Thursday, January 29, 2009

Viking Skull - Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey


Viking Skull
Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey
Powerage

When the group is called Viking Skull and the album Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey, the review practically writes itself. I mean, really, whaddaya think you’re going to get here – Carpenters covers? These UK bastards play heads-down, bloody, testosteronic hard rock - no more, no less. Channeling an obviously thorough knowledge of 70s and 80s metal, warlord Roddy Stone (a dead ringer vocally for Antiseen’s Jeff Clayton) leads this biker gang of a band through nine rampaging fight-starters. In For the Kill, Hair of the Dog and Start a War have enough riffs, momentum and general antagonism to make Lemmy lose sleep. 19 Swords takes on the NWOBHM (a wave that never subsided, it seems to me) for a classic track to inspire the invading hordes. The album ends with a real oddity, the piano barroom singalong Drink, but since the chorus is Gonna drink ‘til I shit my pants, it still sits squarely in the middle of Stone’s metal god worldview. From bloody invasion to alcoholic oblivion, loudly – good times, good times.

- Michael Toland

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