Viking - Man of Straw - Front
Man Of Straw
Metal Blade / Lost & Found
1989 / 2006

Viking was one of those obscure-ish brutal thrash metal bands from the 1980s that were sadly overshadowed by the likes of the Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, in case you didn’t already know), among other contemporaries. They released a debut album in 1988 on Metal Blade Records, which I don’t have, then before they recorded their second album – Man Of Straw – a few of the band members became born again Christians, and a number of the songs were re-written to reflect that newfound faith of theirs.

And, of course, the general knee-jerk reaction would be, “Aw, they became Christers? I’ll bet the music sucks now.” STFU, n00b. Quit being stupid and listen up. Man Of Straw is one of the heaviest thrash metal albums I’ve heard from the classic era, and can easily go toe-to-toe with the likes of Dark Angel, Overkill, and Exodus…maybe even the likes of Slayer. I don’t say that lightly. This stuff is brutal, fast, furious and doesn’t let up.

For a while, Man Of Straw was out of print and highly sought after by metal collectors. In 2006, Lost & Found Records re-released the album, with remastered sound, four bonus tracks and an expanded booklet full of photos and song by song commentary. My advice, check out the L&F edition, as it sounds great. Bottom line: Great thrash, grab this and crank it.