Taking advantage of their Danish heritage and grabbing the Viking moniker, the story of the Eriksen brothers Ron (vocals, guitar) and Brett (guitar) is a unique one. Jamming in high school together with James Lareau on bass and Matt Jordan on drums they had generated a nucleus for the first incarnation of Viking.
Viking’s first mark on the Metal scene was a self-made demo entitled “Do or die”, which included the three songs “Do or die”, “Hellbound” and “Prelude/Scavenger”. It captured the attention of Metal Blade Records in the US who released “Hellbound” on their “Metal Massacre VII” compilation. An album deal for the US (Metal Blade) and Europe (Roadrunner) followed in 1988.
The sleepy suburbs of Orange County were once renowned for many US Hardcore bands. It’s the birthplace of legendary acts such as True Sound Of Liberty (TSOL), The Adolescents, Agent Orange and Social Distortion. A few years later Metallica and Slayer started their world-wide conquests in garages of the same area.
Viking’s vicious Thrash Metal attacks such as “Warlord”, “Militia of Death” or “Killer unleashed” owe a lot to early Bay Area bands like Slayer, Metallica or Exodus. With their debut album “Do or die“ Viking immediately made a mark on the Southern Californian club scene of the late 1980’s.
Ron Eriksen did not make any compromises: “Brett and I are basic red-haired speed maniacs. Either you win or you lose. Our kind of Metal music fully expresses our feelings!”
Long out of print, High Roller Records is proud to make “Do or die“ (with its great original cover artwork) available again to a broader public on glorious vinyl.