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

By: David E. Gehlke

[7/10] Pumping in crowd noise was rumored to be a tactic the Indianapolis Colts employed throughout the 00’s, giving them an advantage at the now tenant-less Hoosier/RCA Dome. As legend has it, the team would funnel artificial noise onto field-level speakers while the opposing team was on offense, making it more difficult for said team to call signals while they were at the line of scrimmage. The Colts were never actually caught doing this, but as the old saying goes, where this is smoke, there is generally fire.

Bands, on the other hand, can get away with faking crowd noise on their live albums. Pantera definitely did it on their 1997 Official Live: 101 Proof album, and now veteran act Vicious Rumors have more than likely done the same on their Live You to Death platter. Not to say Geoff Thorpe and team don’t have a following across the pond, but the crowd noise here sounds just a smidge more elevated than it should be. The volume swells after each song are very noticeable, probably moreso than they should be, hence Blistering’s suspicions. Sure beats dead silence in between songs as the alternative, however.

Recorded across Europe during the band’s support run of last year’s stellar Razorback Killers, Live You to Death catches VR doling out select cuts from various eras of their unfathomable 30 years and counting existence. Lead singer Brian Allen has established himself as the band’s most formidable throat since the late Carl Albert was out front, with proof coming in the form of “Murderball” (the band’s best modern day cut) and his handling of older numbers such as “Down to the Temple” and “Soldiers of the Night.”

A band as perpetually under the radar as Vicious Rumors should have more attention thrust upon them, and while a live album probably won’t do anything to change the band’s standing in the scene, it’s a fitting 20-year anniversary token of their initial live foray, Plug In and Hang On: Live in Tokyo. Fake crowd noise or not, this is probably the best chance to hear VR in the live environment for those not living in mainland Europe...

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