After the "Something Burning"-desaster and the not fully convincing "Cyberchrist"-album, VICIOUS RUMORS are taking the next hurdle on their way back, with an almost completely new line-up. Mainman Geoff Thorpe is the last one of the classical line-up, but he has signed up a top-notch-crew to support him, among them vocalist Morgan Thorn, who once almost had been the first Carl Albert-successor already.
"Break" starts out the album with almost frighteningly modern sounding guitars, which made me look at my player in horror, but the song develops into a very diverse composition between those guitars and aggressive vocals, just to get more melodic (both in music and vocals) for bridge and chorus). There also is the first proof that Thorn possesses a very variable voice, which adds to the VR-sound.
"Blacklight" is a brilliant track, which moves between calm passages with acoustic guitars and emotional vocals on the one side and intensive mid-tempo with rough, yet melodic and very powerful vocals, giving a good contrast. "Puritan Demons" then lives up to its name, coming along at a quite high speed.
"Elevator Of Hell" then conjures up the old VICIOUS RUMORS-feeling again, a double-bass-riff-monster that would have not been out of place on a "Welcome To The Ball". Thorn's strong voice also fits this song perfectly.
Even though it doesn't reach the old classics (yet), "Sadistic Symphony" is the best album of the post-Carl Albert-era and shows that the Americans are on the right way again. And when the line-up stabilizes and continues to go down that path, then the Power Metal-community should already take cover, because then the next album should be an absolute killer!