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Vicious Rumors - 1990 Vicious Rumors

ARTIST: Vicious Rumors
ALBUM: Vicious Rumors
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7567-82075-2
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2005, Wounded Bird, WOU-2075 * 2015, Rock Candy Records, CANDY 267


LINEUP: Carl Albert - vocals * Mark McGee - guitars * Geoff Thorpe - guitars * Dave Starr - bass * Larry Howe - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Wait For Me * 02 World Church * 03 On The Edge * 04 Ship Of Fools * 05 Can You Hear It * 06 Down To The Temple * 07 Hellraiser * 08 Electric Twilight * 09 Thrill Of The Hunt * 10 Axe And Smash


Just out on reissue thanks to Rock Candy - is the self titled CD from northern San Francisco metallers Vicious Rumors. The Santa Rosa based band had been in the gun sights since the early 80's. Their appearance on the Mike Varney sponsored 'US Metal III' compilation from 1983 was our first run-in with the band. They then picked up a deal and released two albums on Varney's Shrapnel label 'Soldiers Of The Night' and 'Digital Dictator' between 1986 and 1988, then signed to major label Atlantic for this beauty. Actually, if you go back and listen to 'Digital Dictator', that is a very professional sounding record; enough for Atlantic to offer a deal. The late Carl Albert was one of the better vocalists of the metal genre back then, and sounds like a million bucks on this album. He came in to replace Gary St Pierre on vocals. Mind you, the membership of this band is akin to a turnstile, especially through those early years from 1980 through to 1985. I bought the original CD back in 1990, and it remains a solid-player even some 25 years later. A good call by Rock Candy to reissue this.

The Songs
Things get off to a bombastic start, with the cruise-control to fast-rocking 'Don't Wait For Me'. It's got everything really, even the smart-alec lyric in the second chorus.. 'Don't.. don't wait for me, 'cause I'll be fucking on your tail..'. 'World Church' sees the twin guitars of Thorpe and McGee come to the fore, but still the power of Albert shines through, plus the gang-chant chorus of 'We all want one world church, One world, one earth' adds the extras. 'On The Edge' moves into thrash territory, though still extremely melodic, sounding like an American version of Jap metallers Anthem. Nothing wrong with that comparison! Things slow down somewhat for 'Ship Of Fools', an intense affair with grinding guitars to the max. Vocally, there's a hint of Queensryche in there. 'Can You Hear It' is also mid-stream metal, everything straight down the line. The same could be said for 'Down To The Temple', though the intensity is lifted a notch or two. The quiet and restrained intro is soon cast aside for the rollicking 'Hellraiser'. Did they take a leaf out of Judas Priest's books? I think so. 'Electric Twilight' is a brief acoustic interlude, which soon makes way for the VR templated metal of 'Thrill Of The Hunt', while 'Axe And Smash' sounds like a melodic rock session if that chorus is anything to go by, though Carl Albert delivers a Rob Halford flavoured vocal.

In Summary
The band went out on the road in support of the album. A three month stint all over America was their reward. VR returned the following year for the second Atlantic album 'Welcome To The Ball', which continued the power HM approach from its predecessor. A few trips to Europe helped consolidate VR's popularity, and their shows in tandem with Atlantic stable mates Savatage during this timeframe also proved a popular draw. Since then, the band have been through many ups and downs, losing Carl Albert in a 1995 road accident, and a succession of personnel through the turnstiles. Their output during the late 80's through to the early 90's comes recommended.

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#1 | rkbluez on June 30 2015 00:13:08
A bonafide metal classic of the highest doesn't get much better than this...everything just clicks...great album.
#2 | Eric on June 30 2015 17:19:53
Mark McGee was in Starcastle for a couple years in the mid-80s when they were based in San Francisco and he later went on to be part of Gregg Allman's Band.
#3 | rkbluez on July 02 2015 23:39:43
Starcastle was a cool band Eric...still have all of their CD' the first two albums.

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