Viking Skull celebrate their tenth anniversary with the release of the new album “Cursed By The Sword.” The band that originally started as a spoof act to to support Raging Speedhorn in hometown shows, have stayed the course and built up a strong following with their killer live shows and festival appearances. Now on their third full length album, Viking Skull have shown a slightly different side to previous offerings, while losing none of their edge.
After album opener ‘Five Fingers Of Steel’ with its fat riffs and Stones trademark gravel rough vocals comes lead track and first video from the album ‘This Is The End’. This is Viking Skull’s version of an apocalyptic scenario, with the slower, more chilled out tune. This is followed by an instrumental in the shape of the title track ‘Cursed By The Sword’, before the duo of ‘Fire’ and ‘Pumped’ ramps up the power back to the usual pace.
Whereas the first half of the album shows more of an evolving side to the band, the second half returns to more familiar territory. The likes of ‘You Look Like I Need A Beer’ (a song about someone that’s “a grade A minger…disgusting but eager to please”) and the very un-pc “My Bitch Talks Too Much,” show that they haven’t completely lost their wry, tongue in cheek side, and this is a good thing. The way the songs are written the lyrics can’t possibly be taken as offensive, and the classic metal / southern rock mixture blends as well as any whiskey the Northamptonshire Vikings may imbibe.
Since Viking Skull burst onto the scene a decade ago with their debut EP ‘Chapter One’, they generally haven’t strayed too far from what has been a winning formula and made them a favourite on the live circuit. With “Cursed By The Sword,” they have definitely moved on from previous releases without sacrificing too much of their earlier sound or style. Viking Skull are still able to write a catchy as hell riff, throw in some mean solos and humour, meaning this is another fine collection of tunes as much influenced by alcohol as metal. As heavy and as groove filled as ever, with a few new twists. “Cursed By The Sword” is well worth a listen, and if you get the chance, catch them the next time they come to a venue near you.