VICIOUS RUMORS – Celebration Decay

VICIOUS RUMORS - Celebration Decay
  • 8.3/10
    VICIOUS RUMORS - Celebration Decay - 8.3/10


Steamhammer / SPV Records
Release date: August 21, 2020

User Review
7/10 (1 vote)

The Backstory

San Francisco Bay Area stalwarts Vicious Rumors are back with their 13th album Celebration Decay, the long awaited follow up to their 2016 release Concussion Protocol.  Why the long wait?  Well, Vicious Rumors had planned 20 concerts to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their landmark album, 1988’s Digital Dictator.  Those 20 shows turned into 108 shows.  With the release of Celebration Day the band adds new guitarist Gunnar Dugrey and new vocalist Nick Courtney to their ranks.

[Listen to our interview with Geoff Thorpe HERE]

The Album

Everything that you’d ever expected to hear from an 80’s Thrash Metal song is pretty much rolled up into the first track “Celebration Day.”  There’s a slow rumbling intro, followed by driving guitar riffs and Larry Howe’s pounding drums.  Vocalist Nick Courtney spits venom, but also wails like the best of them. The dual guitar attack of Geoff Thorpe and Gunnar Dugrey steals the show at the instrumental break.  Vicious Rumors keep the intensity flowing on “Pulse of the Dead.” Cortney is more melodic than edgy here, reminiscent of a young Rob Halford.

“Any Last Words” is loaded with pure Thrash riffage and animosity.  Dugrey shows once again why he landed the gig with his blazing fretwork.  Not that the album hasn’t been a dark affair up to this point, but “Asylum of Blood” goes deeper into the shadows with haunting background vocals and sinister lyrics.  Acoustic guitars bring the tempo down for “Darkness Devine.”  When the rest of the band kicks in, the track morphs into a post-grunge affair with 80’s thrash guitar sensibilities.

“Death Eternal” has Courtney back at his higher range vocals and Owens still pounding effortlessly on the skins.  The solo isn’t too flashy, but it doesn’t need to be.  Breakneck speeds propel “Collision Course Disaster,” while the final song “Masquerade of Good Intentions” is full of changing tempos and fervor.

The Verdict

Celebration Decay is everything you love about classic Thrash, with a few twists and turns to keep it modern.  Vicious Rumors aren’t trying to reinvent the genre here, but they certainly prove that they are one of the finest to play it.



  1. Celebration Decay
  2. Pulse of the Dead
  3. Arrival of Desolation
  4. Any Last Words
  5. Asylum of Blood
  6. Darkness Divine
  7. Long Way Home
  8. Cold Blooded
  9. Death Eternal
  10. Collision Course Disaster
  11. Masquerade of Good Intensions


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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