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On disc: Virgin Steele

Noble Savage - Volker Raabe - 9 stars
The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Pt. 2 - Volker Raabe - 9 stars
The House Of Atreus - Act 1 - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
The Book Of Burning /
Hymns To Victory
- Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars /
8 stars
Visions Of Eden - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Life Among The Ruins (re-release) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Pt. 1
- Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Pt. 2
- Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
The Black Light Bacchanalia - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
The Black Light Bacchanalia - Umberto Mino - 9 stars
Life Among The Ruins (re-release) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Life Among The Ruins

Life Among The Ruins (2012)
(SPV - 2012)

Virgin Steele's past was a roller coaster ride, with Life Among The Ruins they returned after years of legal battles with the former label. The album wasn't as heavy as the predecessors and the timing wasn't good. Anyway, the album was too good to be forgotten and so Dockyard 1 re-released it in 2008 with 4 bonus tracks - see my review below.

Meanwhile Dockyard 1 filed bankruptcy and Virgin Steele found a new business partner in SPV. Now SPV is re-releasing Life Among The Ruins, the cover artwork is almost the same, but now you get 2 CDs full of music - and a booklet with new liner notes. About CD1 I won't talk again, so let's talk about disc 2!

Disc 2 kicks off with My Mourning Clothes which offers 5-track and kicks off with When The Levee Breaks, a Led Zeppelin cover followed by Sympathy For The Devil, originally recorded by The Rolling Stones. It's a surprise that David DeFeis and his mates start into the bonus CD with 2 cover versions, but it's interesting to hear songs which obviously influenced the New Yorkers in their own interpretation. Especially the Stones tune is fun! Track #3 is My Mourning Clothes and is written by David DeFeis and Lynn Marie Delmato who also joined in for the recordings of some songs. The track kicks off slowly with piano, a slightly bombastic / dramatic hard rock tune which fits well to the cover versions, even if it's a true Virgin Steele tune. Next in line another cover, this time T. Rex' Mambo Sun off Electric Warrior (1971) and Ballrooms Of Mars off T Rex' 1972 album The Slider. Both are well done and spiced up with a dash of Virgin Steele, but somehow the first two covers work better - at least for me.

Time to talk about The Vertical Soul Suite! The suite includes 4 tracks, and again Mr DeFeis choose to cover, this time stuff from Chip Taylor, and added two of his own compositions. But every rock fan will know Wild Thing, but perhaps not that it was written by Chip Taylor. Most will think of The Troggs version, but the Virgin Steele version is more glam rock like... Like T.Rex playing it and asked David DeFeis to join them on the mic. The Moonrise In Your Skin is a retro rocker with a dash glam rock., but it's more an interlude which leads over to Wild Thing Reprise and The Magick Of Your Sin, the whole suite is just about 5 minutes long! It's like one track.

The last 10 tracks are 9 songs off Life Among The Ruins ins a different mix, the New York Mix - as they call it and one previously unreleased demo track! The album tracks are in a different order and to close this chapter you get the demo track. So discover the different versions on your own! And talk about the demo track Flesh & Blood! The closer is a heavy rock tune tinged with country / Southern rock elements. But also has some 80's hard rock references to offer. I really like the Southern rock element in this tune and it makes me wonder what other gems Mr. DeFeis might have filed somewhere. Finally this track sees the light of day thanks to the new SPV re-release!

For fans this new re-release is still interesting due to CD 2 and the cover versions and new songs, beside that it everybody who doesn't own this great album should get the SPV re-release now! It's really value for money!

Track list:

1. Sex Religion Machine
2. Love Is Pain
3. Jet Black
4. Invitation
5. I Dress In Black (Woman With No Shadow)
6. Crown Of Thorns
7. Cage Of Angels (instrumental)
8. Never Believed In Good-Bye
9. Too Hot To Handle
10. Love's Gone
11. Wild Fire Woman
12. Cry Forever
13. Haunting The Last Hours (instrumental)
14. Last Rose Of Summer
15. Snakeskin Voodoo Man (live acoustic rehearsal version)
16. Jet Black (live acoustic rehearsal version)
17. Purple Rain (live acoustic rehearsal version)
18. Wildfire Woman (live acoustic rehearsal version)

