Live You To Death
Released: 2012, Steamhammer Records
Unless you’re a forest-dwelling black metal orc, winter is a time to find a warm place to hide, and what better place than a packed club filled with people head banging to heavy metal? To get you comfortable, this month we’ll be covering six recently-issued live albums from the likes of: Gamma Ray, Helstar, Mr. Big, U.D.O., Vicious Rumors, and Y&T. Grab a beer (or your drink of choice), get warm, and enjoy the music!
Note: some of these were released as CD/DVDs; however the reviews cover the CDs only.
It’s been a long, hard road for Geoff Thorpe and his long-suffering band of U.S. power metal warriors in Vicious Rumors. The band has dealt with industry B.S., revolving door lineups, the death of iconic vocalist Carl Albert, and more over the years, but Thorpe has always kept the band alive. In recent years they’ve begun to make up some lost ground with three studio releases in the last decade, and now a live album commemorating their European tour in support of their latest album, RAZORBACK KILLERS.
During their career, the band has gone through a whopping 7 (!) vocalists, none of which matched up to their most recognized vocalist, Carl Albert. If this album is any indication, new throat Brian Allen may FINALLY be the guy to carry on Albert’s legacy. He’s got a strong, clear voice that matches perfectly with the band’s thrashy U.S. power metal sound. Best of all, he sounds equally good on both the new, and old songs. Hopefully he sticks around for many years to come.
As for this album, the set list focuses on the band’s more well-known years, featuring the albums from SOLDIERS OF THE NIGHT up to WELCOME TO THE BALL. The “dark” years from 1995 – 2009 are completely ignored, although RAZORBACK KILLERS is represented by two songs. I enjoyed the set list immensely – it has been many years since I revisited the Vicious Rumors catalogue, so I’d forgotten how great songs like “Abandoned” “Minute to Kill” and “Soldiers of the Night” are. Even the two new songs sound fantastic. Unfortunately the album is marred by crowd noise that sounds either faked or amplified…I don’t want to say it’s fake, but it sounds questionable. Finally, the album ends with a couple of throw away studio cover songs that, while good, should have been replaced with additional live material.
No matter what though, LIVE YOU TO DEATH is a fun metal release that will easily remind you of what a great band Vicious Rumors have been and continue to be.