Vicious Rumors - LIVE You to Death (SPV/Steamhammer)

Lively stuff serving as a document of last year's Vicious Rumors Euro Tour...
Release Date: 
26 Nov 2012 (All day)


Recorded live on VR’s 2011 European tour (where they supported the mighty HammerFall), LIVE You to Death is an enjoyable, though brief run through some of the best moments of the band’s extensive catalogue, with a couple of bonus studio cover versions thrown in for good measure.

The sound (recorded by HammerFall’s  Pontus Norgren) is crisp, if a little toppy throughout, but that sonic quality serves  to highlight the always stellar contributions of guitarists Geoff Thorpe and Bob Capka throughout; Both put in fine shifts, weaving in and out of one anothers playing with top draw precision before occasionally coming together for some excellent dual lead work. Vocalist Brian Allen is in suitably bellowing voice throughout, with only one or two slightly stilted raps marring an otherwise solid performance. As noted, the mix doesn’t really afford much room for the rhythm section to shine, though Stephen Goodwin on Bass and Larry Howe behind the kit offer up just what’s required to keep things moving onwards and upwards.

Songwise I’m assuming you get just what the band offered each night in their time-limited support slots; A spirited run through of latter day VR faves like Let the Garden Burn from 2011’s Razorback Killers, a blasting set opener in the form of the title track from 1988’s Digital Dictator and perhaps the standout track of the set,  a blistering take on Murderball (also from Razorback Killers).

The set is rounded out with the pure metal overdrive of Don’t Wait for Me (the opening track from the band’s self-titled 1990 outing), with some cunningly mixed crowd noises intruding over the instrumental mid-section to let you know just what a good time the assembled Germans were having the night the song was recorded, which just leaves the two studio tracks remaining for your aural degustation. The first, a stab at Sabbath’s Sign of the Southern Cross,  is nothing more or less than a faithful reproduction of the original, whilst the second, Judas Priest’s Running Wild, suffers a little from Allen’s eccentric phrasing, which leaves him sounding hurried and unrehearsed in places. 

Like most live releases, then, plenty to enjoy but really this is only essential for Rumors completists.