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Vicious Rumors
Razorback Killers
March 2011
Released: 2011, SPV
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, early in this decade the veteran, American classic Metal bands have really brought their best material to the fore. I’m talking about bands like Jag Panzer, Helstar, Flotsam and Jetsam and now Vicious Rumors. Perhaps all these bands realizing they haven’t got too much time left, or that many European bands are threatening to leave them in the dust, or a third possibility; that hungry young Metal fans won’t give them a free ride, based merely on historical relevance any longer, these bands have really unleashed the kick-ass. The case holds true with RAZORBACK KILLERS the new firestorm from Vicious Rumors.



This is the first time I’d checked into the VR camp for a few years. Somehow I’d missed WARBALL, so it had been ten years and the previous few albums weren’t brilliant records as their flirtation with Pantera-esque, modern metal was ill advised and ill-fated. Always in the media for this or that reason (mostly line-up or label trouble) the band wasn’t that productive, with only two albums in the last decade. Well, all of that aside, I’m totally blown away by RAZORBACK KILLERS.



The new album is vicious! Brian Allen was born to sing in this band. Check out that great scream on the opening of ‘Axe to Grind’ followed by a killer opening solo/salvo! They sound faster, heavier, meaner and darker than they ever have. Imagine the heaviest parts of the WELCOME TO THE BALL from 1992 and you get an idea of where their heads are at. The new album, with 10 songs spread across 50 minutes goes from high to high to high.



The spiky warball symbol is back and hell even the old logo is back too! Let’s talk about the 'mascot' (I’ll call him spiky warball) for a minute. On WELCOME TO THE BALL (1992), the spiky warball is depicted taking out a building. On SOMETHINGS BURNING (1996) the spiky warball is taking out a forest. On the new one, ol’ warball (and some friends) are wiping out an entire planet! It’s an appropriate visual metaphor for the music on the album, again likely the fastest and heaviest album they have ever done.



I can’t say enough good stuff, crushing riffs, great production, searing solos, heaviness and speed without sacrificing melody. The songs charge along easy to digest, fun to head-bang to, and the classic VR sound is fully intact. Great gang vocals are another hallmark of the bands sound and they play a good part as well bringing some great punch to the choruses, which are catchy as hell. If you are like me and kinda left the band behind for a few years and missed WARBALL (2006, which apparently is also really kick-ass) this is the album that will reignite your flame for Vicious Rumors.
Track Listing

1. Murderball
2. Black
3. Razorback Blade
4. Blood Stained Sunday
5. Pearl Of Wisdom
6. All I Want Is You
7. Axe To Grind
8. Let The Garden Burn
9. Rite Of Devastation
10. Deal With The Devil

Lineup

Brian Allen - Vocals
Geoff Thorpe - Guitar
Kiyoshi Morgan - Guitar
Stephen Goodwin - Bass
Larry Howe - Drums

Other reviews

» Warball
by Anders Sandvall

» Razorback Killers
by JP

» Razorback Killers
by Erich

» Live You To Death
by Waspman

» Electric Punishment
by Waspman


Next review: » Vicious Rumors - Razorback Killers
Previous review: » Vicious Rumors - Live You To Death

Vicious Rumors
Razorback Killers
March 2011
Released: 2011, SPV/Steamhammer
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

After over thirty years in the trenches and innumerable line-up changes, founding guitarist Geoff Thorpe continues to soldier on. Vicious Rumors’s style of American power metal was briefly hailed as the next big thing along with Armored Saint back around 1984. Then a band called Metallica sort of blew less heavy bands out of the water, and groups caught in between hair metal and thrash were mostly forgotten, leaving a small core of cult fans to pick up the pieces. So to this day, Vicious Rumors has a small but passionate fan base and as the band gets older, improbably they are getting heavier, as new album RAZORBACK KILLERS reveals.



Contained within are ten powerful tunes, characterized by the band’s penchant for Accept-like riffs and aggression combined with almost gothic melodies. Lead track “Murderball”, “All I Want Is You”, and the sinister sounding “Pearls of Wisdom” all display the bands unflagging commitment to passionate metal. Personal fave, “Let The Garden Burn” is so quintessentially metal, it gives me goose bumps. Couple this with the fact that the production is nearly flawless and you have, as I stated, an improbable album from a band that has not lost their dedication in 30 plus years of relative obscurity. Despite the excellent effort, RAZORBACK KILLERs is not a perfect album. For better or worse, depending on your perspective, the bands formula is mostly unchanged and some songs remind me of Lizzy Borden right down to the duplicate track title “Deal With The Devil” and the reminiscent “Axe To Grind”. Speaking of song titles, they are kind of cheesy, perhaps the band forgetting most of their fans are beyond the juvenile years where titles like “Blood Stained” along with the above mentioned would have garnered the enthusiasm of rebellious youth.



All things considered, the flaws are far outweighed by the mammoth sound and passion of a band that plays uncompromising traditional metal. I am floored that Thorpe continues to put out albums of such high caliber this late in the game. Fans of Accept, Lizzy Borden and traditional metal will absolutely enjoy this, and RAZORBACK KILLERS will serve as a fine introduction to the band for new fans. Raise a tasty brew and toast to the glory years of metal. I am sure Vicious Rumors will continue to do the same.
Track Listing

01 Murderball

02 Black

03 Razorback Blade

04 Blood Stained Sunday

05 Pearl Of Wisdom

06 All I Want Is You

07 Axe To Grind

08 Let The Garden Burn

09 Rite Of Devastation

10 Deal With The Devil

Lineup

Brian Allen – vocals
Geoff Thorpe – guitars
Kiyoshi Morgan – guitars
Stephen Goodwin – bass
Larry Howe - drums

Other reviews

» Warball
by Anders Sandvall

» Razorback Killers
by JP

» Razorback Killers
by Erich

» Live You To Death
by Waspman

» Electric Punishment
by Waspman


Next review: » Vicious Rumors - Warball
Previous review: » Vicious Rumors - Live You To Death





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