1. When The Levee Breaks (new bonus track)
2. Sympathy For The Devil (new bonus track)
3. My Mourning Clothes (new bonus track)
4. Mambo Sun (new bonus track)
5. Ballrooms Of Mars (new bonus track)
6. Wild Thing (new bonus track)
7. The Moonrise In Your Skin (new bonus track)
8. Wild Thing 'Reprise' (new bonus track)
9. The Magick In Your Sin (new bonus track)
10. Sex Religion Machine (never released New York Mix)
11. Jet Black (never released New York Mix)
12. Crown Of Thorns (never released New York Mix)
13. Cage Of Angels (never released New York Mix)
14. Never Believed In Goodbye (never released New York Mix)
15. Love Is Pain - USA (never released New York Mix)
16. Invitation (never released New York Mix)
17. I Dress In Black (Woman With No Shadow) (never released New York Mix)
18. Too Hot To Handle (never released New York Mix)
19. Love's Gone (never released New York Mix)
20. Flesh & Blood (never released bonus track)

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


The Black Light Bacchanalia

The Black Light Bacchanalia
(SPV - 2010)

After 4 years from their controversial album Visions Of Eden, where a horrible sound and a hilarious cover were the only things to remember, Virgin Steele are back with a good optical disc where inside we can find tracks and traces of this great band... Finally!!!

Now Virgin Steele have a new big label that support their epic sound and the results are excellent, David DeFeis and Edward Pursino play at their best and echoes of majestic sound like their old tunes like Invictus of the both Marriage albums are here in this new The Black Light Bacchanalia to explain better to us all the concept of romantic / barbarian sound..... Can Virgin Steele do this after the failure of Visions Of Eden?? The answer is YES, YES and YES!!! This new record put Virgin Steele back on track and to everyone is clear that the first track By The Hammer Of Zeus, simply awesome and it's so easy to predict that this tune will be one of the people's favorite tracks in their next live shows. Pagan Heart is another gem of this CD, another great episode that could be present in Marriage saga, another great pathos interpretation by DeFeis and his pals!!! The Bread Of Wickedness is a short track that hits the bulls eye, and In A Dream Of Fire is another episode where Virgin Steele give one more time their best!!!

Nepenthe (I Live Tomorrow) is made clear of what romantic / barbarian is about, especially for the romantic side. A ballad that I really like a lot....

But don't worry people The Orpheus Taboo give us back the old Virgin Steele style, a simple song that will deserve more radio airplay in a world dominated by plastic songs like Waka-Waka. To Crown Them With Halos Pt. 1 & 2 is a mini suite, the perfect field of battle for Virgin Steele and in fact also this time they win! Pathos, great melodies, fine vocals lines made this song a little masterpiece! Now it's the title track turn, and The Black Light Bacchanalia (The Age That Is To Come) will hit your ear in the barbarian way, with a great performance of Ed Pursino on the six strings!!! The Torture's Of The Damned is a piano song, a good one before the follower Necropolis (He Answers With Death), another epic episode, where one more time Virgin Steele show to the world how f**king great they are!!!! I love their melodic vocals line on furious metal rhythmic carpet and later they do a dramatic part..... Now the end of this record is here and Eternal Regret is the right epilogue for this fantastic comeback!!!!

Personally I'm happy to hear a band that seems lost after a bad album, and it's my opinion that Virgin Steele will conquer new fans with The Black Light Bacchanalia and their old fans will come back to support their return. Not only for fans, but for everybody that love the music....

9 stars

Umberto Mino


The Black Light Bacchanalia

The Black Light Bacchanalia
(SPV - 2010)

Last May Virgin Steele played at Germany's RockHard Festival and word was spread that a new album shall be released later this year. Now The Black Light Bacchanalia is in stores. And many Virgin Steele fans will be curious to find out, if Virgin Steele are back full force or if this is another release which can't keep up with their classics.

