VICIOUS RUMORS - DIGITAL DICTATOR (Roadrunner Records)
The mighty eighties were more than a time of thrash and hair metal bands. Next to the traditional heavy metal movement some guitar players stood up to show the world their skills, their talents, their shredding guitars. Classical schooled and convinced the world would fall for so much flair they released a lot of albums. Some of these releases were pearls, others are already forgotten. It was in such an atmosphere we discovered guitar gods like Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Steve Vai, Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen and of course Vinnie Moore.
Vinnie Moore and Geoff Thorpe decided to start a 'full band' to produce more than shredding guitars to please their listeners. Vicious Rumors offered their self titled albumn, after all these years still a respected disc. Inspired by the traditional bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest they've added an own sound, clean but heavy! Vinnie Moore left the band but Geoff Thorpe believed Vicious Rumors had a place in an overcrowded metal scene and released ''Digital Dictator''. The omens were positive that Vicious Rumors would become a mainstream band.
With this second album Vicious Rumors astonished the world and they presented one of the best metal singers in the metal scene evern, Carl Albert. He was a previous member of a band called Villain but became legendary as a member of Vicious Rumors. His superb clean vocals, his possibilities to reach the sky with his shrieks, the natural emotions in his voice, all were proves he was sent from heaven to become a 'Heavy Metal star'. Unfortunately he had to turn back far too soon, killed in a car accident at the 22th of April 1995. After all these years this is still one of the biggest losses in our Metal culture.
With songs like 'Digital Dictator', 'Minute To Kill', the overwhelming 'Lady Took A Change' and 'The Crest' Vicious Rumors presented elements that were/are very rare, a mix between first class musicianship, a giant dose of power and superior melodic lines. All instruments are perfectly played, remaining a pure feeling how Heavy Metal should sound. The shredding guitars are dazzling, the bass lines exceptional powerful, the drums are the unbelievable base for the mighty songs. VR deserves a lot of respect for their unique sound, perfect for me but unfortunately it was not for the mainstream radio stations and magazines. Although Vicious Rumors inspired a lot of metal bands with this album, they never received the status of a big band. Did the omens lie? I'm convinced they didn't because nobody could know back then that the Thrash and Hair Metal scene would blow away all the other talented bands to pieces. Vicious Rumors was created on a wrong place at the wrong time because there was (and still is) no place for true (US) Power Metal, it's such a shame.
After this release Vicious Rumors kept on writing good albums until Carl Albert died. The fans and the members were shocked and Vicious Rumors became a shadow of itself. It took many years to revive until James Rivera (Helstar, Destiny's End,...) joined the band to release ''Warball'', a terrific album. Since a few months also this fairy tale seems to be over.
Vicious Rumors deserves a place in the history of Metal, not only because of the legendary albums and gigs but especially because of Carl Albert. No one was able to replace him in Vicious Rumors, hard to say for me as a big James Rivera fan but Albert's vocal lines were too unique. What's left are good memories and hope for a bright future for Geoff Thorpe and mates.
Carl: rest in peace, you will never be forgotten!
My points: 100 / 100