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Bannerman's, Edinburgh
19th February 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

viking skull

Raging Speedhorn offshoot Viking Skull have been treading the underground heavy metal circuit since 2002. After some ups and downs and line up changes they have crowdfunded a new self titled studio album on donations from their hardcore Skull Army and decided to launch it with a four date mini tour.

The decision looks like a good one as Bannermans is sold out tonight and filled with cheery fans who seem to love their heavy metal old style with plenty of drinks to keep it company.

This band have always veered on the edge of parody. Their catchy riff driven songs have lyrics attached to them full of cliches about hell, beer and heavy metal and you wonder at times how tongue in cheek they are but it doesn't really matter, especially tonight. When they start driving out songs matching the powerful groove of AC/DC to some gloriously heavy sub Sabbath riffs the fact that they are attached to songs with titles like 'Beer, Drugs And Bitches' and 'Born In Hell' makes perfect sense.

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Roddy Stone sings the lyrics in his deep growl and between songs just about makes himself heard over the feedback from amps obviously turned up to 11. Given the sounds emanating from the stage in the gaps between tunes it's remarkable how good the band sound during the songs. The riffs are loud, very loud and proud but you can hear everything perfectly so the melodic hooklines in songs like 'Blackened Sunrise' are allowed to add that little bit of class that makes all the difference.

The place is literally bouncing for most of the night and the Skull Army greet the songs showcased from the new album almost as warmly as old favourites like 'You Can't Kill Rock And Roll' and 'Crank The Volume'.

viking skull

The night ends with a final, sweaty , joyful bounce along to the NWOBHM sounding 'Skull Heaven'. It's only been an hour and no encore is offered but Viking Skull shows are fiery, short, sweaty events where you should let them wring the heavy metal out of your soul for a while. They're back then and so is heavy metal with a smile attached.

beer beer beerbeerbeer



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