The opener is By The Hammer Of Zeus (And The Wrecking Ball Of Thor), a mid-paced track where the guitar is more prominent then any other instrument. The drums lack power and the bass is almost drowning. Hmmm, the balance between the instruments isn't well levelled. On top of it David DeFeis vocals who screams, aspirates passages and add some vocal powerful parts. Again Mr. DeFeis presents an album which deals with one topic, but in different ways. As he said: "It will be a long album... close to 80 minutes. The album (to be really brief) concerns the reversal of all things. Once conquered by invading cultures, older Pagan deities become the demons of the new religion. The Black Light Bacchanalia is a reversal of the sacred sexual customs, and the final desecration of the 'Goddess Principle,' switching from matrilineal descent to patrilineal descent, with the rise of the idea of the Mountain-Fire God.... And it also has to do with ancient fears such as the fear of the sun not rising... Lyrically it is a kind of continuation of the story I told on the last album... Musically it is quite something else..."

At Pagan Heart you get a memorable guitar line and some Oriental sounding passages. Ed Pursino is offering heavy riffs and melodic leads. Perhaps a shorter version would have been a good idea, coz the song gets a bit repetitve towards the end. The Bread Of Wickedness is a heavy, epic tune and exactly what Virgin Steele fans want to hear. Nepenthe (I Live Tomorrow) kicks off with piano and expressive vocals, reduced to the basics this track creates a special atmosphere. It not just sticks out due to the fact that it's a balladesque tune, also the instruments are better balanced and so the song can shine. In A Dream Of Fire and The Orpheus Taboo are songs which could have been taken off Visions Of Eden, but again the songs seem to be longer then necessary. The Torture's Of The Damned is another tune which combines power, balladesque and symphonic elements. Here they could have lead over to the following Necropolis (He Answers Them With Death) which offers some aggressive parts as well as symphonic passages. Dark symphonic sounds lead you into the closer Eternal Regret, another piano-based tune with high-pitched vocals, luckily the song becomes a heavy rocker and David DeFeis sings in a deeper timbre later in the song. But again there are repetitive parts and in this case the guitar should have been more up-front... It occurs to me that working with an outside producer would be a good idea... Someone who finds the right balance and who realizes when a song gets too long, too repititve and helps them to focus on their strong points. But at the end of the day the fans will decide, what they want to hear, but for me this isn't an album which will find it's place among the band's classics.

> Btw, the album will be release as a jewel case edition, digipack with 2 bonus tracks and a vinyl box set with 3 LPs - and some gimmicks. The artwork for the 3 formats differs, but they are obviously based on the same idea.

Some albums just need time to grow and The Black Light Bacchanalia is probably such an album, so the rating is like a snap shot and might change after a few more spins.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 2

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 2
(Dockyard 1 - 2008)

If you plan to re-release The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 1, it is just logical to re-release Part 2 as well. And so David DeFeis has overdone this one, too. And added 2 live versions.

The opener is A Symphony Of Steele, kicking of with symphonic sounds which have a slight medieval touch... But then they storm off with fast, heavy riffing and catchy vocals. This song reminds me a bit of Manowar due to the hymn-like sound. The following Crown Of Glory (Unscarred) starts slowly and balladesque, but then they are back with power! A symphonic heavy metal tune with a catchy hook. From Chaos To Creation is an instrumental interlude and leads over to Twilight Of The Gods. This track has partly a 70's rock touch, but is a real heavy rocker with metallic guitar riffs. At Rising Unchained they use some spoken words part - and this somehow makes you uneasy and you're glad when David's voice is back! Enchanting is Transfiguration which gives you a break before Virgin Steele present the almost 8 minute long opus Prometheus The Fallen One. And they even top this with Emalaith! Not just in running time - Emalaith it about 10 minutes long -, but in intensity, emotionality and variety. One of their best songs so far, perhaps one of their best songs ever! If Emalaith won't get you, then you aren't in symphonic metal!

The track Devil / Angel is a faster, straight forward rocker and will be killer live. After the heavy rocker Unholy Water it's time for The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Revisited. Unlike the original release this isn't followed by Victory Is Mine, David decided to put in the 2 bonus tracks - live versions of I Wake Up Screaming and Life Among The Ruins - before closing the chapter with Victory Is Mine. The song is a great closer, coz it hooks you up with its refrain and will make you listen again.

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 2 is heavier then the first part, but it's also a natural progression. And shows them even stronger.

