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Vicious Rumors - 'Concussion Protocol' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8b/51/c6/vicious-rumours-concussion-protocol-32-1479590127.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 19, 2016    
 
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Vicious Rumors are back in a big way.

It's always nice to see a band from your youth still able to bring a quality album to the table thirty years after their debut saw the technical brilliance of Vinnie Moore dovetailing his burgeoning solo career with a landmark performance on 'Soldiers Of The Night', introducing Vicious Rumors to the Heavy Metal world. With all the different genres around today, VR can be more succinctly termed Power Metal, indeed, it's oft quoted that they pioneered the US Power Metal scene.

What can't be disputed is that between 1988 and 1995, with the powerful and versatile vocals of Carl Albert – on a par with Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche), David Wayne (Metal Church) and Jon Oliva (Savatage) in his day – on albums such as 'Digital Dictator', 'Vicious Rumors' and 'Welcome To The Ball', VR were right up there at the cutting edge of the Metal scene with superb musicianship and strong songs.

Three years since 'Electric Punishment' was released, guitarist Geoff Thorpe has recruited the first non-Americans in VR's history in the shape of Slovenian bassist Tilen Hudrap (replacing Stephen Goodwin) and Dutch singer Nick Holleman (replacing Brian Allen). I think Holleman is probably the nearest vocalist to Albert's ability and versatility that's come into the band since Albert's tragic car accident stopped their rise to stardom.

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Thorpe's guitar buddy Mark McGee left and Thorpe handled vocal duties himself on 1996's 'Something Burning' which marked an experimental stage in the band's history that didn't see them return to form until 2006's 'Warball'. Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis played on that album and guests again here on the heavy 'Last Of Our Kind'. Returning guitarist Steve Smyth (Nevermore/Testament) guest solos on the powerful, heavy and relentless 'Chemical Slave' and Thorpe returns to the vocal mike on the heavy, brooding 'Life For A Life'.

It's hard to stand out in today's over-saturated Metal market but VR have released an album that's as good as any of the leading Metal contenders and better than most of the others. Old-school Metal fans will lap this up whilst it won't look out of place in any modern Power Metal collection. Original drummer Larry Howe is still behind the drum kit and his powerhouse double bass drumming is something to behold. Coupled with Thorpe and Thaen Rasmussen's lightning solos and powerful riffs and Holloeman's versatile, stand-out vocals, Vicious Rumors are back in a big way.

Carl Buxton

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