VIRGIN STEELE
US Power Metal / Traditional heavy metal / Hard Rock • United States

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Virgin Steele is a heavy metal band from New York, founded in 1981. Over their career they have drifted from traditional heavy metal to hard rock, but moving back to traditional metal and then into power metal territory.

They play what they call "barbaric-romantic" metal, which is very symphonic and contains many elements from classical music. Band-leader David DeFeis describes the music as "From a whisper to a scream, barbaric, romantic, bombastic, yet subtle, grandiose, yet earthy. A call, a shout, an invocation to Freedom and the continual awakening to the awareness that every moment of life is lived to its fullest potential. It is a force, a sacred quest which drives Virgin Steele on."

Some members of Virgin Steele also released a speed metal album under the name Exorcist.
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5 Original Albums5 Original Albums
Box set
Steamhammer 2017
Audio CD$13.99
Marriage of Heaven & Hell Part 2Marriage of Heaven & Hell Part 2
Import
Import [Generic] 1999
Audio CD$8.00
$2.80 (used)
Guardians of the FlameGuardians of the Flame
Remastered · Extra tracks
Noise 2002
Audio CD$95.00
$52.99 (used)
Visions Of EdenVisions Of Eden
Steamhammer 2017
Audio CD$11.99
$12.86 (used)
The House of Atreus I + IIThe House of Atreus I + II
Extra tracks · Import
Steamhammer 2016
Audio CD$13.22
$13.21 (used)
InvictusInvictus
Import
Spv Import 2014
Audio CD$10.99
Book of BurningBook of Burning
Import
Imports 2005
Audio CD$6.27
$5.26 (used)
Nocturnes of Hellfire & DamnationNocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation
Spv Import 2015
Audio CD$11.32
$7.21 (used)
The Marriage ofThe Marriage of
Import
Spv Import 2014
Audio CD$12.58
Age of ConsentAge of Consent
Spv Import 2011
Audio CD$10.15
$5.16 (used)
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Virgin Steele Virgin Steele "I" Original VS Records with Insert Heavy Metal LP NM USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4h
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VIRGIN STEELE II Guardians Of The Flame LP 1st US Press '83 Mongol Horde Records VIRGIN STEELE II Guardians Of The Flame LP 1st US Press '83 Mongol Horde Records USD $26.66 Buy It Now 10h
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VIRGIN STEELE The House Of Atreus Act 1 CASSETTE TAPE BMG RUSSIA K7 RARE OOP HTF VIRGIN STEELE The House Of Atreus Act 1 CASSETTE TAPE BMG RUSSIA K7 RARE OOP HTF USD $4.27 (0 bids)
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STEEL WARRIORS - SELF TITLED LP PRIVATE PRESS NWBHM HEAVY METAL VIRGIN STEELE STEEL WARRIORS - SELF TITLED LP PRIVATE PRESS NWBHM HEAVY METAL VIRGIN STEELE USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1 day
VIRGIN STEELE - 1983 Full page magazine poster VIRGIN STEELE - 1983 Full page magazine poster USD $6.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Virgin Steele Guardians of The Flame Japan Promo White Label Vinyl LP w OBI Virgin Steele Guardians of The Flame Japan Promo White Label Vinyl LP w OBI USD $64.99 Buy It Now 1 day
VIRGIN STEELE / The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell - Part One  JPN CD album VIRGIN STEELE / The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell - Part One JPN CD album USD $5.99 (0 bids)
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Virgin Steele - Visions Of Eden (NEW 2CD) Virgin Steele - Visions Of Eden (NEW 2CD) USD $19.47 Buy It Now 1 day
VIRGIN STEELE - THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL PART ONE 1994 CD BRAND NEW VIRGIN STEELE - THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL PART ONE 1994 CD BRAND NEW USD $38.00 Buy It Now 1 day
VIRGIN STEELE-WAIT FOR THE NIGHT 1983 MONGOL HORDE REC. EP MONGOL 4 VG++ RARE!! VIRGIN STEELE-WAIT FOR THE NIGHT 1983 MONGOL HORDE REC. EP MONGOL 4 VG++ RARE!! USD $15.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Virgin Steele - Life Among the Ruins NOTVD 1 LP iron maiden manowar Virgin Steele - Life Among the Ruins NOTVD 1 LP iron maiden manowar USD $72.00 Buy It Now 2 days
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VIRGIN STEELE - Noble Savage. VG/Excellent Condition VIRGIN STEELE - Noble Savage. VG/Excellent Condition USD $9.50 Buy It Now 2 days
