VICIOUS RUMORS - Razorback Killers

Vicious Rumors - Razorback Killers

10 songs
51:09 minutes
***** **
Steamhammer / SPV


American power metal band Vicious Rumors were already founded back in 1979, and they are still around. Razorback Killers is only their tenth longplayer so far, which doesn’t seem so much considering their over three decades long career, but let’s not forget that it’s been five years since the predecessor Warball. Razorback Killers came out already half a year ago, but due to an insurmountable flood of promo material, I never got around to it until now when they replaced Riot as the opener for the Hammerfall concert at the Rockhal. As I couldn’t get a babysitter for the evening in question, I missed the show, which wasn’t so dramatic as their new album didn’t really excite me that much.

The opener Murderball offers everything one expects from a good, old US power metal band (fast riffs, a lot of soloing, high vocals) but I somehow miss the necessary heaviness. The same counts for the following Black which also lacks suspense. Only the third song, which is also the title track, hits bull’s eye. Finally the band dares to put the pedal to the metal, and especially the powerful drumming is kicking some serious ass. This is the way I love Vicious Rumors, when they recall the glorious times from their Digital Dictator era. Fortunately there are five more such smashers that still have the same zest that we know and love from twenty-five years ago. Vocalist Brian Allen who’s new on this CD does a good job with his raw voice which also masters the higher notes, reminding occasionally of the much too early gone Carl Albert.

If all the songs had this greatness, I would have given the maximum rating. Unfortunately Vicious Rumors are flirting this time too much with mid-tempo material. Especially the two six-minute-plus tracks Pearl Of Wisdom and Deal With The Devil are undeniably the weakest material on the album. The former tends strongly into the modern rock sound, which doesn’t work at all for this classic heavy metal band. The latter ends the album and is painfully struggling through its overly generous length to find a conclusion.

There is still plenty of talent left, that’s not the question. I only wish the songwriting would have gone more back to the roots. Vicious Rumors are easily at their best when they let it rock like in their early days. Let’s hope that mastermind Geoff Thorpe will do some reflection and come back soon with an eleventh album that will have a stronger Eighties touch.

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