LIVE You to Death is a 2012 live album release by long-running US power/heavy metal act Vicious Rumors. Having debuted new vocalist Brian Allen with the 2011 studio album Razorback Killers, LIVE You to Death is the first live recording to feature his voice. The album was recorded during the band’s December 2011 European tour with Sweden’s HammerFall. LIVE You to Death isn’t the longest live album you’ll find, containing just nine tracks along with a couple of newly recorded studio cover versions, but the album showcases that Vicious Rumors must put on one hell of a show when they hit the stage.
Vicious Rumors weren’t a band I was very familiar with prior to hearing LIVE You to Death. I’m not normally fussed by live albums personally but for people like me they serve as good a purpose as any to get a feel for a band I hadn’t known a lot about before, and it most definitely leaves me wanting to look into the band’s studio work. From the more objective point of view even without a history with the band’s music I can see that LIVE You to Death is a nice package for the Vicious Rumors fan. The setlist features a mix of tracks from Razorback Killers such as the absolutely stomping beast of a track Murderball, along with older material which originally featured the vocals of the late Carl Albert, such as Digital Dictator, although with only nine tracks it’s very much a choice cuts type of live release, and some of the past studio albums are not represented at all here. This is the first chance the fans will have had to hear some of the older songs with Brian Allen’s vocals if they missed out on seeing the band live yet. As I said, I don’t really having a background with the music of Vicious Rumors, but with that in mind I can tell you that Brian Allen sounds fantastic on this album, both on old and new songs, and the band as a whole put on a performance which is easy to get into the mood with.
After the live tracks the band also included a pair of newly recorded studio cover songs. The first is Sign of the Southern Cross, originally by Black Sabbath and the second is Running Wild, originally by Judas Priest. Both are solid cover versions which the band makes their own, and a nice addition to the package. The Black Sabbath one originally featured the late Ronnie James Dio on vocals and I think Brian Allen does him proud on this rendition.
In my opinion LIVE You to Death is a high quality live album and a must own release for the Vicious Rumors fan. An exceptional grade rating, for both the quality and energy of the live performance as well as the decent cover versions, is easily deserved.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))