What should I really write about this album?! For some it is incredulous noise, for the others absolute mega cult. Even BATHORY master mind Quorthon was not too happy about Under The Sign Of The Black Mark" in an interview, even called it his worst piece of work. But especially this particular album influenced legions of young people to pick up instruments and help Black Metal to become huge years later.
Without "Under The Sign Of The Black Mark" the whole Norwegian Black Metal posse would be unthinkable in its current form. All stylistic elements that today are absolute standard have been perfected on this album. So is it the blueprint for an estimated 95% of all Blackies? Yes, it is! Infernal thrashing and bashing with a minimum of variety – who invented it? Right, BATHORY! Most evil, frostbitten atmosphere – who came up with it? BATHORY, hell yes! Who has had this super rough, dirty sound first? BATHORY, who else? And who the hell has released the goddamn best Black Metal album of all times? No, not VENOM, but BATHORY!!! And who was responsible for this bestial screeching? Of course Quorthon!
Quorthon’s mortal husk is rotting, but his spirit will stay with us forever. And ever since (1986) I have never heard a solo guitar again that had such a poisonous, gruesome sound as Quorthon’s. Before I start to kill myself here, just know that together with “Scream Bloody Gore” (DEATH) and “Reign In Blood” (SLAYER) “Under The Sign Of The Black Mark” forms the unholy triumvirate that forms the spear point of extreme Metal. To write anything about the songs is total idiocy, one just has to know them to be able to talk about the Black/Thrash/Death Metal scene. Every song is an incomparable hymn to darkness, but every ultra heavy warrior has to know at least the majestic mid-tempo hate chunk "Enter The Eternal Fire" by heart. (Online February 26, 2006)