(8/10) A new Vicious Rumors album is exciting for different reasons. First of all there is no doubt about the importance of the band for heavy metal. "Soldiers of the Night" with guitar wizard Vinnie Moore and also "Digital Dictator" are milestones in American metal. Actually it's the entire 'Atlantic' era that pushed Vicious Rumors into the top league of US metal.
But next to all the up's there have been also records like "Cyberchrist" and "Sadistic Symphony" that at least didn't convince me.
However, since "Warball" things seem to go the right way again and Vicious Rumors is slowly finding back to old strength. This is good news and looking on the latest releases of bands like Armored Saint, Queensryche and Metal Church there seems to be a revitalization of power metal taking place right now.
Geoff Thorpe and band mates fits easily into this new era of old US metal heroes. "Concussion Protocol" is the band's 13th longplayer that features ten new tracks.
It's the title track that stands for the entire album and therefor is a worthy chosen one. Some drums and riffs kick off this number that pushes from the very first note the pedal to the metal. It's a fast track with machine gun-like firing drums and Dutch singer Nick Holleman that develops more and more to a true metal siren.
But Vicious Rumors isn't only about playing fast and furious. "Victims of the Digital World" is a slow groover that is a perfect headbanger. This song includes an untamed power that crushes whatever comes in it's way.
The moderate pace with a bigger melodic component is included in "Last of Our Kind". The first line is "If you want to do it, do it right" which actually could describe the entire album. Geoff Thorpe decided to do this album and he, together with his band, did it right. The song itself reminds a bit to U.D.O. and Accept with still enough Vicious Rumors trademarks.
Talking about cross-references - "Circle of Secrets" sits somewhere between the earlier Queensryche, mainly due to Holleman's vocals, but also Nevermore shimmers through the surface of this tune. It's a more complex number that has a darker vibe and feels like the silence before the storm.
Towards the end there is the mean and nasty "Bastards" with a big riffing, followed by "Every Blessing is a Curse" and the six minutes long closer "Life For a Life". What becomes again obvious with the last track is the width of Holleman's vocal range. He has the ability to add quite some nuances to his way of singing that makes the each song interesting, sticks in the Vicious Rumors framework and still makes things special. It seems that the chemistry between the singer and mainman Geoff Thorpe is just right, something that leads to these great power metal tracks.
I lost a bit faith in Vicious Rumors at the end of the nineties but they are back since a few years and this terrific album will even strengthen their position in the major league of US metal.
- Concussion Protocol
- Chemical Slaves
- Victims Of A Digital World
- Chasing The Priest
- Last Of Our Kind
- 1000 Years
- Circle Of Secrets
- Take It Or Leave It
- Every Blessing Is A Curse
- Life For A Life
Genre: Power Metal
Release Date EU: August 26th, 2016