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Born in Hell
Released: 2006, 456 Enterprises
Get in, get fucked and get out... such is the credo of the UK’s Viking Skull. No, it’s not their battle cry before kicking in the door of a whorehouse, it’s their motivation for forming the band. If you choose to believe the band’s official bio contains no embellishment, vocalist/guitarist Roddy Stone once reasoned with his friends that they could get free beer if they formed a band and played gigs at local clubs. It wouldn’t be hard, all they had to do was get in the door, make some noise, get wasted and then get out. They started out playing cover songs but eventually developed enough of a following to justify writing their own music. That original music was strong enough to get them signed to a label and BORN IN HELL followed with a European release in October 2005. It wasn’t long before Carson Daly took notice on the other side of the pond. Yes, THAT Carson Daly. The band signed to Daly’s 456 Enterprises and BORN IN HELL was subsequently released in North America in May 2006.
Now that you know the band’s background, it probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that Viking Skull make the kind of dirty hard rock you’d expect to hear coming out of a biker bar. If they were a drink they’d be 2 oz of Motorhead and 1 oz of AC/DC with a dash of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The riffs are distorted, heavy and catchy, the drums are pounding and the vocals are gruff. The lyrics cover such weighty topics as getting drunk and banging chicks. In other words, Viking Skull is the anti-thesis of Dream Theater. This isn’t geeky technical metal, Viking Skull make straight-up hard rock played with their sweaty ballsacks hanging out for all to see. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
At it’s roots BORN IN HELL is a collection of eleven solid, rockin’ songs that I’ve enjoyed listening to many times over the past month. While there may not be that one killer song that will forever define Viking Skull, neither is there a song that forces you to skip to the next one. The album is a solid ball of rock with the occasional nod to Maiden’s dual guitar harmonies and Sabbath’s doomy riffs. It’s the kind of stuff you appreciate more when the volume is turned up high. And how can you not dig lyrics like “heavy drinking, heavy metal psycho sex machine” and “give me the beer, give me the bitches, give me the drugs”?
Try to forget that you ever heard these guys are associated in any way with Carson Daly. BORN IN HELL is an enjoyable album that most metal fans will appreciate.
Highlights: Born In Hell, Frostbite, Seedealer
Genre References: Hard Rock, NWOBHM
1. Born In Hell
2. Crank The Volume
3. Red Hot Woman
5. Saddle Up
7. Beers, Drugs & Bitches
8. Rock & Roll Suicide
9. Dirty Dirty Hole
10. Inject My Woman (With Love)
11. You Can’t Kill Rock & Roll
Roddy Stone – vocals, guitars
Darren Smith – guitars
Kevin Waldie – bass
Gordon Morison – drums
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