"Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey" (Powerage; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark


Viking Skull have been around for five years and they have a few releases out. I love the band name and the album title and the combination of the two had me thinking this was going to be a rough and aggressive punch-in-the-face style of album. Unfortunately, it's not that powerful so it's more like a slightly hard punch to the shoulder, I guess. In other words, they hit some, but it's off target as well.

The band's press release says they draw deeply on a mix of Black Sabbath, AC/DC, WASP, Motorhead, The Who, KISS and Thin Lizzy. These releases normally exaggerate a little and this one is no exception as the only one of the above that can be heard much here is Black Sabbath. It would be far more surprising if a doom/stoner act didn't have a heavy Sabbath influence.

Viking Skull try at times to march into battle, but they tend to bogged down by too many layers of repetition. That can work to some extent, but grabbing one riff and  holding on for the duration seems to always be Plan A for these guys and I really wish that they had a Plan B.

"Doom, Gloom, Heartache and Whiskey" reminds me of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" era Black Sabbath, as interpreted by Fireball Ministry, only with a less keen sense of timing.

I do get the impression that this band might do very well live though.

The ideas are not exactly flowing like wine here, but they do seem excited enough at times and they deliver some good hooks on occasion. This CD may not bowl anyone over, but it's a worth listen and I might pull it out every once in a while and give it another spin.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Jul 2020 14:27:19 -0400 .