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 1

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 1
(Dockyard 1 - 2008)

Another of the Virgin Steele re-releases is hitting the stores, this time its 1994 The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 1. The German label Dockyard 1 is re-releasing this masterpiece which is overdone by mastermind David DeFeis. The cover artwork is overdone, he added liner notes and additionally you get a special version of Blood & Gasoline.

With I Will Come For You the New Yorkers show that they are back with an epic metal album after Life Among The Ruins which was more hard rock-based. The opener is a romantic melodic heavy metal tune which leads you into the story. Acoustically starts Weeping Of The Spirits, but then explodes and becomes a heavy, riff-based rocker - and it shows that Virgin Steele returned to metallic sounds. One of my favorites at The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 1 is Blood & Gasoline which is an enchanting rocker which is ennobled by DeFeis vocals. This one will hook you up right away! An ear catcher! Btw, this one is also the bonus track, but in a duet version! Crystal Viper covered the song - more details about the duet you'll find in my latest interview with David - and David decided to overdo it and add the duet as a bonus track. The Crystal Viper version is a bit faster and get even better as a duet!

Last Supper shows them very heavy, but more mid-paced... even a bit dragging, but again with emotional vocals. The song has an Oriental touch, it's mainly the guitar of Ed Pursino. After the instrumental Warrior's Lament it gets heavy again with Trail Of Tears. Its the contrast between the heavy riffs and David's vocals which makes this tune stick out. An epic tune and a real masterpiece. After the fast Raven Song they kick off acoustically Forever Will I Roam and later leaves the acoustic guitars behind and becomes an symphonic and emotional rocker. And they continue to switch between heavy rockers and more balladesque, partly acoustic tunes. Last, but not least on the original release they presented the title track, a symphonic instrumental.

With The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 1 the band of mastermind David DeFeis presented an epic opus which shows different sides of Virgin Steele. Highly recommended to fans of epic, symphonic metal.

9 stars


Life Among The Ruins (re-release)

Life Among The Ruins (re-release)
(Dockyard 1 - 2008)

The New Yorkers Virgin Steele are around for many years and released some great music pieces. Some albums are no longer available and so Virgin Steele and their label Dockyard 1 decided to re-release some of their albums. One of the re-releases is the 1993 album Life Among The Ruins, but as usual mastermind David DeFeis wanted to give the fans something special and so he had overdone the album and added 5 bonus tracks.

A bit bluesy they kick off with Sex Religion Machine, the song has a touch of early Whitesnake and even a dash Led Zeppelin. Perhaps you won't expect something like this from Virgin Steele depending what songs you know of them. With Love Is Pain they get a bit heavier, but there are slow passages where David DeFeis sounds almost fragile. The songs are somehow all deal with love. And as there are many different shades of love, so the songs differ as well. Love Is Pain is catchy and will soon hook you up. Heavy riffs dominate Jet Black and the song presents a different feeling love can trigger of. A piano-based interlude is Invitation which has a symphonic touch and a beautiful vocal line, but it's over too soon. I Dress In Black is a heavy Purple-ish rocker, but the track comes alive through David's vocals. After Crown Of Thorns there is another piano-based interlude - Cage Of Angels - and leads over into the beautiful, touching balladesque Never Believed In Goodbye. This one is giving you shivers! Quite heavy and with razor-sharp riffs the emotional rocker Love's Gone is taking you on a roller coaster ride. One of my faves on Life Among The Ruins. The first bonus track is Snakeskin Voodoo Man and is bringing back the 70's heavy rock with a dash of blues. Very cool!

The first live acoustic rehearsal one is Snakeskin Voodoo Man and shows that the guys can rock even with acoustic guitars. But my favorite of the acoustic ones is Jet Black! The track Purple Rain is a cover of the Prince hit and only as an acoustic version on the disc. The acoustic version of Wildfire Woman is even more enchanting. It's great to hear these acoustic versions which show the band differently.

A great hard rock album which has everything from hard rockers to touching ballads. It's good that the album is available again and the 4 bonus tracks which are live versions from an acoustic rehearsal are a great chance to hear the songs in a simple, pure version.

