MARCH 2nd 2013

Review by Ruben Mosqueda

In 2013 a band like Vicious Rumors is criminally ignore by the ‘mainstream’ metal community and remains very much an ‘underground’ band with cult following—how ‘metal.’The Bay Area act is led by founding member and guitarist Geoff Thorpe who has steered the ship through an ever revolving door of line-up changes. Truth be told the shifting line-up changes have hurt the band’s momentum over the years. With classic albums like; ‘Soldiers of the Night,’ ‘Digital Dictator,’ ‘Welcome to the Ball,’ the most recent opus’ ‘Warball’ and ‘Razorback Killers’ Vicious Rumors have accumulated a quite the musical arsenal.

In 2011 Thrope enlisted singer Brian Allen [Malice, Last Empire] for the stellar ‘Razorback Killers’ album. No question, Allen had some pretty big shoes to fill namely those of the late Carl Albert and James Rivera [Helstar, Seven Witches, Malice]. While the band wasn’t able to tour behind the album stateside it did enable them to do an extensive tour of Europe in the winter of 2011. This spawned Vicious Rumors’ latest ‘live’ effort. The album was recorded in Passau, Germany in December of 2011.

It is a retrospective of the band’s history which includes fan favorites like; “Digital Dictator,” “Murderball,” “Soldiers of the Night,” and “Hellraiser.” Vicious Rumors sounds as tight, revitalized and fierce. Allen has injected new life into the classic. The standout tracks on ‘Live You to Death’ are; “Abandon” and “Let the Garden Burn”—which are absolutely blazing. While there’s a tad too much banter by Thorpe in between songs---he’s excited. I get it—he should however allow Allen to do that. He’s a more capable front man as this recording and ‘Razorback Killers’ has displayed.

‘Live You to Death’ is a great introduction the Vicious Rumors back catalog without shelling out a lot of dough if you’re not familiar with the band’s classic material and definitely a good addiction to one’s metal collection. In addition to the 9 live cuts you get a couple of studio tracks; Sabbath’s “Sign of the Southern Cross,” and Priest’s “Running Wild.” ‘Live You to Death’ should tide fans while the band is hard at work on their next studio effort with a working title of ‘Electric Punishment.’ I for one can not wait.