Killingsworth – Viking Steel

‘Viking Steel’ is quite bad, but at least it’s being bad in a genre of music that isn’t very popular anymore.  Bad metalcore or brutal death bands are a dime a dozen, but you’ve really come across something new when you get an American band styling themselves after NWOBHM who manage to be genuinely terrible.  It’s sort of like opening up your presents on Christmas morning and finding that in one package there’s not coal but a severed human foot.  I mean, the end result is still terrible, but it’s certainly more surprising to find than yet another rock.

It’s hard to find what exactly is wrong with this.  It’s just… bad.  Quite bad, really.  The vocals sound like a parody of themselves, trying so desperately hard to maintain a tone of Manowarish grandeur but lacking all the, you know, actual vocal ability necessitated by the style.  The riffs seem to be taken out of the early Iron Maiden school (as does the bass guitar), but minus all the things that made early Iron Maiden so amazing; namely, catchiness and actual riffcraft.  They’re not really bad, but they sound like filler.  That’s the main issue with this album as a whole; it’s like they aren’t musicians, but hired contractors there to make a heavy metal album and nothing else.  There’s no feeling of particular inspiration and I get an immense impression of ‘day job’ from this album.  And yet at the same time it feels vaguely desperate, like they’re trying to convince themselves as much as you that they’re an actual band.

The fundamental problem of this album is a simple lack of songwriting quality and mediocre performances from all involved.  This sounds like the sort of thing that would be produced in a ‘Reign Of Fire’ type situation where all the real NWOBHM has been destroyed so they’re reconstructing it from vague memories of old Iron Maiden albums.  As expected, it doesn’t work.  When the apocalypse comes perhaps there will be a reason to listen to Killingsworth, but until them, there are numerous better artists out there to invest your time with.

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~ by noktorn on September 23, 2008.

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