Vicious Rumors – “Electric Punishment”

Vicious Rumors – “Electric Punishment” (Steamhammer / SPV)

Vicious Rumors are probably the last of the US Metal bands featured on Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Records who are still going after 30 years! Playing power metal in its original guise as pioneered by Raven, Hawaii and Helstar founder guitarist Geoff Thorpe is still yankin’ n crankin’ out bruisers like ‘D Block’ (featuring Brad Gillis as a guest!) and ‘I Am The Gun’. Shredding guitars, wild soloing and shrieking vocals lay it out along with a blistering rhythm that make the band true to its name and legacy. However, given this is Vicious Rumors eleventh album it’s interesting to see the band venturing further afield with the more atmospheric ‘Eternally’ and anthemic ‘Together We Unite’. While performed well enough, I’m not sure if these truly work well although amazingly the ballad ‘Escape (From Hell)’ certainly does, offering a superb contrast yet fitting into the band’s overall sound. Brian Allen’s vocals in particular deserve a special mention in respect of his pitch and power, but also his versatility in injecting passion into this number, which when blended with the guitar melodies sounds like a very dark n heavy version of 80s Scorpions. With most of 2011 spent touring, Vicious Rumors have really pulled out the stops to record an album right after that without a break, so I’m glad to say that “Electric Punishment” isn’t some half assed offering, but a full on chest burster adding yet another well earned notch to the band’s legacy.

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