The good people at Dissonance Productions are once again preparing a great package of out of print classic metal, reissued for new life and possibly – new fans. This time, on September 30th, we have the two undisputed best albums by US metal veterans Vicious Rumors – their eponymous one from 1990 and Welcome To The Ball from 1991. The third disc is the band’s first official live album Plug In and Hang On – Live in Tokyo (1992). While Vicious Rumors has been reissued in 2015, the equally good riff-fest Welcome To The Ball is really hard to find nowadays, because it has only been reprinted in Japan, so this new compilation, coming in a beautiful digipack, is very welcome.
Both albums feature the classic line-up of Geoff Thorpe and Mark McGee (guitars), Larry Howe (drums), Dave Starr (bass) and the gone but not forgotten singer Carl Albert. These two albums are easily among the best examples of what US metal sounds like, also having the advantage of fantastic production and sound, courtesy of Michael Rosen, who has put his touch on so many thrash classics from the time, such as Testament, Flotsam and Jetsam, Death Angel, Vio-Lence, D.R.I, Sadus, Mordred etc. The music of Vicious Rumors is a perfect blend of really heavy guitars and powerful riffs with a taste for melody and killer hooks. The vocals of Carl Albert are the icing on the cake, sure, but this band has always been an unstoppable riff-machine and the name of Geoff Thorpe is a trademark in itself for a good reason.
Don’t Wait For Me, World Church, Down To The Temple… there is no use pointing out particular songs because these albums are meant to be listened to front-to-back and on repeat. There are so many highlights in Welcome To The Ball as well, and I have to say that the latter wins just a little bit over the self-titled, because the production is even better and the songs sound even heavier. Vicious Rumors were never a thrash band, but at the same time back in these days sounded way heavier than the majority of pure thrash bands. The live album features 8 songs from the Welcome To The Ball tour and has never been released in Europe until now. The Atlantic Years also features extended liner notes and new interviews with Geoff Thorpe, making this package an obligatory purchase if you happen to miss these albums in your collection.