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Background information
Birth name Tomas Börje Forsberg
Also known as Ace Shot, Black Spade
Born (1966-02-17)17 February 1966
Stockholm, Sweden
Died circa 3 June 2004(2004-06-03) (aged 38)
Genres Black metal, viking metal, thrash metal, alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, vocals, sequencer
Years active 1983–2004
Labels Black Mark, Noise
Associated acts Bathory
Jennie Tebler (his sister)

Tomas Börje Forsberg, known by the stage name Quorthon (17 February 1966 – c. 7 June 2004), was a Swedish musician. He was the founder and songwriter of the band Bathory, which pioneered the black metal genre and is credited with creating the Viking metal style.[1] A multi-instrumentalist, Quorthon wrote the music and lyrics on all of Bathory's albums and performed vocals and guitars.


Quorthon formed Bathory (named after the infamous Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Báthory) in 1983 when he was 17 years old, after briefly playing in the Oi! band Stridskuk. He recorded his early albums together with the help of his father, Börje Forsberg, the head of the Swedish record label Tyfon Grammofon, who also released most of his albums on the Tyfon imprint Black Mark. The first album was recorded in the garage of famed schlager writer Peter Himmelstrand, dubbed Studio Heavenshore.[1]

Around this time (in the mid- to late 80s) live performances by Bathory were rare. Albums from this period helped the then-burgeoning black metal subgenre, and rare photographs of the band helped in part to define its image. Beginning in the 1990s, Quorthon took full control of Bathory, choosing to forgo performing live in order to spend time recording music with hired musicians, as well changing style from the black metal of the 80's to a slower, heavier style dubbed "Viking metal", due to its lyrics being focused on Norse mythology. From this point onwards, he also played bass guitar on almost all of his albums, and mostly used a drum machine or a session drummer.

Quorthon also personally paid for the production of Bathory's only ever music video, for the song "One Rode to Asa Bay", taken from their second Viking metal album, Hammerheart. The video was shown on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, though Quorthon had not yet seen it at the time he was interviewed for the program.

In 1993 Quorthon set Bathory aside and recorded and released two albums under the name "Quorthon". The first, called Album, was released in 1994. The final two solo releases emerged in 1997, Purity of Essence and the EP When Our Day Is Through. The albums released under the Quorthon moniker were more rock oriented than Bathory's black/viking metal style. While working on these albums he found new inspiration to continue composing music for Bathory. Bathory's next albums were in a retro-thrash metal style, before he veered towards his Viking metal style once again, especially on the Nordland saga.


Quorthon was found dead in his apartment in Stockholm on 7 June 2004, apparently from heart failure.[2][3][4][5] Some sources give the date of his death as 3 June. Quorthon was buried at Sandsborgs Kyrkogård in Gamla Enskede, South Stockholm on 13 July of the same year.

Black Mark Production released a box set under the title In Memory of Quorthon. It contained a poster of Quorthon, three CDs of previously released material and cover versions, some promo footage of Quorthon's tours and the music video for "One Rode to Asa Bay".


Bathory albums

Solo albums


Studio album by Quorthon
Released 1994
Genre Grunge
Label Black Mark
Producer Quorthon

All songs written and composed by Quorthon[6]

No. Title Length
1. "No More and Never Again"   3:36
2. "Oh No No"   5:59
3. "Boy"   8:45
4. "Major Snooze"   2:43
5. "Too Little Much Too Late"   3:58
6. "Crack In My Mirror"   6:41
7. "Rain"   5:49
8. "Feather"   5:48
9. "Relief"   5:43
10. "Head Over Heels"   6:03

Purity of Essence

Purity of Essence
Studio album by Quorthon
Released 1997
Genre Grunge
Label Black Mark
Producer Quorthon

All songs written and composed by Quorthon. 

Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "Rock 'N Roll"   0:04
2. "I've Had It Coming My Way"   3:29
3. "When Our Day Is Through"   4:25
4. "One of Those Days"   3:59
5. "Cherrybutt & Firefly"   3:33
6. "Television"   3:41
7. "Hit My Head"   5:28
8. "Hump for Fun"   3:13
9. "Outta Space"   4:06
10. "Fade Away"   6:14
11. "I Want Out"   4:15
12. "Daddy's Girl"   4:19
13. "Coming Down in Pieces"   5:50
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "Roller Coaster"   4:06
2. "It's OK"   4:18
3. "All in All I Know"   4:19
4. "No Life at All"   2:38
5. "An Inch Above the Ground"   3:34
6. "The Notforgettin'"   4:09
7. "Deep"   5:33
8. "Label on the Wind"   6:48
9. "Just the Same"   4:54
10. "You Just Got to Live"   5:03

When Our Day Is Through

When Our Day Is Through
EP by Quorthon
Released 1997
Studio The Leach Studio
Genre Grunge
Label Black Mark
Producer Quorthon

All songs written and composed by Quorthon. 

No. Title Length
1. "When Our Day Is Through"   4:27
2. "Cherrybutt & Firefly"   3:35
3. "An Inch Above the Ground"   3:32
4. "I've Had It Coming My Way"   3:33


  1. 1.0 1.1 Johannesson, Ika & Klingberg, Jon Jefferson. (2011) Blod Eld Död - En svensk metalhistoria, Alfabeta Bokförlag AB, p. 51-68.
  2. Blabbermouth
  3. D'Amico, Giuliano. Requiem. Ad un anno esatto dalla morte di Quorthon celebriamo l`imprescindibile combo svedese, Kronic, 7 June 2005. Accessed 15 February 2012.
  4. Kouroupis, Panagiotis. Quorthon (Bathory), Blackmore's Night, Megadeth, Sentenced, Avopolis, 15 June 2004. Accessed 15 February 2012.
  5. Bathory Portrait, musik-base.de. Accessed 15 February 2012.
  6. "Quorthon - Album". Discogs.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links