VICIOUS RUMORS – Razorback Killers

VICIOUS RUMORS - Razorback Killers
  • 8.5/10
    VICIOUS RUMORS - Razorback Killers - 8.5/10


SPV / Steamhammer
Release Date: March 28, 2011

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It’s been almost five years since Vicious Rumors was last officially heard, and that has been too long indeed. Hope is abound that band leader Geoff Thorpe’s constant struggle on finding a suitable vocalist that will actually stay around for more than four years and that fulfills his duties as the band’s legendary Carl Albert (R.I.P.) once did, will come to an end with this release.

After the screaming James Rivera (Helstar) left a year after their previous Warball album, Shadowkeep’s banshee Ronnie Stixx came along but he lasted only two years. Maybe the coming of Brian Allen (Malice, Last Empire) will bring the band back to its glory and end the seemingly endless search.

The chosen title for the band’s tenth studio album is Razorback Killer. Everything was done to hatch a name that will be somewhat connected with the band’s insignia, the killing steel ball. In addition, this is the first album of Vicious Rumors under Germany’s Steamhammer Records (SPV), a great achievement to say the least. What was pleasing to see was that Vicious Rumors kept on the same path of coming back to 80s-oriented US Power Metal as they played during their glory days of the 80s and early 90s. To this end, their groove-era is surely not missed and it’s great that they came to realize their roots are way more important. Furthermore, under the direction of Geoff Thorpe as producer, along with Juan Urteaga, the old spirit came back to life once again.

First, when listening to new vocalist Brian Allen, don’t expect a screaming machine like Rivera or Stixx, because this guy is different. For the first time in years, Thorpe brought over a guy that closely resembles Carl Albert. Moreover, the feel of his voice pattern will probably strike a few memories. You could say that Allen is a mix of Carl Albert, David Wayne (Metal Church – R.I.P.) and “Ripper” Owens.

Second, there is the music. Razorback Killer presents Vicious Rumors in an elevated form. 80s Metal, whether Heavy or Power or Thrash, like venom in their blood will forever be their primary weapon. Besides their groove, which stepped back a bit in the past decade, the material consists of great harmonies, top of the line solos, awesome heavy riffs and great rhythms. Even if it’s not in the likes of classic albums like Vicious Rumors, Welcome To The Ball, or Soldiers Of The Night, Razorback Killer is a good contender and a kick ass album.

One of the most memorable moments of this saw blade was “Murderball”, the closest thing to the classic track “Don’t Wait For Me”, elevated by a lead solo by Testament’s Eric Peterson. The self-titled effort also came out as a big time smasher, showing 80s rawness. “Blood Stained Sunday” sounds as if it was taken from Judas Priest’s endeavor with “Ripper” Owens — a strong and brutal track and was also rewarded by a solo from one of the band’s earlier guitarists, Mark McGee. “Pearl Of Wisdom”, another great track filled with mid-tempo aggression, yet featuring an emotive chorus. Finally, there is “Black”, “Axe To Grind”, and “Rite Of Devastation” … all three are good tracks and pave a road to the old Vicious Rumors. In addition to the two guest guitarists mentioned, Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) shared his long time experience and talent on the closing track “Deal With The Devil”, however, he made his great guest appearance on a rather average track.

Bottom line, buy this album. This is USA Metal coming back with a vengeance!


  1. Murderball
  2. Black
  3. Razorback Blade
  4. Blood Stained Sunday
  5. Pearl Of Wisdom
  6. All I Want Is You
  7. Axe To Grind
  8. Let The Garden Burn
  9. Rite Of Devastation
  10. Deal With The Devil


Brian Allen – Vocals
Geoff Thorpe – Guitars
Kiyoshi Morgan – Guitars
Stephen Goodwin – Bass
Larry Howe – Drums


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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