Released: 2011, SPV
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.