VICIOUS RUMORS — Celebration Decay (review)

VICIOUS RUMORS — Celebration Decay album cover Album · 2020 · US Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Nightfly
I’ve been a fan of Vicious Rumors since their eponymous third album released back in 1990, an album they still haven’t bettered to this day by the way. This was not only down to a great collection of songs but the vocal prowess of the sadly deceased Carl Albert who died in a car crash in 1995. The band have continued to release well played US power metal albums adopting the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it approach apart from a diversion into a more groove metal direction in the late nineties.

Celebration Decay is the bands thirteenth studio album and not surprisingly follows the same template as the last few albums with the usual mixture of up and mid-tempo metal and the occasional plodder. Here though the balance lies more towards the mid-tempo which to be honest is not always to the albums benefit as Vicious Rumors are usually at their best when flying at full pelt. Any Last Words is one of the better mid-paced songs however with a strong hook and a riff that is very reminiscent of another of the bands songs that I annoyingly can’t currently put my finger on. There are some great songs such as Arrival Of Desolation with its galloping riff and rhythm section, something the band seem to do on most albums, there’s the opening title track which is one of the faster songs here. The album seems to run out of steam a bit at times though with the forgettable Darkness Divine being a prime example, not bad by any means, but lacking a memorable hook and guitarist Geoff Thorpe takes over on lead vocals who despite being a fine guitarist is no more than a passable vocalist. It’s followed by the equally plodding Long Way Home. Talking of vocals, since the death of Carl Albert the band seem to have struggled to find a lasting replacement changing vocalists almost every album. The latest recruit is Nick Courtney who whilst having a decent set of pipes struggles to inject much in the way of melody into his performance, something Albert always did, even against the hardest of riffs.

Collision Course Disaster is very welcome as by the time it arrives it’s the first fast song we’ve had for some time. It also boasts one of the albums strongest set of riffs. The album also goes out on a faster note with Masquerade Of Good Intentions.

Celebration Decay is a decent enough album but it’s the bands weakest of the last five, the best being 2011’s Razorback Killers if you’re interested. That’s a shame as the band is usually fairly consistent with releasing strong albums. Nevertheless it’s good to have them back and I’m confident that Vicious Rumors still have great albums in them and next time we’ll have something as good as their last, Concussion Protocol.
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