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Published on Dec 16, 2009
Viking was formed in Los Angeles in the spring of 1986, as Tracer and released a demo entitled Sudden Death. Following a temporary split and the departure of their vocalist, Brett Eriksen began jamming with the band, and Ron Eriksen began singing. They held the same personnel until the band broke up in 1990. The band signed a record contract with Metal Blade Records after only their second live appearance and went on to record two albums and open up for bands like Megadeth, Forbidden and Sacred Reich as well as headlining many other shows.
In 1988, they released their debut album called Do or Die. Although the brutality of the songs was appreciated by thrash metal fans, the frenetic tempos and bad production were not well received by the critics.
Following Do or Die, they moved to a new level of songwriting and musicianship. Adding half-time mosh bridges and more technical riffs, the songs for Man of Straw demonstrated a marked improvement over the previous offering.
Shortly before they started to record Man of Straw, Ron Eriksen became a born-again Christian and changed some of the lyrics to avoid blasphemies. Before embarking on a tour with Texas-based Helstar in 1990, Ron felt that his new faith could not endure the tour, and he left the band, which immediately broke up upon his departure.
Ron and drummer Matt Jordan soon after moved to Oregon, Brett Eriksen joined Dark Angel and bassist James Lareau pursued a career in art.
As Tracer and released a demo under that name with Spider on vocals. They temporarily broke up because they couldn't find a full-time singer, but restarted after Brett Eriksen began jamming with them, and Ron Daniel began singing.
Before completing the second album, Ron became a born-again Christian, and thus Ron rewrote some of the lyrics on Man of Straw to be more Christian-friendly. Matt Jordan also converted to Christianity when the album was completed. Interestingly, Ron Daniel has said that Matt's conversion had nothing to do with his own. The band broke up because Daniel and Jordan did not want to tour, due to their new faith. After the band broke up Ron Daniel became a minister.