Viral – Viral

Spread the metal:

Review Date: February 2021
Released: 2021, Independent
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: RC2000

Hailing from Sweden, heavy metallers Viral have released their first album entitled VIRAL. They describe themselves as being ‘heavily rooted in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with influences from thrash and power metal’. I’d say that’s a good assessment, and what I’d expect from looking at the nice cover artwork.

The album starts off galloping along with “Scarred”, and the production is excellent thanks to Niels Nielsen (Ghost, In Flames, Witchery). “Going Down” and “Machine” follow with the same kind of mid-tempo, modern heavy metal vibe. One of the things I noticed when I was researching this band is that they’re always smiling and having a good time – and you can hear it in the music. Vocalist Albin Forsell reminds me of Per Karlsson from the little-known band Unchained, and his style fits the music very well.

Track four “Gallows” changes up the formula slightly and is probably my favorite from the album. The lyrics are based on true events from the Haymarket Riot of Chicago in 1886. The event started as a protest for the 8-hour workday and ended tragically at the gallows. How cool is it that musicians from Sweden are familiar with this bit of history? I grew up 5-6 hours from Chicago and I hadn’t heard of it. The guitar melodies really draw you in, and I noticed some awesome drum fills too – every band member gets a chance to shine.

The second half of the album consists of catchy tracks also, including some killer guitar solos. The final track “Devil’s Clockwork” reminds us that although man uses the concept of time as a tool, it is time that dictates our lives and what we do. This is an album where you don’t have to skip over any songs. Highly recommended for fans of heavy/power metal and NWOBHM styles. The release is available digitally with a physical version planned for later this spring.


Track Listing:

1. Scarred
2. Going Down
3. Machine
4. Gallows
5. Gonna Lose It
6. Viral
7. Mephorious
8. Selo’s Tale
9. Devil’s Clockwork


Vocals: Albin Forsell
Guitar: Marcus Borggren
Guitar: Larri Mohell Malinen
Bass: Christian Ståhl
Drums: Linus Melchiorsen