VIKING SKULL, Chapter One  (2003, Grand Union)

The skull:
Generic stoner rock background hosts a skull that could be that of a Viking, but also could not. Who the hell knows? All skulls are created equal…but not all skull album covers are. This one is on the gaudy side of the tracks. Those wings on either side of the head remind me of the Red Wing shoe company logo and look hopelessly out of place floating there like that. What appear to be crossed knives at the bottom I first saw as joints. Which they might as well be, considering the rest of this cover, and the music. And if they are knives, they don’t look all that deadly. Then there’s the skull itself, which is just kind of there, wearing a leering sarcastic smile as if to say “…and I have to float here under THIS ‘logo’? Kill me now…again.” We hail Viking Skull’s commitment to skull covers, but this is the only one we’ll allow into the Skullection.

The music:
Big, bruisin’, burly traditional heavy metal. Maybe. Who knows if it’s 100 genuine, their roots are in a band called Raging Speedhorn, who I remember being really boring noise rock/metal stuff. This first release from Viking Skull, and all others since, seem to be aiming for the hearts of all those folks who like fourth-rate rehashed traditional heavy metal, when we all know that most of the best stuff came out in the ’80s. Besides, this is just crap stoner rock masquerading as heavy metal. “Beers, Drugs and Bitches” and “Crazy Trucker”…junky stuff that I never ever want to hear again. I’d rather listen to White Wizzard…any day.
— Friar Wagner

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