Thereís no doubting the sheer weight of Heavy Metal on this album. I canít quite recall any band matching Americaís VICIOUS RUMORS in terms of overly abundant Metal sounds this year and thereís always a place for bands such as VISCIOUS RUMORS in my playlist. "Razorback Killers" is at times a mighty Metallic beast, but a formulaic one at that.
With a lengthy career of some thirty years behind them and with only guitarist Geoff Thorpe left as an original member, VISCIOUS RUMORS have never been or are likely to be anything other than a colossal wall-of-sound Heavy Metal band. If you like CAGE and "Painkiller" era JUDAS PRIEST, then VICIOUS RUMORS are for you.
This is a sonic Metal assault from beginning to end. Opener "Murderball" simply slays like PRIMAL FEAR used to do many years ago. A great riff, solos flashing, foot-on-the-monitor, head banging enthusiastically: Heavy Metal in Technicolor surround sound. "Black" doesnít quite hit the heights of "Murderball," sure the riff will move mountains, but the Doomy feel is counterpoint to the latent Thrash of the opener, and some momentum is lost but regained as the title track explodes in a massive face melting barrage of riffs and pummelling drums. However "Blood Stained Sunday" veers too close to Ripper Owens time JUDAS PRIEST; itís a fairly average track to be honest.
In fact the album, although monstrously heavy, lacks a standout track. Itís all very dark and foreboding and is sure to give your neighbours a headache if played at volume. Unlike, say, the mighty GRAVE DIGGER who manage to straddle the Heavy sound with flourishes of melody, VICIOUS RUMORS find it difficult to do so. In a career spanning three decades, they might feel they have little left to prove, but this album will be a tester to all but the most ardent of US Power Metal fans.
(Online June 25, 2011)