VIRGIN STEELE JUDAS PRIEST  POSTER VIRGIN STEELE JUDAS PRIEST POSTER USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2 days
MANOWAR 1992 CD - The Triumph Of Steel - Virgin Steele/Warlord/Ross The Boss/Dio MANOWAR 1992 CD - The Triumph Of Steel - Virgin Steele/Warlord/Ross The Boss/Dio USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2 days
VIRGIN STEELE - Age of Consent. 1988 Maze Music Inc. Manowar VIRGIN STEELE - Age of Consent. 1988 Maze Music Inc. Manowar USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Virgin Steele - Life Among The Ruins / TH Cassette Virgin Steele - Life Among The Ruins / TH Cassette USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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RARE HAIR METAL CD RIOT ARMY OF ONE JAPANESE RELEASE VIRGIN STEELE 2006 RARE HAIR METAL CD RIOT ARMY OF ONE JAPANESE RELEASE VIRGIN STEELE 2006 USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Virgin Steele - Same LP Japan Obi Heavy Metal Mega Rare ! Virgin Steele - Same LP Japan Obi Heavy Metal Mega Rare ! USD $85.50 Buy It Now 2 days
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VIRGIN STEELE - THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACT II (2 CD SET) VIRGIN STEELE - THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACT II (2 CD SET) USD $8.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Virgin Steele Virgin Steele "Guardians Of The Flame" Original LP. 1st Edition w/insert. USD $32.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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VIRGIN STEELE-AGE OF CONSENT RE-RELEASE  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-AGE OF CONSENT RE-RELEASE CD NEW USD $13.06 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE-THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA CD NEW USD $16.94 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE-INVICTUS (RERELEASE 2CD)  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-INVICTUS (RERELEASE 2CD) CD NEW USD $17.71 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE-LIFE AMONG THE RUINS/RE-RELEAS  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-LIFE AMONG THE RUINS/RE-RELEAS CD NEW USD $13.06 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE-NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE & DAMNATION  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE & DAMNATION CD NEW USD $16.94 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE - THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA [DIGIPAK] NEW CD VIRGIN STEELE - THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $16.93 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE Noble Savage CD 1985 RARE OOP ORIG 1st PRESS on T&T RECORDS!!! VIRGIN STEELE Noble Savage CD 1985 RARE OOP ORIG 1st PRESS on T&T RECORDS!!! USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE Age of Consent CD 1988 RARE OOP ORIG 1st PRESS on T VIRGIN STEELE Age of Consent CD 1988 RARE OOP ORIG 1st PRESS on T USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE Wait For The Night RECORD LP VINYL 80's Press HEAVY METAL VIRGIN STEELE Wait For The Night RECORD LP VINYL 80's Press HEAVY METAL USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE Noble Savage RECORD LP VINYL 80's Press HEAVY METAL VIRGIN STEELE Noble Savage RECORD LP VINYL 80's Press HEAVY METAL USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Virgin Steele : Hymns to Victory CD Virgin Steele : Hymns to Victory CD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation - Virgin Steele CD-JEWEL CASE Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation - Virgin Steele CD-JEWEL CASE USD $19.55 Buy It Now 3 days
Age of Consent by Virgin Steele (CD, 2001, T & T Music)  TT 0032-2 Black Case Age of Consent by Virgin Steele (CD, 2001, T & T Music) TT 0032-2 Black Case USD $24.88 Buy It Now 3 days
Virgin Steele Hymns to Victory CD Virgin Steele Hymns to Victory CD USD $7.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Virgin Steele ‎– The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell - Part Two RARE COLLECTOR'S CD! Virgin Steele ‎– The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell - Part Two RARE COLLECTOR'S CD! USD $20.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Virgin Steele ‎– The Black Light Bacchanalia RARE COLLECTOR'S CD SEALED WITH OBI Virgin Steele ‎– The Black Light Bacchanalia RARE COLLECTOR'S CD SEALED WITH OBI USD $20.00 Buy It Now 3 days
VIRGIN STEELE noble savage LP Record 1985 CI-0001 RARE vg VIRGIN STEELE noble savage LP Record 1985 CI-0001 RARE vg USD $26.50 Buy It Now 4 days
VIRGIN STEELE-THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA CD NEW USD $16.16 Buy It Now 4 days
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VIRGIN STEELE-NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE & DAMNATION  CD NEW VIRGIN STEELE-NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE & DAMNATION CD NEW USD $16.16 Buy It Now 4 days
VIRGIN STEELE - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF ZB) VIRGIN STEELE - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF ZB) USD $10.33 Buy It Now 5 days
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VIRGIN STEELE-NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE & DAMNATION (2LP+CD)  VINYL NEW VIRGIN STEELE-NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE & DAMNATION (2LP+CD) VINYL NEW USD $25.64 Buy It Now 5 days
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Virgin Steele-House Of Atreus-Act I & Act Ii  CD NEW Virgin Steele-House Of Atreus-Act I & Act Ii CD NEW USD $16.18 Buy It Now 5 days
Virgin Steele 'Noble Savage' Early Press Steamhammer/SPV LP 1987 + Lyric Sleeve Virgin Steele 'Noble Savage' Early Press Steamhammer/SPV LP 1987 + Lyric Sleeve USD $24.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Virgin Steele - The Black Light Bacchanalia  (Limited Box Set, 3LP, and CD, New) Virgin Steele - The Black Light Bacchanalia (Limited Box Set, 3LP, and CD, New) USD $19.47 Buy It Now 5 days
Virgin Steele 2 CD lot The House of Atreus Act 1 & II Original Noise Pressings Virgin Steele 2 CD lot The House of Atreus Act 1 & II Original Noise Pressings USD $28.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Virgin Steele - Visions of Eden - PROMO POSTER Virgin Steele - Visions of Eden - PROMO POSTER USD $14.28 Buy It Now 6 days
VIRGIN STEELE 2010 2CD - The Black Light Bacchanalia (Ltd. Digi.) Manowar SEALED VIRGIN STEELE 2010 2CD - The Black Light Bacchanalia (Ltd. Digi.) Manowar SEALED USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6 days
VIRGIN STEELE Guardians Of The Flame LP 1983 UK Press Metal Music For Nations VIRGIN STEELE Guardians Of The Flame LP 1983 UK Press Metal Music For Nations USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Virgin Steele The House Of Atreus Act II 2-CD NEW SEALED Metal Virgin Steele The House Of Atreus Act II 2-CD NEW SEALED Metal USD $7.78 Buy It Now 6 days
ASKA - AVENGER 2000 1PR NEW! VIRGIN STEELE SACRED GATE TRAUMA JAG PANZER WARLORD ASKA - AVENGER 2000 1PR NEW! VIRGIN STEELE SACRED GATE TRAUMA JAG PANZER WARLORD USD $24.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Virgin Steele / The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell - Part One JAPAN *X Virgin Steele / The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell - Part One JAPAN *X USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Virgin Steele – The Black Light Bacchanalia 2010 Sealed Ltd. Edition 3-LP BoxSet Virgin Steele – The Black Light Bacchanalia 2010 Sealed Ltd. Edition 3-LP BoxSet USD $32.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Virgin Steele Noble Savage 1986 LP vinyl Antestor Guardian Mortification Stryper Virgin Steele Noble Savage 1986 LP vinyl Antestor Guardian Mortification Stryper USD $12.98 Buy It Now 7 days
VIRGIN STEELE: Virgin Steele LP Rock & Pop VIRGIN STEELE: Virgin Steele LP Rock & Pop USD $12.00 Buy It Now 7 days
Savatage - Hall of the mountain king Vinyl LP 1st Press Riot Virgin Steele Savatage - Hall of the mountain king Vinyl LP 1st Press Riot Virgin Steele USD $47.90 (0 bids)
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Virgin Steele - Black Light Bacchanalia DOUBLE CD 2010 NY POWER METAL Virgin Steele - Black Light Bacchanalia DOUBLE CD 2010 NY POWER METAL USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7 days
VIRGIN STEELE AGE OF CONSENT CD 16 TRACK  1997 ISSUE GERMAN VIRGIN STEELE AGE OF CONSENT CD 16 TRACK 1997 ISSUE GERMAN USD $11.69 Buy It Now 7 days
