Virgin Steele

Album Review ...


27 September 2002


VIRGIN STEELE: 'Virgin Steele I'
Reviewed by prince Imrahil of DOL AMROTH

Having made my first contact with VIRGIN STEELE from the magnificent 'Invictus' album, you can imagine that reviewing their very first piece of work is a bit difficult! First of all, we have to accept the fact that it is much more on the Ďrockerí side than the later Epic themes the band has adopted. However, 'Virgin Steele I' is for me one of the best hard rock - metal album ever! And Iím not saying this because I love VIRGIN STEELE, no sir. My criteria are very strict and quite rarely do I applaud something that is not an epos!

Right away from the introductory opening, the listener can distinguish the awesome, bombastic keyboards that characterize this whole album. They fit in with the rest of the instruments perfectly and they make the band stand out from the rest of that era, showing immediately a vain of pure character. Still, they do not manage to escape from mainstream music guidelines. Some very catchy riffs and melodies appear here and there ("Still in love with you" is my personal favorite!) but the general outcome leaves the listener with the vague impression that he has been hearing the same stuff over and over again, as some songs do not really stand out amongst themselves. Most of the lyrics have to do with your usual heavy metal themes, offering nothing particularly great from a poetic point of view. In "Children of the storm" however we see the first epic (?) themes arise and take form in the rebellious spirit of nobility VIRGIN STEELE so fervently embody.

The production and sound of it could be better, but hey! Back in the 80s I believe they did the best they could with what equipment they had and I give them that! All in all, 'Virgin Steele I' is a very good album for rockers and metalhearts alike, sure to be enjoyed on those long summer car rides towards a beach!

VIRGIN STEELE: 'Guardians of the Flame'
Reviewed by prince Imrahil of DOL AMROTH

Wow. So good, so fast! 'Guardians of the Flame' is VIRGIN STEELEís second album and the band seems back with a vengeance, having developed their music to unimaginable high peaks! Musically itís still in the hard rock -metal vain with great and heavy keyboard orchestrations but this time each song is an army unto itself.

The production is far better and the listener can right away tell the songs apart. Melodies, riffs and vocals are pure majesty only as VIRGIN STEELE know to deliver it! "Donít say goodbye tonight", "The Redeemer", "Guardians of the flame" are some of the best tracks in there that will surely move the listener with their tremendous emotion and killer music! I have to specially make a note here that in "The redeemer" the keyboards are divine! Also, the ballad of this album "A cry in the Night" is an all time VIRGIN STEELE classic! Love ballads cannot get any better than that when it comes to pure unbridled metal might expressing that intense feeling! Davidís vocals, sad keyboards and power bursts... Itís I believe the best song on ęGuardians of the flameĽ. The lyrics have escaped the confines of rock / metal themes of lobotomized simplicity. Stranger images, inching towards the epic, rebellion ("Burn the sun"), metal night fever, apocalypse and the like crowd the lyrical inspiration of "Guardians of the flame".

Again, "A cry in the night" is the most lyrically inspired song of the whole album, revealing the potential of VIRGIN STEELE in making strong music that talks directly to emotions. In general, 'Guardians of the flame' is a masterpiece considering the rest of the stuff that was out in the market then. One great leap forwards for the band... If talentís there, you canít restrain it!

"My head is bloody, but unbowed."
Brother Lion Of The Fallen Knights - RISE UP

P.S.: Notice, these are reviews of the Vinyls!

Post your own reviews and exchange your thoughts on the albums with other fans on the NOISE/SANCTUARY board!

VIRGIN STEELE: 'Virgin Steele I' tracklist:

01. A) MINUET IN G MINOR
Re-Mastered
01. B) DANGER ZONE
Re-Mastered
02. AMERICAN GIRL
Re-Mastered-New Mix
03. DEAD END KIDS
Re-Mastered
04. DRIVE ON THRU
Re-Mastered-New Mix
05. LOTHLORIEN [BONUS TRACK]
Prevously Unreleased Bonus Track from the sessions for VS "I"
06. STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU
Re-Mastered-New Mix
07. CHILDREN OF THE STORM
Re-Mastered
08. PICTURES ON YOU
Re-Mastered
09. PULVERIZER
Re-Mastered
10. LIVING IN SIN
Re-Mastered-New Mix
11. VIRGIN STEELE
Re-Mastered

BONUS TRACKS
12.THE LESSON
previously unreleased 4trk demo
13.LIFE OF CRIME
previously unreleased 4trk demo
14.BURN THE SUN
previously unreleased 4trk demo

ADDITIONAL TRACKS
15. AMERICAN GIRL
Re-Mastered-Original Mix
16.DEAD END KIDS
Re-Mastered-New Mix
17. DRIVE ON THRU
Re-Mastered-Original Mix
18. LIVING IN SIN
Re-Mastered-Original Mix

VIRGIN STEELE: 'Guardians of the flame' tracklist:

01. DON'T SAY GOODBYE (TONIGHT)
Music & Lyrics by David DeFeis
02. BURN THE SUN
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
03. LIFE OF CRIME
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
04. THE REDEEMER
Music & Lyrics by David DeFeis & Jack Starr
05. BIRTH THROUGH FIRE
(Instrumental)
Music by David DeFeis
06. GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME
Music & Lyrics by David DeFeis & Jack Starr
07. METAL CITY
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
08. HELL OR HIGH WATER
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
09. GO ALL THE WAY
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
10. A CRY IN THE NIGHT
Music & Lyrics by David DeFeis

BONUS TRACKS
11. I AM THE ONE
Music by David DeFeis & Jack Starr, Lyrics by David DeFeis
12. GO DOWN FIGHTING
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
13. WAIT FOR THE NIGHT
Music & Lyrics by Jack Starr
14. INTERVIEW
Music by David DeFeis.
15. BLUES DELUXE OREGANATA
(I MIGHT DROWN)
Music by David DeFeis and Edward Pursino,
Lyrics by David DeFeis