(SPV/Steamhammer Records)

Review by Sloof

Do I consider myself a Virgin Steele fan? Yes, as they impressed me decades ago with their debut album (which I bought at that time as an ‘import release’ in a local record store in Ghent, named Music Man). It was 1982 when the first notes of “American Girl” made the difference, even when the sound could be considered as low budget, they opened a totally new world to me. At first, I thought that vocalist David DeFeis and guitarplayer Jack Starr were the most important musicians, but afterwards I realized that Virgin Steele is mainly one man: vocalist, writer, keyboardplayer and genius David DeFeis.

I followed the band since then and when their second album “Guardians Of The Flame” (1983) was released, I was totally convinced: Virgin Steele was one of my favorite bands.  Thinking on songs like ‘Redeemer’ and ‘A Cry In The Night’ really made my day, and since then, I have heard +100,000 songs, but the 80’ies with Virgin Steele are still etched in my mind! The band evolved through the years, the aspect ‘opera’ became more and more important, and the lyrical content of David DeFeis shifted from typical Metal topics to historic events with a lot of Mythological content.

The band released heavy stuff (“The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Part I and II”) in 1994 and 1995 and totally innovative material (“The House Of Atreus: Act I and II”) in 1999 and 2000, followed by stand-alone albums with a lesser deep lyrical content. The band signed a deal with Steamhammer Records and this label did a very interesting move: they re-released the highlights of the band as a compilation-digi-pack release where all separate stories are now collected as triple CD cases.

“The House Of Atreus Act I and II” will be available May 20th. 2016 as a 3-disc release where you will find Act I and Act II together with the EP “Magick Fire Music”, originally released in the year 2000. This barbaric-romantic epic package is a must-have for all time friends and fans but also very advisable for those that want to hear a masterpiece in Metal that fuses with Opera, in narrated parts that nourish stories of the final night of the Trojan War. 

There is a 24 page booklet with all lyrics (you will be surprised about the XXXL lyrics!), pictures, additional info and last but not least, the one and only message that can be found on EVERY Virgin Steele release: For best results play at maximum volume! Sometimes words cannot describe a feeling, words can’t approach the beauty of something, words will fail when you want to define how real art should sound. 

Virgin Steele is capable to create a cinematic vibe where battles, deceit, blood-drenched glory, agitation and betrayal is poured into one beautiful masterpiece. This is compulsory purchase, even if you have all original albums in your collection already! Order at:

My rating: 95 / 100