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Vicious Rumors - 2016 Concussion Protocol

ARTIST: Vicious Rumors
ALBUM: Concussion Protocol
LABEL: SPV/Steamhammer
SERIAL: 268802
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Nick Holleman - vocals * Geoff Thorpe - guitars * Thaen Rasmussen - guitars * Tilen Hudrap - bass * Larry Howe - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Concussion Protocol * 02 Chemical Slave * 03 Victims Of A Digital World * 04 Chasing The Priest * 05 Last Of Our Kind * 06 1000 Years * 07 Circle Of Secrets * 08 Take It Or Leave It * 09 Bastards * 10 Every Blessing's A Curse * 11 Life For A Life



Much like the Metal Church album 'XI' which we covered recently, San Francisco's Vicious Rumors are another example of old school metal existing in the here and now with no chance of riding off into the sunset. From their glory days, Geoff Thorpe and Larry Howe remain, while Dutch singer Nick Holleman is a new addition, and Slovenian bassist Tilen Hudrup continues on after his appointment in 2013. Second guitarist Thaen Rasmussen takes over from Bob Capka, who played on 2013's 'Electric Punishment'. SPV/Steamhammer have done the heavy metal scene a huge favour over the years by retaining bands like Vicious Rumors on their roster, and VR's latest 'Concussion Protocol' sees them in fine fettle. Loud and proud!

The Songs
VR kick off with the title track, and from the get-go, they pound their way into submission. Talk about getting whacked in the head. No wonder they named the album 'Concussion Protocol'. This one is fiery, played at thrash-like speed with new singer Nick Holleman dominating like a boss. Larry Howe drives this song hard with some brutal drum work, coupled with some cookie monster vocal work for good effect. Howe keeps the tempo going at high speed on 'Chemical Slave', with Holleman able to shift between various vocal inflections.. gruff, snarl, brutal.. you name it. 'Victims Of A Digital World' demonstrates VR's ability to move into groove metal, not unlike the recent Anvil release. 'Chasing The Priest' is a nod to European styled thrash metal, a wicked sounding track, in all manner of speaking! 'Last Of Our Kind' is slightly different, as it sounds more like mainstream metal with a melodic chorus. I kinda like it, but I'm sure die-hard VR fans might question its inclusion. The same might apply to the ballad 'Circle Of Secrets' which is the album's slow-mo moment, not unlike what Fates Warning and Queensryche used to do back in the 80's. It does gather momentum eventually, and finishes strongly. The riffs fly off the handle for 'Every Blessing's A Curse', again the metronome is tipped on its head, this is VR back to thrash mode. The last track 'Life For A Life' operates at medium speed, features chugging guitars and is quite melodic actually.

In Summary
'Concussion Protocol' is a very powerful album, and suggests to me that these guys are in no mood to head into retirement anytime soon. The thrash quotient is a lot higher than what I anticipated, which probably means I have to go back and listen to their previous discography. We do have some gaps in the Vicious Rumors back-catalog, so we might end up backfilling over the course of the next few months. No doubting that this band are still hammering away, and with the injection of talent such as Nick Holleman, they will go over well when they get over to Europe to play festivals etc. Word of warning, make sure you put on some head-gear when listening to this.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 29 2016 23:58:40
Vicious Rumors - 2016 Take It Or Leave it
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