Vicious Rumors – “Live You To Death 2 – American Punishment” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Another US power / heavy metal legend from the 80s, Vicious Rumors have been slaying arenas since the 80s, and with founder n sole survivor Geoff Thorpe still at their helm, show scarcely any signs of flagging even after 35 years. Comparable to Judas Priest’s classic school of dual decimating riffola in Thorpe and Bob Capka’s shredding guitars, Vicious Rumors give it to you straight in the face like a coupla pounding jack hammers! Live is where they thrive and all their albums are structured to reflect the fire and energy of their shows, ensuring they have a wicked reputation both on and off stage. It’s not without its toll of course, especially when you count the 31 prior members that have been in the band including Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis, Helstar’s James Rivera and UFO’s Vinnie Moore, and so last year new European members Tilen Hudrap from Slovenia stepped in on bass along with Dutch singer Nick Holleman. Recorded on the American Punishment Tour in fall of 2013 in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Oakland this CD features 13 live tracks that are searing testament to the band’s durability as well as the proving ground for their new talent – Holleman in particular, possessing a jet screaming siren of a voice that projects across the venues eliciting a raucous response from the US fans whether its on new songs like ‘Electric Punishment’, never before recorded live tracks like ‘Mastermind’ or classics like the band’s anthem ‘Soldiers Of The Night’. Produced by Thorpe and mixed by Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Testament) the sound is nothing short of amazing, almost comparable to studio quality and I’m sure that’s intentional on Thorpe’s behalf to evidence the sheer live capability of his super charged band in time for this year’s upcoming 20 date festival and headline tour. This also makes 3 live albums on 3 different continents and 4 albums in 4 years while non stop touring – the only rumors on this band are that they only keep getting stronger!!!!