Released: 2007, Mascot Records/Border Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
WARBALL is Vicious Rumors ninth album and the main man behind the reunion is guitarist Geoff Thorpe and he is backed up by the original members Larry Howe and Dave Starr. Thorpe has chosen to take care of all the rhythm and some lead axe work but he has also invited guests that help him out. On lead vocals we find the legendary James Rivera from Hellstar and Seven Witches.
Many members have come and gone during the years and the bands debut album came already back in 1985 called SOLDIERS OF THE NIGHT. But the album the band is about to follow up is the 2001 year release SADISTIC SYMPHONY. The DVD CRUSHING THE WORLD landed in stores 2005 so if you’re a fanatic Vicious Rumors fan I urge you to check that DVD out.
It’s quite easy to describe what kind of music Vicious Rumors plays. It’s nothing but classical heavy metal of the all American brand. The music is really heavy and well executed, there’s also a lot of tempo changes and twists and turns in the songs and the album is jammed with raging guitar solos and neck breaking drum play. But even though Rivera is a legend I have serious problems with his voice. He lies too high in his vocal range and I’m tired of hearing him scream his way through certain songs. It sounds like he tries to be Rob Halford which he isn’t, please take it easy on the higher notes. Sometimes it also sounds like Thorpe sings instead of Rivera; maybe they take turns singing?
10 songs written by Thorpe, Howe and Rivera are featured on WARBALL and there’s nothing bad to say about the quite solid material. Killer tracks are “Sonic Rebellion”, “Mr. Miracle”, “Dying Every Day”, “Immortal” and “The Wheels Of Madness” which all are fast, heavy and brutal heavy metal tunes with a lots of energy. The songs are very technical and complicated with neck breaking solos. This is how proper heavy metal should sound like and the amazing twin guitar duels really impresses me. The tempo slows down in “Crossthreaded” and the song is a typical heavy metal song in midtempo but even though the song is quite slow they haven’t compromised with the heaviness. The first part of the album feels really solid and fun to listen to. They have featured a ballad on the second leg of the album and to be honest it feels like the song writers ran out of ideas when they sat down and wrote the songs to the later part.
If you’re into heavy metal it’s hard not to like WARBALL and Vicious Rumors has really made a partially great heavy metal album. Maybe it won’t go to the history as the greatest album ever but it’s a nice way of killing a few hours together with friends. I think most fans of the band are gonna be pleasantly surprised and I congratulate the band to a great album.