Release date: November 27, 2012
I had the good fortune to be a part of the Bay Area music community when Vicious Rumors arrived on the metal scene. To this day, “Don’t Wait for Me” from their 1990 Atlantic Records debut, remains a staple in my weekly radio shows. Despite the band’s knack for crafting heavy albums that balance brutality and sharp musicianship with melody and aggression, their true prowess has always been as a live act.
This month the band will unleash LIVE You to Death, the band’s third live assault set to vinyl, er digital. You get the idea. From the band’s 1986 recorded debut, only founder and guitarist Geoff Thorpe, and drummer Larry Howe remain in the fold. Still, the raw energy and whipsaw attack carries on through their stage and studio efforts.
Joining Howe and Thorpe are vocalist Brian Allen, guitarist Bob Capka, and bassist Stephen Goodwin. LIVE You To Death was recorded by Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall), mixed by Juan Urteaga and produced by Thorpe. The album catches the fury and sonic, well, viciousness of VR.
The band unleashes nine tracks that span the band’s 10 studio albums including the title track of their 1986 debut, Soldiers of the Night (Shrapnel Records). They start the set off with the trio of “Replicant/Digital Dictator” and “Minute To Kill” from the 1987 follow-up, Digital Dictator which earned them a massive deal with Atlantic. From that self-titled beast the band pulled “Down To the Temple”, “Hellraiser”, and the aforementioned, “Don’t Wait For Me”.
From the 1991 release, Welcome to the Ball they perform the face-melter, “Abandoned”. While the album doesn’t represent any of the band’s middle work, they do give fans two tracks, “Murderball” and “Let the Garden Burn” from their 2011 neck-breaker, Razorback Killers.
Rounding the album out, the guys present a tribute to their heroes in Judas Priest and Black Sabbath with studio covers of “Running Wild” and “Sign of the Southern Cross”. The latter tracks in at well over eight minutes.
All in all, LIVE You To Death is a motherf**ker of an album, and a proud tribute to the legend of Vicious Rumors. Bay Area, represent!
The only downside to this monster is a lack of songs. We want more. Have no fear though, assuming the world does not end on December 21, VR should have a new studio effort out in 2013!
Note: Guitarist Thaen Rasmussen appears on the live tracks with Thorpe.