Live | Vicious Rumors – Oefenbunker – Landgraaf [NL]
6 May 2023
Last Saturday night I finally visited the live show of Vicious Rumors that originally supposed to take place on March 13, 2020. Right at the beginning of that pandemic that caused a lot of misery back then. But fortunately, this show was finally allowed to take place now after being rescheduled several more times, actually. Another chapter we got to close!!
As support act Vicious Rumors brought a band called Fearwell. A relatively new 6-piece metal band from the Leiden area [NL]. Fearwell does not fit into one genre, because they unleashe a storm of many influences. I’m talking symphonic/melodic death metal, thrash metal, power metal, progressive death metal, heavy metal, black metal, neoclassical metal and even film, classical and game music. In other words, a whole lot to take in. Dressed in monk robes and heavy chains, these guys entered the stage for a 45-minute set, featuring songs from their `Well Of Fear‘ album.
For me personally, it was quite a hefty mix of (tightly played) music, which I had to digest. But it can be called a fact that the band members were slinging the songs into the audience with abandon. And the quite filled Oefenbunker therefore gave a nice response to their performance. This is a band we probably will hear from in the future.
After a super fast change over, around 9:30 p.m. it was finally time for Vicious Rumors. Obviously, you can expect quite a bit from a band that has been around for over 40 years since, their legendary first record `Soldier Of The Night’ dates back to 1985. What I found nice to see is that the present audience did not only consist of people who have probably experienced the release of their debut album, but that there were also plenty of younger metalheads in the audience.
Vicious Rumors is also a band that has been through a lot in their existence. Apart from the many line-up changes, the death of top singer Carl Albert can be seen as the biggest low point. Guitarist and founder Geoff Thorpe and drummer Larry Howe (already on their debut album in ’85) are the backbone of the band. And tonight, we are dealing with a super-tight lineup, possibly the best in years!!! Guitarist Gunnar DüGrey, bassist Robin Utbult and ex-Metal Church singer Ronny Munroe, who only recently took over the microphone from previous singer Nick Courtney.
And just to cut to the chase, covid has fueled the fire in the band, because the guys are hungry for it!!! Damn, from the first song ,,On The Edge’’, the atmosphere was right there between Vicious Rumors and the audience. I estimate that the Oefenbunker was almost sold out tonight. ,,Abandoned’’ was the second stunner on the set list of the evening and they immediately proved they have been around in the music circus for a whole lot of years, but they are certainly not worn out at all. Far from it! The solo parts are nicely divided between Geoff and Gunnar and Larry’s drums are as always on the point! As is the low violence of bassist Robin.
Singer Ronny is a shot in the arm as far as I’m concerned, because vocally and as a human being he fits Vicious Rumors wonderfully and it shows in the performance and the reactions from the audience. I spoke to some people who have seen Vicious Rumors quite a few times (including yours truly) and this performance was certainly not inferior to the band we saw in the 80s/90s with Carl Albert (RIP).
So it was a true feast of recognition with songs like ,,Ship Of Fools’’, ,,Digital Dictator’’, ,,Lady Took A Chance’’and more. They even played ,,Soldiers Of The Night’’, which was not on the set list, and closed with ,,Don’t Wait For Me’’.
It was a perfect evening with a top-notch performance and since there was still time and the audience kept screaming for another encore, Vicious Rumors returned to the stage one more time to play ,,World Church’’. Another song that was not on the original set list. And that may be seen as confirmation that not only the audience, but also all band members had an awesome night.
Of course, normally you don’t wait 3 years for a band to perform a liveshow, but I would almost say that the far too long wait paid off, because we could enjoy Vicious Rumors in top form. And let’s hope their next gig, somewhere nearby, may take place sooner!!!
VICIOUS RUMORS SETLIST
On The Edge
Only Live Twice
Ship Of Fools
Lady Took A Chance
Down To The Temple
March Or Die
Soldiers Of The Night
Don’t Wait For Me
All photos by Raymond Helebrand