Vicious Rumors – “Concussion Protocol” (Steamhammer / SPV)
With all 11 songs on this album building up to the ultimate disaster of an asteroid destroying the world, no one can play it better than the intense, shredding heavy power metal of 80s legends Vicious Rumors! Formed over 35 years ago, with countless line up changes over the years, the driving force and one constant has to be founder guitarist/vocalist Geoff Thorpe, whose indelible imprint is across 11 prior studio releases and 4 live albums no less. Joined by longtime power drummer Larry Howe from back in ’85, ‘vicious’ is something of an understatement to anyone who’s witnessed the band live – especially at open air festivals – and survived!!! Now with new Dutch singer Nick Holleman (Powerized, Methusalem) providing the screams n soul, fans can confidently expect plenty of fire on the OTT mayhem of ‘1,000 Years’ with relentless double bass drumming, wild wailing guitars and of course, Holleman’s Priest like screams. Still, there’s plenty of passion in there too from Thorpe’s bluesy guitar breaks on the mid tempo ‘Take It Or Leave It’, completed by chanting choruses and some nice bass runs from Tilen Hudrap (Thraw, Keller, Wartune) with plenty of 80s power melodies proudly exuding on the lighter ‘Last Of Our Kind’. It’s no surprise that the material, be it in the sound of the album as well as inherent in its composition has a strong live feel as Vicious Rumors is a band not just built to destroy onstage but off and on this 12th album it is no better exemplified!