SPV has really been pushing the power metal sound with the bands that they distribute. From Angra, Sodom, Annihilator and now Vicious Rumors. I was one of those guys who thought the old school American power metal sound was dead and posthumously consumed by groove metal, but SPV has proved me wrong with some solid releases, or at the very least it proved that California still knows how to do power up their metal.
While this may be a standard power metal album and it does have all the clichés associated with the genre; awesome shredding, gruff, yet melodic vocals and heavy guitar rhythms, it can’t be written off as something completely predictable. The guitar tone on this album is monstrously good. It isn’t as detuned as some of the modern death metal tones are, but it has a decisive crunch to it that reverberates in your skull with just enough distortion that the riffs are aggressive without sounding sloppy or haphazard. It’s always great to hear a power metal band that’s not afraid to grow a pair and write riffs that hurt.
So many power metal bands suffer from such acute violin envy that they do everything in their power to neuter their guitar tone so that the melodies can across as inoffensively as possible, but Vicious Rumors couldn’t care less. The riffs on Razorback Killers are as violent and aggressive as a razorback boar, but sophisticated enough for even the snobbiest power metal fan.
This has appeal for both the power metal crowd and the old school heavy metal crowd. As such, I can say that if you like metal you should give this a try. It’s nothing new, but it does its job very well.