Album Review
Viking Skull - Doom, Gloom, Heartache & WhiskeyViking Skull – Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey

Viking Skull was formed in 2002 by Raging Speedhorn members Gordon Morison, Darren Smith, and Frank Regan, along with their technician, Roddy Stone, and their merchandiser, Waldie. So, it’s basically Raging Speedhorn in a slightly different configuration, and it’s not hard to see where their influences lie.

This is Viking Skull’s 3rd studio release, and since their formative years, Dom Wallace of Deadeye, and Rich Vose of Gnarkill have joined the line-up. This is a fairly short 9 tracker, but it still packs a punch, delivering some incredible guitar riffs and fantastic basslines.

The album starts out strongly with the opening track, ‘Start A War’ and keeps the momentum going through the entire tracklisting. Each songs starts off with some amazing heavy guitars and catchy riffs, but unfortunately, they seem to collapse once the vocals begin, and the songs tend to become lacking and repetitive. In particular, ‘Double Or Quits’ has a promising introduction, but loses its excitement once the predictable verses and choruses kick in. ‘Shot Down’ also starts off with an interesting acoustic solo, but again lapses into a formulaic metal/classic rock configuration later on.

Viking Skull’s influences are clear, which might be a good thing for some, but for me it means they lack the unique quality that mean the success of more distinctive bands. There’s a clear Iron Maiden influence in some tracks, and, of course, a very definite Raging Speedhorn theme running through the entire album. Midway through the song ‘In Hell’, there’s a riff so uncannily like Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’, that you might think you’ve switched CDs. I’m not sure whether it’s a conscious nod towards their musical influences, or whether the work of Black Sabbath is so engraved into their psyches that they can’t suppress it in their own music. Either way, if you like your rock classic, and your metal heavy, you can’t go far wrong with this album.

‘Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey’ is a short but tight collection of songs, clocking it at a little over 37 minutes. Viking Skull might have limited appeal, but metal lovers won’t be disappointed. It’s a very powerful offering, and doesn’t let up in its relentless headbanging. If nothing else, listen out for the last track, ‘Drink’: it’s an acoustic track with a piano that sounds like it’s come straight out of an old western movie. It’s nothing like the rest of the album, but I’ve got a feeling most of you will like it, if only for comedy appeal.


Review by Helen Williams
 Band Members
Viking Skull - Band
Roddy Stone (vocals, guitar)
Jess Margera (drums)
Waldie (bass)
Dom (lead guitar)
 Track Listing
1. Start A War
2. Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey
3. In Hell
4. Hair Of The Dog
5. Shot Down
6. Double Or Quits
7. In For The Kill
8. 19 Swords
9. Drink
 Band Related Links
Viking Skull Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?