Viking Skull – Chapter Two
|By Srikanth Panaman|
|Friday, 26 October 2007|
See, when this guy , influenced by everything from sci-fi and games to evolution and existential theories, has a lot of musical ideas mostly based on and influenced by old school hard rock/metal, he lets it all out on a band called Slough Feg. This other guy has similar influences and insanely equivalent amount of ideas, releases his epic concept albums through his equally awesome band called Hammers of Misfortune . These guys push it. For a more traditional and serious take on this, the band would probably be called Pharoah . Take these influences but when the need here is to have a fun opening act for your regular band that has turned into a beerbanging riot-causing old school metal project, you better call it something as kvlt as Viking Skull and rock the fuck out.
As of this brand new second album called Chapter Two, Viking Skull doesn’t have any of the Raging Speedhorn members left in the lineup any longer. Roddy Stone runs the show on this new version and pulls off an awesome performance handling both the vocals and guitars. Julian Cooper on lead guitars and Jess Margera on Drums are the new recruits along with Waldie continuing to be their bassist.
Blackened Sunrise works awesomely as the album opener with its traditional-drinking-song vibe blended with a very Maiden-school guitar style and some really cool whiskey soaked gruff vocals by Roddy seated firmly close to the delivery style that Motorhead and WASP have had. Unholy Ground is total Thin Lizzy, think Cold Sweat from their marvellous Thunder & Lightning album. Likewise, there’s Dio-era Iommi like riffing going on frequently and there are other obvious reference points that can’t be denied. The rest of the songs including Believer In A Dead World and King of Kings are a blast and the album closer The Hidden Flame is the excellent near-ballad near-epic kinda song.
The bottomline is, this is a thoroughly enjoyable album with a consistent bunch of songs with every song having at least one bit that’ll make these guys stand apart in the endless crowd of tribute/fun/revival bands. And the hooks, this album is full of it and they’re not lame rehashes that’ll impress you on the first listen because it’s your pet genre and bore you after a couple more spins. Like the rest of the music, the leads are dirty, melodic, often wah-filled and as a rule, always ballsy. Recommended; but if you don’t want to take my word for it, better get clicking. Go to the myspace link below to sample a couple of songs to see if it floats your shitty boat.
Year of Release: 2007