Viking Skull- Doom, Gloom, Heartache, and Whiskey

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, January 4, 2010

Viking Skull may have originated as a spoof band back in 2001, but over the years it has become a more serious act. When they first formed the group consisted solely of guys that were also in Raging Speedhorn, but after some internal fighting the original lineup disbanded and some other members were brought in. These new instrumentalists included Jess Margera of CKY, and since that time the group has been releasing material on a regular basis. Their latest album Doom, Gloom, Heartache, and Whiskey offers traditional heavy metal riffs and while it’s not a must have if you’re looking for a fun, no frills effort then give this a shot.

The members of Viking Skull waste no time in launching into some groove heavy riffs as soon as the starts and they don’t let up until the second to last song. It is clear that the instrumentalists have been inspired by many of the heavy metal/hard rock bands out there as many of the songs have riffs that are part blues rock. However, while the first couple of tracks have some riffs that really draw listeners in as they go through the rest of the album they will discover that they all start to sound the same. Viking Skull just doesn’t have enough variety to stand out from the rest of the bands in their genre, even though they do have some decent ideas. It is also worth mentioning that the last track “Drink” is almost pure parody and could turn some people off, as it comes without warning.

Vocalist Roddy Stone has a very gruff voice that is a perfect match for this band and their high energy riffs. His style is also appropriate considering that just about every song on this album revolves around themes of women, alcohol, and rock ‘n roll. Compared to some of the other hard rock/heavy metal vocalists out there Stone is much lower in pitch and because of this he is likely to help Viking Skull stand out a bit more than they would otherwise. In addition to this, he helps to make the group’s material fun to listen to as he brings plenty of attitude to the table.

Doom, Gloom, Heartache, and Whiskey certainly has its moments and although its riffs tend to blend together anyone looking for a high energy heavy metal/hard rock album will still enjoy it. I don’t see Viking Skull ever being a band that is the best of their genre by any means, but they do seem to have be having fun creating their material and at the very least this is good music to drink to.

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