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Vicious Rumours - 'Electric Punishment' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2f/d0/0e/Vicious-17-1372432890.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     June 28, 2013    
 
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Age has neither blunted Vicious Rumors' appeal nor their appetite for metal of mass distraction.

For a band who released their first LP ‘Soldiers Of The Night' back in 1986, age has neither blunted Vicious Rumors' appeal nor their appetite for metal of mass distraction. Helmed by guitarist Geoff Thorpe the band have never strayed far from their roots, consistently delivering brash and exciting slabs of pure thoroughbred heavy metal; and it comes as little surprise that their eleventh studio album ‘Electric Punishment' continues with this tradition. Blending and stylising influences from the likes of latter-day Judas Priest, Metallica and Anthrax, Thorpe and his partners-in-metal Brian Allen (vocals), Thean Rasmussen (guitars), Stephen Goodwin (bass) and Larry Howe (drums) have crafted an album that's as sharp as a cut-throat razor and possibly twice as deadly. Nicely paced, evenly-balanced but forever on the edge ‘Electric Punishment' takes its predecessors ‘Razorback Killers' and ‘Warball' and pushes them that little bit further as perhaps you'd expect from a band of this calibre.

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In the double-whammy opener of energetic riff-monster ‘I Am The Gun' and the title track – both six minutes long, so between them they account for a quarter of the album's running time – the band set out what is pretty much the essence of Vicious Rumors: aggression and passion, speed and power, light and dark – it's all there. Allen's vocals soar high and mighty while twin guitars duel and riff and a roaring rhythm section drives the songs onwards relentlessly. There is some respite as ‘Electric Punishment' plays on: ‘Escape (From Hell)' allows time to catch breath (but not for long) as does ‘Together We Unite', the crowd anthem which is a bit too lighters-in-the-air for me personally, and which, to my mind, bogs the album down. But with so much going on around it you can forgive the band for trying to introduce an element of lightness to proceedings and much, much better is the following cut: the hauntingly eerie ‘Eternally' is a slower, powerful song which features some awe-inspiring guitar work and which reveals a slightly different facet to the band, as its creeping malevolence is a little different for the VR boys. It's also one of three cuts to feature Brad Gillis, a guitarist of no little repute who of course passed through the band's ranks a few years back.

And to cap it all, ‘Electric Punishment' plays out with an extremely exciting rendition of Kiss's ‘Strange Ways', a long-lost gem from ‘Hotter Than Hell'. What's not to like?

John Tucker

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