"Razorback Killers"

By Dr. Abner Mality

True metal classics come along very seldom. Very good albums pop up pretty frequently these days and even great ones arise a couple times during the course of a year. But the REAL classics, the albums you play time and time again, are few and far between. I can think of a ton of great bands that have never delivered a true classic that can stand the test of time.

Yes, that's right, you're way ahead of me. The latest member of this highly exclusive club is "Razorback Killers" by Vicious Rumors, a killer metal band that has been plying their trade to woefully little acclaim for over 30 years now. I remember hooking up with them during their short-lived tenure on Atlantic Records,, when their self-titled record and "Welcome To The Wrecking Ball" were two of the best American heavy metal discs of the time. After the Atlantic deal inevitably folded, they kind of retreated to Europe and "Razorback Killers" is the first effort of theirs I've clapped ears on in more than a decade.

This fucker SMOKES from the very first note until the last. By the time I was done listening to this, it dawned one me that I had just heard one of THOSE albums. Something like a "British Steel", a "Piece of Mind", a "Ride The Lightning". It is certainly the crowning metal achievement of Vicious Rumors' career and surpasses even those superb Atlantic records they did. I've played this front to back several times and am totally unable to discern a flaw. It's brilliantly produced, faultlessly played and containing pure metal songs to bring a tear to your eye.

"Murderball" kicks things off in excellent fast and furious fashion. It's immediately apparent that new singer Brian Allen is the earthly reincarnation of Vicious Rumors' former vocalist Carl Albert, tragically killed in a car wreck years ago. A pure metal voice to make you cream your jeans several times over and also reminiscent of Ripper Owens at his very best. A man born to sing heavy metal. "Black" then shows a moodier but still dead heavy side to the's an interestingly arranged and original tune. Then the roof gets blown off with the screaming speed metal of "Razorback Blade" which will strip the hide right off your back. This is what it's all about, fans of true metal.

It just keeps rolling from there...the awesomely building epic "Blood Stained Sunday", the subtle "Pearl of Wisdom" that accelerates to ass-kicking pace, the Priest-like rocker "All I Want Is You", more scorching speed metal in "Axe To Grind", a mid-paced riff monster "Let The Garden Burn", the unbelievable power-packed album highlight "Rite of Devastation" and the closing "Deal With The Devil", which again brings the best of Priest and Accept to mind but with a Vicious Rumors twist.

I just can't say anything more except...perfect album. Perfect in every way, especially for lovers of the classics. If there's an album that will knock this off as best of 2011, I'll have to hear it to believe it!