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Vicious Rumors - Celebration Decay Award winner

Vicious Rumors
Celebration Decay
by Kevin Lewis at 01 September 2020, 4:54 PM

VICIOUS RUMORS has returned with another Power/Thrash Metal disc guaranteed to please. Originally formed in the San Francisco Bay area (the birthplace of Thrash) in 1979, they set about making a name for themselves. Active ever since, they recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the “Digital Dictator” album with a 108-show run. With a couple of new guys in the line-up, this allowed them to get tighter-knit as a band. And did they ever use that time to their advantage!

Kicking off the disc is the title track, “Celebration Decay”. Setting the stage is a nuclear blast warning and sirens that run into a melodic beat. Mid-tempo drums and base that underlie the rhythm and lead guitar. This pauses before diving head first into a nice thrashy riff with a seriously heavy bottom end. All clean vocals, which isn’t as common in today’s music, but fits well here. Overall, a really good intro to a very heavy record.

Running through the next few tracks are a similar theme; doom, death and destruction. “Pulse Of The Dead” is more melodic, but still impressively heavy. “Arrival Of Desolation” and “Any Last Words” have some really good guitar fills and an incredibly solid bass/drum rhythm. “Asylum Of Blood” presents another doom laden track with plenty of attitude and gloomy imagery. Just the kind of thing I like to hear in my metal. These songs are all well put together, heavy, filled with tasty guitar solos and moody music that fits the tone of the lyrics.

Next comes the surprise track. “Darkness Divine” is the outlier on this disc. Slower, dark and seriously melodic at the start. There are heavier sections, but it stays more low-key throughout. This is the song that shows VICIOUS RUMORS is able to step outside their “comfort zone” and put out a song with more of a vibe and less of a feeling. The bridge is awesome and the song is my personal favorite on the record. This whole album is really good, so for this to stand out is truly saying something.

The second half of the record is more of the same sonic goodness. “Long Way Home” takes a melodic turn, then “Cold Blooded” goes right back to the heavy. This band does both really well. “Death Eternal” feels more like a gallop along when paired with “Collision Course Disaster” because the latter runs out of the gate and never slows down.

Wrapping up the disc is “Masquerade Of Good Intentions”, my second favorite. The lines, “Time will tell if you are for real / Or a masquerade of good intentions” hits home after getting burned many times by people who start off acting all nice, but turn on you in the end. This is another example of the more melodic side of the band through most of the song, but has some really good heavy sections and killer guitar fills. Notice the pattern these guys establish?

VICIOUS RUMORS recruited a new singer and guitarist for the last tour, then used that tour to get everyone in tune with one another. Gunnar Dügrey is a 21-year-old wunderkind on guitar and Nick Courtney is a beautiful fit with the sound the band wanted to, and did, achieve. I typically like to listen to a record for at least four days on repeat to get a feel for everything. I was hooked on the first play-through of this one.

This band has come out strong with this new line-up and is ready to dominate the stage. As a lover of live shows, I really hope these guys get to tour this next year. I need to see this band live and watch/hear how these songs translate to the stage, The song-writing and arrangement, the production… excellent. Execution is just as good. I look forward to hearing more form these guys in the future!

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

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 Intentions
Nick Courtney – Vocals
Geoff Thorpe – Guitar
Gunnar Dügrey – Guitar
Robin Utbult – Bass
Larry Howe – Drums
Record Label: Steamhammer Records


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