Viking (1986-1990, 2011-present): a Thrash Metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA.


ike many LA bands of the era, Viking followed the same modus operandi of the others by being featured on the Metal Massacre compilations (this time on VIII) only to release a few speedy thrash metal albums before fading into history.

It started in 1985 when Ron Daniel had become tired of playing in the southern California punkrock scene. He'd joined the band The Hags when their lead guitarist went to jail, and had enjoyed the notoriety that came with being in one of Orange County's most controversial stage acts. Billed as "Rock and Roll's abortion," the group was like a punk Black Sabbath with a genius sociopath at the mic by regularly using surgically precise insults to provoke audiences towards the band. One night, when headlining a 12-band bill celebrating the grand reopening of a punk club, Ron Erikson was grousing to high school pals Matt Jordan and James Lareau about the scene, about having no creative control, and about the fact that this music was just too slow. He said he was ready to quit. When Matt Jordan (formerly of an Iron Maiden tribute band) and the communal enjoyment of Slayer entered the fray, the foundations of the band formed.

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Under the sole membership of Ron Eriksen (guitar/vocals), Brett Eriksen (guitar), James Lareau (bass) and Matt Jordan (drums) Viking would debut with Do or Die (1987) and Man of Straw (1989) before Jordanand Ron Eriksen re-affirmed their Christian beliefs and felt they could no longer commit to the band. Brett Eriksen joined Dark Angel soon after. The band split regardless of having a six album control sealed with 'Metal Blade'.

In 2011 Eriksen reformed the act with the revised membership featuring Mike Gonzalez (bass), Justin Zych (guitars; joining in 2013) and in 2013 the returning Matt Jordan (drums) to release No Child Left Behind (2015).

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