"Concussion Protocol"

By Colonel Angus

Vicious Rumors have been around for quite a while and I remember getting their first record “Soldiers of the Night”.  Back then, my friends and I would purchase anything that was released on the Shrapnel Records label.  They had a roster that included a lot of shredder guitarists and Vicious Rumors had Vinny Moore.  After another record on Shrapnel, they jumped up to the big leagues with a trio of releases on Atlantic Records which brought about some video and the attempts at hits.  I have to say that I lost interest in the band around that time and I have not come back since (until now).  There was plenty of other music to get into and although I have seen their releases through the years, I somehow never found the time to give them another try.  Well, their newest release taught me that you shouldn’t give up on bands so quickly.  Like Shrapnel Records, Steamhammer/SPV has a great roster and if I had more money I would purchase all of their CDs.  Now, I will admit that I was wrong for ignoring the band because “Concussion Protocol” is a scorcher from start to finish.  

The core members Geoff Thorpe (guitars) and Larry Howe (drums) have assembled quite the band.  Thaen Rasmussen (guitars) is still on board from the “Electric Punishment” record but we have a couple of new guys; Nick Holleman (vocals) and Tilen Hudrap (bass).  Both of the new members (on record at least) put in great performances with Hollman really shining.  The riffing and leads on “Concussion Protocol” also stand out by being both brutal and melodic throughout.  But, as everyone knows, the best musicians can’t really save a bad song.  Luckily for these guys, the songs stand up.  Whether it’s the pounding fury of title track, “1000 Years”, or “Every Blessing Is a Curse”, you get melodies and riff that stick with you.  Even slower tunes like “”Circle of Secrets” still have a heaviness that was absent in the MTV days.  Musically, on the slower tunes, there is a definite Judas Priest vibe with the riffs; which a good thing.  At the end of the day, “Concussion Protocol” does the power metal genre proud.  If you’re like me and passed up on Vicious Rumors for the past decade, you are missing out.  This disk is good enough to have made me rethink my opinion and place orders for their past few records