Vicious Rumors
Razorback Killers

01 Murderball
02 Black
03 Razorback Blade
04 Blood Stained Sunday
05 Pearl Of Wisdom
06 All I Want Is You
07 Axe To Grind
08 Let The Garden Burn
09 Rite Of Devastation
10 Deal With The Devil

Brian Allen – vocals
Geoff Thorpe – guitars
Kiyoshi Morgan – guitars
Stephen Goodwin – bass
Larry Howe - drums

Soldiers of the Night (1986)
Digital Dictator (1988)
Vicious Rumors (1990)
Welcome to the Ball (1991)
Word of Mouth (1994)
Something Burning (1996)
Cyberchrist (1998)
Sadistic Symphony (2001)
Warball (2006)

Mark McGee (G on 4 & 5)
Eric Peterson (G on 1)
Brad Gillis (G on 10)


Released 25/3-2011
Reviewed 25/3-2011


Vicious Rumors is one of these so called ”classic” heavy metal bands that makes the world hold their breath every time they release an album. In their discography there are nine studio albums previous to this as well as one EP, two live albums and two movies. A pretty hollow discography considering the band was formed in 1979 and has been doing music for over 30 years. But then Vicious Rumors haven’t had any commercial breakthrough either. Compared to common knowledge like Iron Maiden and Manowar this is a band that are fairly unknown and perhaps the reason for the lack of releases comes from them working harder on each album? It might be so, their “normal” release tempo has been one album per 2-3 years and lately they’ve had a full five year gap between the releases. So what can we expect from this, the third album released the last ten years?

Well, expectations are individual and come differently with each person. I personally don’t expect more from this album than I do from let’s say snails – hardly something that will change the world. Or become a new wonder. And neither do I believe it will leave mankind standing still, if so only for a moment. No, nothing like that. Me and heavy metal aren’t exactly best friends, I can admit that. And me and Vicious Rumors haven’t exactly held hands for the last ten years either, even though we haven’t bickered either. Normally I find the heavy metal genre to poor to satisfy me and so is the case with Vicious Rumors as well. They have screaming guitars and a seriously hard production that go forth in a quite normal tempo with a vocalist that whines the vocals out like a Gremlin (you know, a Mogwai that has eaten after midnight). Nothing unusual with this, even though Brian Allen is new in the band for this album. Unfortunately for this band they’ve had some difficulties finding a good vocalist staying with the band since Carl Albert tragically died in a car crash in 1995 and instead vocalists has come and gone like promises by politicians. Hopefully the carousel is over now and they can find some stability.

The album starts with the song Murderball, which almost makes me feel that Vicious Rumors finally has taken the step into thrash metal on which they’ve balanced for so long now. And it really feels uncharacteristic heavy. It’s an album that in every way are neighbor to the thrash with its heavy riffs that cut you like an axe and the digger heavy chewing bass that thrash you like a hurricane. The new vocalist chews foam with his angry vocals, which of course doesn’t help him to articulate. But he sounds like a tamed rabies infected lion that’s so hungry it can almost eat its owner and roars all kind of unpleasantness as if it were fashionable. I wouldn’t say this album have the most inventive melodies but they are well played and hungry. The band really roars out how much they wanted to do exactly this album and that they wanted their fans to have the fattest sandwich punch in their face ever! I, however, think it’s decent but nothing more. Hardly an album that will grand slam the award ceremonies this year.

Why not? Well, I just don’t see what’s so groundbreaking with this album that makes it deserve to be awarded. Most of all I think it’s made too simple and straight forward.“You play bass, you sing, you drum and the two of us play the guitar. And then we play really hard and angry!”. Yeah, but that’s something hundreds of bands have done already. Thousands actually. For f*ck sake you have done it already your selves! There is nothing really unique with ‘Razorback Killers’ and though it doesn’t sound bad it’s like I said – hardly an album that will need a wheel-barrow to get all their awards home from all award-ceremonies in the world in order to get it home. It really feels like every day heavy metal. Sure, a heavy version of it – granted. As I said it’s even bordering the thrash metal genre. But they don’t have a special guitar sound unique for them, nor do they have unique melodies, the vocalist doesn’t have a particullary unique voice and there are no parts in the music that makes you shiver in delight because it’s so fantastic. What it feels like is a band that has made what they wanted to do every way. And in this case that resulted in a pretty “normal” metal album that don’t succeed to touch or win me over. But that’s an opinion that hardly speaks for everyone.

If you like what the band has done before this. If you like heavy metal. If you like it when it’s really heavy! Then we have an album that’s made for you in this! ‘Razorback Killers’ hardly break any boundries or change the world of music. I don’t think it will make the world stop gasping for breath or will be seen as a new wonder of the world. Instead, it’s simply a straight forward, hard heavy metal album that will beat the shit out of everyone without enough metal in their heart. Good, but hardly groundbreaking. But sometimes that’s exactly what you want to hear – an album that simply rock the brain cells out of our heads!


Label - Playground/Steamhammer/SPV
Three similar bands - Jag Panzer/Exodus/Manowar
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm