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Virgin Steele - Visions of Eden (CD)

Virgin Steele
Visions of Eden
by Michael Dalakos at 27 October 2006, 4:07 PM

Virgin Steele is one of these love or hate bands. Like it or not they have overcome all twists and turns down the road and I have personally lost counting their years of existence. Though some of their albums where not as good as their early works they have not released so far an average album in my opinion. Their operatic / epic metal style is by far more interesting than gay-ish versions of the genre (see Rhapsody for example). Unfortunately they never gain the recognition they deserve - still they are very popular in many countries (Greece is one of them).
So what about DeFeis latest achievement? Well for once it is more than obvious that the new album has a different approach in song-writing when it gets compared with the two acts of The House Of Atreus. Specially Act 2 was a really powerful - metal pumping album. Visions Of Eden is more symphonic - dare to say atmospheric. It's quite obvious that the key instrument in this album are the keyboards. The whole album is so full of melodic lines (be careful: I said melodic and not mellow) yet there is a lot of energy in the majority of the compositions.
Compared with the band's previous releases this one takes more time to grow in the listeners ears. I think this has something to do with the fact that the best two songs of the album are the first two ones - Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam) and Adorned By The Rising Cobra. Without wanting to downgrade the rest of the material I think these first two songs are by far the best in the album. And what about the rest? Oh there are many good songs down the road: the dramatic Black Light On Black, the epic Angel Of Death or the mid-tempo The Hidden God - all of them are really good.
And what about objections? Yes I have a few. First of all the production is not helping at all. I find it hard to believe that a band experienced as Virgin Steele can accept such sound for their albums. Definitely out of place and time - I have heard better ones back in the 80's. Also something in the drumming doesn't sound right. Don't know what but to be honest this sounds like a drum machine. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I hear in my ears.
So it all comes down to music versus production values. If you are one of these guys who don't mind how a production sounds at all you will not have any problems enjoying this album. The rest better take a taste first.

3 Star Rating

Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam)
Adorned With The Rising Cobra
The Inefable Name
Black Light On Black
Angel Of Death
God Above God
The Hidden God
When Dusk Fell
Visions Of Eden
David DeFeis - Vocals, Bass, Piano, Keyboards
Edward Van Dorian Pursino - Electric / Acoustic Guitars
Joshua The Sorceror Block - Bass
Frank The Kraken Gilchrist - Drums
Record Label: Sanctuary Records


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