Vicious Rumors – “Digital Dictator” (1987)

Awesome album!  Vicious Rumors took on two replacement members after their 1985 debut Soldiers Of The Night; vocalist Carl (Ace) Albert and Mark (Tits) McGee.  (Okay, I made up the “Tits” nickname, but it is my belief that anyone with a last name of McGee must be called “Tits”.  That’s just a rule.)  From top to bottom this is a high quality American metal release.  The cover art is cool, the guitars blaze, and the vocals destroy.  Like most Shrapnel Records releases of the day, shredding was mandatory, and the tandem of Tits McGee and Geoff Thorpe delivered on the promise of the SHRED.  But, in the end, it was the songs that delivered the most, making Digital Dictator a fun, catchy, and power-packed album.  Nary a moment goes to waste on Digital Dictator.  Whenever Tits or Geoff Thorpe tore off a lead break, they did so without lingering too long.  In and out.  Albert soared as the new vocalist.  Drummer Larry Howe let the songs breath with a very understated performance (for a “power metal” drummer).  As for bassist Dave Starr, well, I have no idea what he was up to because I really can’t hear the bass in the mix.  Highlights are many, but my favorites are Digital Dictator, Worlds And Machines, The Crest, and Lady Took A Chance (even though the part that starts at 3:47 reminds me of Safety Dance by Men Without Hats).  My score: A


11 thoughts on “Vicious Rumors – “Digital Dictator” (1987)

  1. Shrapnel Records did there 1980’s… CD’s through a licence distrobution deal through Roadrunner records.

    The CD pressing cat # is RR 9571-2

    I am a big fan of guitar whiz / guitar wizzard and neo-classical shred.

    Check out Poison’s Native Tounge with Ritchie Kotzen….Nitro’s OFR… Steeler-Steeler with Malmsteem.

    Shrapnel Records the metal years 82-85, most of that stuff has not been put on CD, since Mike Varney hates what he did back in those days. And those titles are on bootleg CD, ala Reborn Classics.

    Oh damn, Mike Varney is a guitar shredder himself.

    Shrapnel was America’s 1st Metal only label, predates Metal Blade by 2 years and Megaforce by 3 years and Combat by 3 years.

    In 1987 one of my favorite shred albums was relased on Shrapnel. Cacophony’s “Speed Metal Symphony”.

    Will check out “Lady took a chance” see if the “safty dance” music pops into my mind..I would not doubt if it is a accidental influence…that is one CATCHY song…I love that song “The Saftey Dance”

    Best shred guitar album of all-time….MEGADETH—“RUST IN PEACE”

  2. If Mark is the type to google himself, maybe one day he will be pleasantly surprised to stumble upon his new nickname.

    Stay classy!

      • No problem my friend! The bass is actually pretty up front in the mix if you listen to it on a decent system. Larry and I lock in really tight on that CD (and on all the VR CD’s).
        These days, I am playing all the guitars and bass in WildeStarr. Check out the link below. Our 2nd CD “A tell tale Heart” will be out later this year. I am negotiating new record deals at this time. E-mail me your mailing address, and I will send you our debut CD “Arrival” that came out in 2010.
        Dave 🙂

  3. Thanks Jeff…

    For the Mens without hat—Saftey Dance reference, in the record review….I thought I got that off of cassette and on to CD, aaaarrrgghhh, no cassette and no CDs… yikes man.

    And thanks Dave for the hot tip on WildeStarr…awesome band, with a World Class Vocalist.

    I am sorry that one got buy me (WildeStarr ) because I love metalmaidens*com, I think they blow the other female heavy metal webzine Sonic Cathedral out of the water..!!!! Just because the metal maidens webzine is heavier…can a band or a webzine be too heavy NO!!!

  4. The Debut Wildestarr “Arrival” kicks*ass.

    I rated it a 100 out of a 100…and the classic heavy metal album of the year for 2009, alongside with Anvil Chorus “The Killing Sun”, as the best of the best, for that year. The Riffs are awesome, songwriting hooks that will never leave you, and Dave is a awesome guitar player…..excellent.

    Jeff… I am not sure if your a big Chastain fanatic, but Dave Starr appears on the 2004 heavy Chastain headbanger “In a Outrage”, a album I rate a classic, along the lines of Acid, Sentinel Beast, Bitch, Znowhite, and Fear of God.

    Put Wildestarr in between rotations of Witchcross “Fit for Fight” and Warlord “Deliver Us” and Judas Preist “British Steel” and Queensryche “The Warning”….and you will have the epiphany, on you why I love this album so much.

    Long Live Wildestarr…!!!!
    Godspeed Vicious Rumors…!!!
    Long Live Play it loud forever…!!!!

      • I am enthralled, in awe, by WildeStarr metal magic. Those RIFFS, those MELODIES, will forever be in my brain. awesome UBER METAL, what was that word Bob Muldowney used, oh yeah KICK*ASS !!!!

        When it the street date, for the new one.

        Big four thrash Exodus, Overkill, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax
        Big four Power Mercyful Fate, Jag Panzer, Vicious Rumors, Crimson Glory, Savatage

        I know I named 5…trying to describe my head space

        I am up on thrash metal, and the last bay area thrash band Imagika has been defunct/ gone for along time.

        So for melodies and guitar hero heroics, I have to look at trad/ power metal acts, for inspirational music, and for POWER soaked POWER aggression, i have to look at death metal acts.

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