8 stars


Visions Of Eden

Visions Of Eden – The Lilith Project
A Barbaric Romantic Movie Of The Mind
(T&T - 2006)

It's been awhile since we last heard of David DeFeis and Virgin Steele, but now they are back with a new studio album which is called Visions Of Eden. The story is very complex, so please click here to get to the synopsis (see below) by mastermind David himself.

Musically not too much changed... Its melodic, bombastic, epic and heavy. This time they worked more with orchestral parts... And David's vocals are more emotional again. As this is a conceptual album the music has to follow the story, but Virgin Steele managed to write music which can stand alone - without regarding the story.

They kick off with Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam) which is an up-tempo melodic track with fast double bass drumming, epic keyboards, but the vocals of Mr. DeFeis are upfront and essential. He shows shade of his vocal range - and the catchy refrain is a tune wedgie. That they can be even heavier and darker they show on the following Adorned With The Rising Cobra. Here they show some progressive elements... Something you might not expect, but which fits well to the song. On the 3rd track - The Ineffable Name - they get more aggressive and the guitars take over. This one is guitar-driven, even if they partly slow down a bit. Still the piano / keyboard is important for the sound of Virgin Steele - and for some the guitars might be too much in the background on most tracks... I don't want to comment every single track, coz this album you should hear from A to Z. But I want to mention the balladesque song Angel Of Death. An orchestra leads you slowly into this one, when David joins in his vocals sound fragile - and it has a great intensity. After almost 3 minutes it gets more powerful and epic. A slow, heavy anthem... The following God Above God is a beautiful slow rock song with some acoustic guitar. But get heavier after awhile, but stays slow. A real ear catcher. They accelerate a bit for The Hidden God. Heavy, mid-tempo with some interesting drum beat and progressive elements this one comes along. Listen to the album and make up your mind!

Virgin Steelev fans will buy this anyway, but also fans of melodic and epic power metal should give it a try. The music offers a large variety - almost 80 min. of music - and even if they are more progressive then ever they never overdo it. The story concept is great, but too complex to give a synopsis here, so read David's words! Hopefully they won't just present this album at a tour, in the past they worked with a theater in Southern Germany (Memmingen) to bring The House Of Atreus on stage and I hope they can do it again. A great piece of music.


"Rape of a Life, Rape of a Soul, Rape of us All
Why do we Live, Why do we Die, When will we Know VISIONS OF EDEN?"...

This album
Visions Of Eden is not about happiness, peace, contentment or Eternal tranquillity. It is the opposite. It is about disorder, strife, struggle, dominance, and the annihilation of a culture, a way of Life, and the violation and annihilation of a human being. It is a Work based on the destruction of Paganism, Gnosticism and the desecration and eradication of the Goddess Principle that once dwelled so freely within Divinity. A massive blow was struck against these early beliefs, by first, the rise of the 'Father-God' principle, and second by the development of the 'organized' religions. The album concerns Lilith, first wife of Adam - he of biblical fame, as in Adam & Eve and the apple, the snake and all that fig leaf and rib propaganda -, plus Ancient Sumerian Myths concerning Lilith's relationship with Adam, Eve and God. However, that being said, in actuality, it is really about today...modern times and how we might have arrived here to this strange place we are now in...

