Released: 2010, Restricted Release
I don’t think band has ever had a single original idea. However we can overlook that because they are really cool! 20 songs at well over an hour is probably twice as long as the albums needs to be. It’s not there is any filler but Viking Skull certainly do not subscribe to the theory of ‘leave them wanting more’. This is one horse tranquilizer of a party. They could have left off tracks 1-6 which are the debut EP, the innovatively titled, CHAPER ONE. It came out 7 years ago, but they are nice to have if you don’t already own the EP. Then they tack on five more bonus tracks, so really it is a great value.
Let’s look a little closer shall we? Wait! What’s this? These songs look and sound familiar…wait a sec…this is just a reissue of their debut album BORN IN HELL from 2005 with new cover art and a new title! Pretty sneaky. Wait, there’s more…these so called ‘bonus’ tracks are just the ‘BLACKENED SUNRISE EP!
So let’s cut to the chase. If you are a fan this is a virtually useless reissue of the first album and first two EP’s. To be fair there is a demo version of ‘Double Or Quits’ and I believe a previously unreleased track called ‘Conquer The World’. One new cut is not enough to make fans want to hop on their Harley and go buy this. Oh yes, it’s ‘re-mastered’. Big friggin’ deal. Raw Rock ’n’ Roll songs this good don’t need to be re-mastered in the first place.
Industry standards and presentation aside, that doesn’t alter the fact the band still kicks eternal ass. I’m not going to get too much into the music, because it has already been discussed before. if you want to read a review of the original version of BORN IN HELL written by Crashtest a few years back, click here. http://www.metalrules.com/review/viewreview.php
Imagine Kiss at their heaviest (with Gene on vocals, like ‘God Of Thunder’ style) and you have a good idea of what Roddy Stone sounds like. Namely… totally awesome! He possesses a pure 100% rock voice like the love-child of Handsome Dick Manitoba and Lee Dorian in mid-era Cathedral. Let’s drop some more names; Nashville Pussy, Pentagram, Fireball Ministry, stoner, doom, sledge, sludge rock metal, stir it all into one big bubbling cauldron of southern swamp goodness and drink deep out of a viking skull. Great band, crappy reissue. If this is your first chance to hear Viking Skull crank that 2.5 rating up to an easy 4. The saving grace of HEAVY METAL THUNDER is that if you are not already fan or willing disciple of the Skull, buy this and you will save money tracking down the original pressings AND you be instantly converted.