Viking Skull
"Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey"

(Candlelight Records USA 2008)Viking Skull - Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey

Certain bands are simply perfect to listen to in certain situations: Pantera is the soundtrack to contact sports, Electric Wizard is the soundtrack to getting unbelievably high, and Barry White is the soundtrack for looove. Several bands can lay claim to the soundtrack for raucous drunken fun (see Dropkick Murphys, George Thorogood, and AC/DC), but Viking Skull are going to throw their hat into that ring with “Doom, Gloom, Heartache, & Whiskey.” This British crew (plus American drummer and cKy stalwart Jess Margera) are all about good times, and use a bloozy rock and roll cocktail to brew them up.

Viking Skull use the search for the Almighty Riff in service of finding that good time. Like their clear inspiration Black Sabbath, the Skulls let simple yet catchy rock guitar form the spine of their songs. The bridge on “In Hell” is as wonderfully horn-throwing as even the most doomy of Sabbath tracks, and damned if “19 Swords” doesn’t sound like a drunken take on “Under the Sun.” This, however, is delivered with way more winks and crooked, chipped-toothed grins than anything the OGs of metal ever did. Viking Skull also ratchet up the crunch factor, giving some bite to their revelry.

If this is perfect drinking music, that begs the question of how it sounds when you’re not running up a bar tab. In the name of due journalistic diligence, I spun “Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey” both clear-eyed and while getting my Yuengling on. I am happy to report that the level of one’s inebriation does not affect the enjoyment of this album. Viking Skull serve up a round of good, if slightly dumb, fun. But isn’t that the best kind?

B

buy it!