With origins tracing back to 1979, San Francisco Bay area power metal band Vicious Rumors issued their debut in 1985. Conceived and founded by guitarist/vocalist Geoff Thorpe, the band is signed to Germany-based label SPV/Steamhammer Records.
I have been a massive fan of Vicious Rumors from the start of their career, but as of recent they have dropped off my radar. I am looking forward to seeing how they have progressed all these years later.
This is the band’s twelfth album and it opens with the title track, “Concussion Protocol”. I am transported back to 1990 and my first listen of the self-titled Vicious Rumors album. A real ripper of an opener, lots of fast guitars, bass, and drums with fantastic vocals from Nick Holleman. This is exactly what I expected or at least hoped for from Concussion Protocol. We move into “Chemical Slaves” carrying on the onslaught with some great gang vocals on the chorus. Plenty of fist pumping as always. “Victims Of A Digital World” is a plodding number with a brutal riff running through it and those fantastic vocals bringing it all together perfectly. “Chasing The Priest” puts the pedal down once more with a brutal attack. Balls to the wall metal with a piercing solo. “Last Of Our Kind” again has some great vocal work. This is the first album I have heard with Nick singing and he fits the band perfectly. “1000 Years” is next and the metal keeps coming hard and fast, the guitars continuing to thrash. If you like the Bay Area thrash sound, this is definitely for you. “Circle Of Secrets” slows things down in what is as close to a ballad as you will get from Vicious Rumors. With some fantastic vocals again, “Take It Or Leave It” follows with a fantastic riff running throughout and the drums are excellent. “Bastards” has some clever guitar work from Geoff and is a crunchy song with some great melodies. “Every Blessing Is A Curse” returns us to the fast pace once more, a real chunky riff and everyone’s head is surely banging to this one. We finish Concussion Protocol with “Life For A Life”. This is the longest song on the record and has a great intro, but not a huge fan of this song, to be honest.
On the whole, this album is what I thought it might be. The production isn’t very guitar focused which is a shame. For me, it’s a good album just not a mind-blowingly great one. Going on past Vicious Rumors albums that I have heard, a tad disappointed. Definitely worth a listen and you decide.
Mark 7.5 out of 10