|©2001 Season Of Mist
1. Christianity Has No Chance
2. Possessed (From Within)
3. Banished Rhythmic Hate
4. Contemplating The Pitch Black
5. View Of A Desolate Wasteland
6. Swallowed By Black Mass
7. Accepting The Rise Of Satanism
8. Unspoken Vows Of A Midnight Offering
9. Draped In Treachery
10. The Woods Own Countless Voices
11. Poisoned By The Blood Of Christ
Phil Anselmo is often criticized for his lack of focus, specifically his seemingly endless string of side projects. I really didn't have a strong opinion on this issue; sure, I'd like to hear another Pantera record, but I also enjoyed Down and, to a lesser degree, Superjoint Ritual. Then I stumbled across Viking Crown. Suddenly I believe Anselmo should not be allowed within one hundreed feet of recording equipment ever again.
Apparently the Cowboy From Hell's hatred for the listening public wasn't quite enough to spawn this heap of afterbirth, so he enlisted the "help" of fellow side project afficionado Killjoy (Necrophagia, Wurdulak, etc.) and now ex-wife Opal (Southern Isolation, Phil's bed). The album starts with a nondescript, if overlong, intro courtesy of the trophy ex, recalling Burzum's tremendous Casio years. An obvious shift in recording quality comes with the next "song," a primitive (to be kind) black metal quickie that was recorded underwater with a handheld cassette recorder. I guess this was done to achieve just the right atmosphere of hate. After two more of these we go in to a four song, twenty minute marathon of amateurish ambience (complete with dialogue from old horror films), then close with three more sort-of songs.
Pardon me while a engage in some speculation. My theory is that Phil had this twenty minute, sub-demo level junk sitting around for years. Killjoy's car insurance was due, so to raise funds he got Phil's little woman to crank out twenty five minutes of material that would turn Mortiis's pointed ears red in embarrassment to add to the existing recordings. Voila! A full-length masterpiece. Tack on a recent photo to the back cover and start counting the money!
I have no way of knowing if this theory is true, but at least it would explain it. It would be far more disturbing to think that anyone involved in this project actually thought it was good. If this is the mythical underground that Anselmo is always claiming to represent, count me out.
Review by Scott Wilcox
Review date: 08/2003