Reviews Brief: Vicious Rumors, Ghost Avenue, Tanna

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited September 2020 in year-2020

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Vicious Rumors - Celebration Decay

The legendary Frisco metallers return with their latest album after a productive couple of years. Studio wise they've been off the map since 2016's 'Concussion Protocol' but have been very active on the live/touring front. That last album was a very heavy affair but I think Geoff Thorpe and his crew have gone even further into the heaviness realm on this new one.

Part of my reasoning for that is due to the inclusion of new singer Nick Courtney, who sounds like ex Malice screamer James Neal one minute, then reverts to a Mandy Lion growl the next. Gotta say, Nick can definitely hit those high notes and has a lot of versatility without a unique identity of his own so far.

The subject matter is very apocalyptic, quite apt in our current world chaos though the overly doomsday style didn't hit the mark nor resonate for me. I tend to be a little more optimistic about world affairs rather than pessimistic. VR still maintain their triumvirate template of thrash, power metal and old school metal. A unique blend which works well for them obviously.

The sound is as always very well produced, the twin guitars are to the fore while the solid rhythm section underpins the bottom end. The songs range from the near thrash of the title track, the excellent VR trademark of 'Pulse Of The Dead', the galloping riffs of 'Arrival Of Destination' and then onto the power ballad 'Darkness Divine'.

VR know how to mix it up without detouring too far off the script. Long time fans will surely know what to expect from these metal vets. Bang thine head!

RATING: Score=80%


Ghost Avenue - Even Angels Fail

Self Released
From Oslo, Norway, these traditional melodic metallers have been in business since 2002 though their debut full length album 'The Engraving' came out in 2010 (when they were known as Ghost). We reviewed that album at the time but since then, there have been two more albums (2013's 'Ghost Avenue' and 2017's 'Impact', which we also reviewed) plus now we have this latest effort 'Even Angels Fail' released the second week of August.

Despite the passing of time Ghost Avenue continue unabated with their traditional style of metal, and it's good to know that you can leave things as they are and it's still sounds great, no matter how many grey hairs have accumulated in between times.

As mentioned in our other reviews, we compared these guys to 80's outfits like Accept, Savatage, Iron Maiden. They are all still relevant on this new one so nothing should come as a surprise to those that have followed this band down through the years.

Mostly we have fast paced tracks throughout including 'Wasted Generation', 'The Fallen', 'Hero' and the rather super 'Take Cover' which sounds like a young Swedish metal band we featured earlier in the year called Ambush.

Elsewhere, tracks such as 'Breakdown' and 'Northman' are more deliberate in style while 'Violent Disturbance Of The Peace' with its Metallica like riffs and lyrics describing our current pandemic world is deadly accurate.

A good cross section of songs here, the new album makes for a good compendium alongside the previous releases by Ghost Avenue. Check it out.

RATING: Score=85%


Tanna - Storm In Paradise

AOR Heaven
Following hot on the heels of fellow Finnish artist Tuple, comes another bloke with a single name called Tanna. Actually his real name is Tapani Tikkanen whose credits include the 80's band Tanna named after himself (childhood nickname), plus the band Prayer who released a couple of albums on Escape Music during the 2002-2005 time frame.

Judging by his musical history and from what I'm hearing on this album it seems like he's ideally suited to playing in this melodic hard rock come AOR style that is presented here. There's a bit of Stan Meissner in the vocal while the songs run the timeline from the mid 80's right through to the current day.

There's a load of stylish lead guitar up for grabs, lush keys and some well placed chorus vocals and even female vocal accompaniment too. I'm liking most of what I'm hearing so far, there's a couple of unusual titled songs like 'Hispaniola' which is a definite pirate themed track, and the unusual titled 'Like Kim Kardashian' with some great harmony guitar parts.

However, through the middle tracks like 'This Town Ain't Big Enough' and 'Mysterious Fire' ensures those chugging rhythm guitars get priority in the mix. If I had to choose, my two favourite tracks on the album are the opening title track 'Storm In Paradise' plus 'Run Like Hell Tonight'. These two probably sum up Tanna's representation if listeners were wanting to take a shortcut.

The thing I like about albums of this nature is that there's lots to discover after you've given it an initial listen. And that's definitely the case here. A very likeable set and well worth checking out.

RATING: Score=90%

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