Virgin Steele

Rehearsal Report ...


It is a glorious summer day and I am taking a sonic bath! The sounds of VIRGIN STEELE are commanding my ears inside the sweltering confines of their rehearsal space. No air conditioner, no AIR!!! I can't breath so how is it possible that this band is putting out more energy within the first 3 songs of their set, than most bands put forth in their entire careers!!!??? Magick, madness and mystery surely must play a part. Frank Gilchriest is sweating like a bull on a rampage while churning out precision beats at 1000 miles per second, Edward & Josh are wailing and flailing with demonic fury, and the Son of Zeus - DeFeis, is scorching and torching the room with blistering vocals and maniacal keyboards, without breaking a sweat.

Inhuman they are! Outside and inside the temperature is raging and this band is unstoppable. With no fanfare or much ado, they launch into KINGDOM OF THE FEARLESS followed without pause by DEFIANCE, DUST FROM THE BURNING, A TOKEN OF MY HATRED, LIFE AMONG THE RUINS, A SYMPHONY OF STEELE, VOICE AS WEAPON, INVICTUS, WINGS OF VENGEANCE, BY THE GODS, THROUGH BLOOD & FIRE, THE WINE OF VIOLENCE, RETURN OF THE KING, GATE OF KINGS, WHEN THE LEGENDS DIE, EMALAITH, FLAMES OF THY POWER, THE BURNING OF ROME, GREAT SWORD OF FLAME, VENI, VIDI, VICI, NOBLE SAVAGE, I WILL COME FOR YOU (complete with a jam on LED ZEPPELINS', THE IMMIGRANT SONG & WHOLE LOTTA LOVE ... incidentally sung a whole step higher than the original key!!!... un-believable, and scary), plus several other gems.

They also tried out many never before or rarely played classics like: FLAMES OF THE BLACK STAR, PERFECT MANSIONS, SERPENT'S KISS, RISING UNCHAINED, TRANSFIGURATION, MOIRA, and CHAINS OF FIRE to name a few.

These guys are relentless! They did not let up one bit for over 4 hours!! Once they get going, they are like a rocket bound for Pluto! Implacable, unstoppable and deadly accurate. If even half of this is any indication of what they will perform on their next dates, then lookout my friends you are in for a very special night indeed.

I believe they would have continued on for another hour or more, but a broken bass and snare drum put in an appearance. Frank plays like Hephaestus forging the next battle-ax. However, David & Edward continued on for awhile longer, trying to piece together a new medley that seemed to consist of "Trail of Tears, Unholy Water, Lion in Winter and Weeping of The Spirits" if memory serves correctly.

David it seems never wants to stop singing once he gets going. This fact can be frightening to the uninitiated, as he carries on like a banshee seemingly with no regard for life or limb! The rest of the band is used to this it seems, and they all take turns in trying to convince him to bring the rehearsal to its conclusion.

Once the last notes of Heaven & Hell were struck we all adjourned to the enchanted "Gardens" to partake of the elixir that this band thrives on ... a very potent heavy red wine! With ears, and sanity still in transition I carefully made my way back to my humble abode to recover.

Gentlemen I wish you well and I firmly believe that..."You are the Premier True Metal Band In Existence Today"! GOOD LUCK & CHEERS FOR THE AGGLUTINATION FESTIVAL SHOW!

Yours In Fire,
David Hilsenrath

PS: An interesting aside ... I was told that the gig in Bologna almost turned into "Jazz Odyssey", as Edward & Frank arrived only 2 hours before Showtime due to royal screw ups with Air France. I think if they did not show it would have been either a vocal/keys & bass solo performance, or perhaps a jam with some of the other acts there, (which would have been interesting I'm sure). But anyway luckily all turned out well at the end of the day and the full power of VS was unleashed! A Summer Day in Hell indeed!!!