Viking Skull - Born in Hell - 2.5/5
The album begins with a traditional hard rock riff with distorted guitars and a cool lick. The beat had my heel tapping and I was really enjoying it. When the vocals started in I knew it was pure hard rock bliss. With a gruff, rock n roll god type voice, the singer really pulls the whole feel of the band together. He adds an aggressiveness to the already in-your-face attitude of the music. Following all of the hard rock cliches we all love, the first song is great opener, setting the feel for the rest of the album and epitomizing Viking Skull's style.
The intro riff to the second track, Crank the Volume, (and even the verse) is a blatant (for lack of a better word) rip-off of Children of the Grave by Black Sabbath. Nonetheless, it is a cool song and is easy to get in to. It mellows out in a middle section for a very predictable, but still fun, emotional guitar solo, which then builds back into the verse riff. Overall a decent song with good dynamics and decent riffing.
The intro riff for the following song reminds me a lot of the riff from Zakk Wylde's Pride and Glory's song "Losin' Your Mind." The song follows standard hard rock/metal templates, and is a pretty rockin' tune. The next few tracks are nothin special, but are fun listens and are easy to groove to (especially "Frostbite").
"Beer Drugs and Bitches." Need I say more? Awesome hard rocker with a great theme. It's got a pretty awesome bass spotlight in the middle which I'm biased towards as a bassist who loves being in the spotlight :). Again, it's got quite a bit in common with both the songs "Hand of Doom" and "Iron Man" both by Black Sabbath. But, once again, that doesn't really bother me and it's still cool.
"Dirty Dirty Hole" is quite a boring song, which I am personally not a fan of, but I guess it just follows third quartile slump that a lot of bands go through.
The closing track, "You Can't Kill Rock n Roll" is one that I don't like. I don't know which came first, but it shares a title with an Ozzy song, but it isn't a cover (in either direction) which I think is lame. Also, although I can't put my finger on it, the opening riff sounds very familiar.
Overall, these are some fun, typical sex drugs and rock n roll badasses. They definitely don't break any new ground (although I guess I don't know when the album came out) but it was an enjoyable listen. The vocalist is what brings the band it's only real uniqueness, since he has a grittier, rougher voice than the instrumentals would lead one to believe.
By B. Meiselles