An all too brief background: Lilith is a rebel. Should you need a frame of reference from the male perspective, perhaps something akin to a female Prometheus if you will? However... She is actually something infinitely more powerful. She is the manifestation of the Primal Energy, the Life force, and creativity, indeed the origin of all life itself. Due to the tremendous appeal, power and popularity of the Great Goddess within early 'Pagan' Society / Religions / 'Mystery Cults', etc., Patriarchal, Male God worshipping Societies felt their status threatened, therefore they enacted laws and actions in which the worship of the Goddess was made illegal. She was demonized, and attempts were made to make her become hateful to women. These attempts were only too successful. My story seeks to parallel what occurred long, long ago, concerning this shift and destruction.
One of the first times that we hear about Lilith is in the Ancient text
The Epic Of Gilgamesh. There She is described as an unpleasant squatter in a Tree. Lilith is often equated with the Egyptian Isis, Inanna - sometimes called the hand of Inanna -, also Astarte, Hecate, Sophia, Mary, and all the other powerful feminine deities. She represents the primordial fount of all Mother / Goddess figures. And yes, according to legend she was actually the first wife of Adam, prior to Eve. From earth / mud / clay, she was created, just as Adam was. Lilith felt that She was Adam's equal, a true mate & match for him. In the early Legends it is said that She & Adam were created as a dual being...joined back to back. As such, Lilith wanted to remain independent, and did not wish to be subservient to the male personality, will and ego. Adam, however, considered himself to be the Supreme Power. He claimed that it was decreed to him by his God, that he should be the master over Lilith. And friends trouble in Paradise / Eden began.... anyway...
Let's go back to the beginning. God gives 'birth' - or thinks he does -, to Lilith in the dark of night, through the miracle of... nocturnal emission, - this is discussed in
Adorned With The Rising Cobra -, and forever lusts after her - He's got a great passion for flesh! However, she is not his child. Again what Lilith really is, is the exact other 'side' of true Godhead... the Goddess, or female half of Divinity. This God... we are discussing is not a true God...He is a demi-urge or half-maker. Lilith is part of a higher Authority / Energy / Emanation, an equal part of the True... Oneness or God Above God. Anyway... Lilith has awakened this particular God's dark, sensual nature. However... this God is really very afraid of Lilith. He finds her... 'uncontrollable', wild, untamable and far too difficult to understand, so... he creates Adam in the light of day, to be the mirror of his own image, thus Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam). Adam and Lilith meet... they try to have... a magic, romantic evening... but everything goes horribly wrong. Oh yes... very wrong. Adam wants to be on top... (sexually and otherwise), and Lilith wants the same so... they have an enormous fight! She pushes him off her and screams out 'bastard', he calls her a 'bitch', and She flies off on her glorious green wings! She is able to do this because she is in possession of the Power / Knowledge of the true 'name' of God. Lilith knows The Ineffable Name. She has found out that which was supposed to be forbidden and unknowable. In anger, rage and fear... God & Adam curse Lilith.... And Adam demands that God create him a new partner.... Someone perhaps a bit easier going...
In the aftermath of her dramatic flight, God creates Eve for Adam, to be Adam's subservient, docile helper. Lilith then momentarily reappears, confronts Eve & Adam, and rages at them...
Black Light On Black. Here is also introduced the idea of what might have caused the real 'Fall' from Grace / Paradise. Not the eating of any worm-ridden apple, but... Adam's ultimate defection from Lilith. He prefers to cling to his idea of superiority, with himself as 'Master' to the submissive Eve, rather than explore the potential of equality with Lilith... Anyway, next our heroine winds up in the Red Sea where it is said that she cavorts with demons and has numerous children with them - this is the beginning of a smear campaign against her. Then along come Three Black Angels who begin to torment and abuse her. This is essentially the idea behind... Bonedust. The Black Angels - sent by God -, attempt to force her to come back to Adam. They tell her, "for this unlawful flight, this transgression, as punishment 1,000 of your children will die every day unless you return, we will kill them". Lilith says ... "No! I am beyond your control. I know the Ineffable Name of God. This... gives me Power! I do not have to come back, I will not come back, and your God knows this!" The 'Angels' are in confusion, as they were not aware of this arrangement with God. They however are great tricksters and of course with a God such as this, there must be punishment, so these crafty 'Angels' contrive something truly dreadful. They devise a way to convince her that in return for her willfulness, stubbornness, independence, pride and femaleness... She must in fact be the one to do these killings of children. And thus the process begins where she is dramatically transformed, turned from the beautiful, noble idea of the Great Goddess / Good Mother... into the Terrible Mother / Evil Demon, repugnant to all women. (Angel Of Death)... Lilith in rage and madness takes their poison bait...
Later She comes to her senses and laments her fate, but... the damage has already been done. Infection sets in... However, her pure essence, her divine core cannot fully comprehend why She must become this dark, vile, hideous thing. She questions, she cries out, She begs, She implores the God Above God, to deliver her from this tragic fate...And thus the nobility in her nature requires still further corrupting to be up to such killing, so She, - or is it the 'Angels' again -, conjure Samael...
The Hidden God. Unbeknownst to her, Samael, is actually Adam in disguise. With his influence and trickery the feminine divine is finally overcome, seduced, perverted, corrupted and She... becomes the Childslayer... Eve and all women of the World begin their eternal lament... When Dusk Fell... And the struggle begins/continues... Visions Of Eden...

