hammerheart prepared me to receive them when I finally did. It would also not be a stretch to say that, by acquainting me with a different element of Scandinavian metal, this album primed me for the next entry on this list.