If ever there was an album to head bang to then this is the one. As unashamedly Heavy Metal as Metal can get, VIKING SKULL play on ten, all night long. There’s no subtle studio tricks here dear reader. There’s absolutely nothing other than primordial Heavy Metal music and running con-current with 2008’s un-holy behemoth ‘’Doom Gloom Heartache & Whiskey,’’ ‘’Heavy Metal Thunder’’ is just that.
Actually ‘’Heavy Metal Thunder’’ is not a new VIKING SKULL record; it is in fact the coming together of the band's initial EP, 2003’s ‘’Chapter One,’’ and their debut album, ‘’Born In Hell,’’ from 2005. Specifically designed for the North American market, there’s also a bonus five tracks added to this bustling set. A Heavy Metal kitchen sink if you will.
According to gravel voiced front man Roddy Stone, VIKING SKULL is ‘’a proper band with proper tunes.’’ That sounds so endearing coming from a band that started life as a sort of joke outfit and who would like nothing better than to pile drive their BLACK SABBATH influenced cacophony down your throat. And that is what VIKING SKULL do. An ever-popular bar band with, it seems, little aspirations to go all MAIDEN and METALLICA, VIKING SKULL are simply an un-refined Metal band that nick BLACK SABBATH, THIN LIZZY and MOTORHEAD riffs better than anyone else.
Sure the lyrics are crass, check out ‘’Rape, Pillage And Burn,’’ not one for playing to relatives of a nervous disposition, but they fit the rough and ready style and image of the band. They are wholly serious about the music they play and don’t seem to mind who they offend and they sure do on many of the tracks.
As an original act they don’t come close, but as a hard working, energetic full-in-your-face Heavy Metal band, VIKING SKULL do exactly what it says on the tin.
(Online May 9, 2011)