Once again... remember... regardless of any ancient, myth-like qualities the nature of this tale may invoke, everything that occurs is actually going on now in real time, in the mind of a specific Woman while she is being raped... and... this Story is not over yet... no... not yet...

David DeFeis - June 21, 2006

9 stars


The Book Of Burning   Hymns To Victory

The Book Of Burning / Hymns To Victory
(Sanctuary Records - 2002)

When the two CDs will be in the stores it's 20 years since their debut hit the stores and for about 15 years Virgin Steele are known for their music and sound.

The Book Of Burning opens with Conjuration Of The Watcher a previously unreleased song, a left over from their early days and was performed first in 1985, is now rewritten and fits in their nowadays sound. But David De Feis made new versions of old tracks from Guardian Of The Flame, Virgin Steele and Noble Savatage fit to new tracks which been recorded with the new line-up in Summer 2001. Two old tracks been followed by a part with 3 new ones before Children Of The Storm from their 1982 released debut is leading back to their past, if you just listen to the stuff, not knowing that their were 20 years between the writing of this songs, you would never ever expect it! With this compilation the fans get the chance to hear some rarities, gems of the Virgin Steele history. And with an acoustic version of A Cry In The Night this album ends, a fantastic and very emotional version of this classic song!

While David De Feis presented a collection of new tracks and songs from their first albums from the 80's, Hymns To Victory is concen­trating more on the 90's material, but there are also 3 tracks from Noble Savage. Again David De Feis chose his favorite tracks and remixed or remastered them and with The Spirit Of Steele there is again an acoustic version of an old song, this is taken from Noble Savage. The acoustic versions let me hope that someday Virgin Steele will do an acoustic show / album.... Anyway, these albums are value for money, showing the best of Virgin Steele, but not the known versions and it's a good chance to get into the band or to complete the Virgin Steele collection.
Thanks David for your work on this CDs!

9 stars / 8 stars


The House Of Atreus - Act 1

The House Of Atreus - Act 1
(Noise International - 1999)

The latest release of New York's power metal heroes starts very bombastic and soon gets fast and aggressive. A few of you might thing of Manowar, a comparison which is almost based on the similarity of the voices. With The House Of Atreus Pt. 1 they deliver a powerful album which is different trough the story it deals with. David DeFeis traveled back in time and kinda set the music to the ancient myth. The story contains love, hate, death and lost and so the music tries to transfer all these emotions. It is necessary to read the lyrics to understand the meaning. This is Part 1 of an opera based upon the house of Atreus and it's curse. In the theater version the different char­acters been performed by different actors, but this is an Virgin Steele album and so it's pure Virgin Steele. In my opinion this album is the most mature one of Virgin Steele! Again the Yankees offer a masterpiece..... But it's different to their previous releases, still con­taining the elements which make Virgin Steele sound like Virgin Steele.

The album offers 22 songs which include instrumental pieces and short parts which build a bridge between the epic songs... After listening to this one I can't wait until the Part 2 is released and the band present this opera live! To get a taste of it, try track 1, 3 and 7!

7 stars


The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Pt. 2

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Pt. 2
(T&T Records - 1996)

Why should I write more then necessary? In a nutshell, Part 1 of the Virgin Steele opus was one of my favorite releases in 1995. So, why should it be different with Part 2? The second part is the consequent continuing of the first part and again musically on the highest level! Great enjoyment with musical maturity and sensitiveness. Virgin Steele is a band for the big points!

9 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

Noble Savage

Noble Savage
(T&T Records - 1985/1998)

Right in time for the coming tour of Virgin Steele mastermind David de Feis & co. release their classic Noble Savage on CD. On the first limited edition has an exclusive CD tray and 6 bonus tracks.

Great, finally fans get this jewel on CD and that for a fair prize. Fantastic, isn't it?

9 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

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