"Bathory of the 80s obviously received a cult status in the black metal circles. Each album of that period is praised, but "The Return" gets less worship than the others. Anyway, the album has strong sides. The debut of Bathory overall was like Venom and Motörhead on steroids. It was rawer, it had screaming and in meanwhile it was the first full-length of Bathory, thus there's no surprise in its historical importance. It was the great original, while "The Return" was billed as its follow-up. Yet there're noticeable differences between these albums.
Bathory became harsher on "The Return". The sound of the band was metalized. The album features elements, which would become common for black metal not only in sound, concept and vocals, but in songwriting. There would be more of these elements on "Under the Sign of the Black Mark", so that many would call it the first "true" black metal album of Bathory and thus in general. So, "The Return" is placed between the two albums, which are more important historically. It is a transmission between the two styles of the band. All this fact puts the opus in the shadow of its neighbors."
- HViteGuden, metal-archives.net
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