Virgin Steele / The Marriage of Heaven & Hell: Part II JAPAN *G Virgin Steele / The Marriage of Heaven & Hell: Part II JAPAN *G USD $34.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Virgin Steele - Age of Consent  (CD, Aug-2001, T & T Music RARE METAL ROCK Virgin Steele - Age of Consent (CD, Aug-2001, T & T Music RARE METAL ROCK USD $21.99 Buy It Now 8 days
THE RODS - WILD DOGS LP     (CIRITH UNGOL , OBSESSION , VIRGIN STEELE , MANOWAR) THE RODS - WILD DOGS LP (CIRITH UNGOL , OBSESSION , VIRGIN STEELE , MANOWAR) USD $9.99 (1 bids)
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VIRGIN STEELE Black Light Bacchanalia (3 LP / CD BOX SET) SEALED power metal VIRGIN STEELE Black Light Bacchanalia (3 LP / CD BOX SET) SEALED power metal USD $34.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation - Virgin Steele LP Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation - Virgin Steele LP USD $31.26 Buy It Now 8 days
Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation - Virgin Steele CD-JEWEL CASE Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation - Virgin Steele CD-JEWEL CASE USD $20.43 Buy It Now 8 days
VIRGIN STEELE - THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACT I & ACT II  3 CD NEW+ VIRGIN STEELE - THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACT I & ACT II 3 CD NEW+ USD $21.21 Buy It Now 8 days
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VIRGIN STEELE Virgin Steele  VINYL LP EXCELLENT CONDITION same self titled debut VIRGIN STEELE Virgin Steele VINYL LP EXCELLENT CONDITION same self titled debut USD $32.46 Buy It Now 8 days
Virgin Steele - Noble Savage GER LP 1987 //1 Virgin Steele - Noble Savage GER LP 1987 //1 USD $17.47 Buy It Now 8 days
Virgin Steele - Noble Savage FRA LP 1985 //2 Virgin Steele - Noble Savage FRA LP 1985 //2 USD $14.85 Buy It Now 8 days
VIRGIN STEELE - THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD VIRGIN STEELE - THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8 days
VIRGIN STEELE - THE BOOK OF BURNING USED - VERY GOOD CD VIRGIN STEELE - THE BOOK OF BURNING USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $9.57 Buy It Now 8 days
VIRGIN STEELE - THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACT I & ACT II  3 CD NEW+ VIRGIN STEELE - THE HOUSE OF ATREUS ACT I & ACT II 3 CD NEW+ USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9 days
Virgin Steele - Virgin Steele I CD Virgin Steele - Virgin Steele I CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 9 days
VIRGIN STEELE - The Black Light Bacchanalia NEW/SEALED 3LP + CD BOX SET Inserts VIRGIN STEELE - The Black Light Bacchanalia NEW/SEALED 3LP + CD BOX SET Inserts USD $27.99 Buy It Now 9 days
VIRGIN STEELE - Noble Savage - 1985 Canada Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Hard Rock Metal VIRGIN STEELE - Noble Savage - 1985 Canada Vinyl 12'' Lp./ VG+/ Hard Rock Metal USD $22.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Virgin Steele - House of Atreus, Act II ( 2 CD Set 2007 ) NEW / SEALED Virgin Steele - House of Atreus, Act II ( 2 CD Set 2007 ) NEW / SEALED USD $4.87 Buy It Now 9 days
Domine ‎– Champion Eternal [1CD, Brand New] Blind Guardian, Virgin Steele Domine ‎– Champion Eternal [1CD, Brand New] Blind Guardian, Virgin Steele USD $12.00 Buy It Now 9 days
Jack Starr Out Of The Darkness 1984 UK LP MFN34 A1 B1 Heavy Metal Virgin Steele Jack Starr Out Of The Darkness 1984 UK LP MFN34 A1 B1 Heavy Metal Virgin Steele USD $12.98 Buy It Now 10 days
Virgin Steele - The House Of Atreus - Act I (Cassette) BMG Russia SEALED Virgin Steele - The House Of Atreus - Act I (Cassette) BMG Russia SEALED USD $39.50 Buy It Now 10 days
Invictus (Rerelease 2cd), Virgin Steele Invictus (Rerelease 2cd), Virgin Steele USD $19.67 Buy It Now 10 days
The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell I+ii (Rerelease 2cd), Virgin Steele The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell I+ii (Rerelease 2cd), Virgin Steele USD $19.67 Buy It Now 10 days
The House Of Atreus  Act I & Act Ii(3cd), Virgin Steele The House Of Atreus Act I & Act Ii(3cd), Virgin Steele USD $22.69 Buy It Now 10 days
SEALED 12 SEALED 12" E.P. STEEL WARRIORS 1984 PRIVATE METAL STEVE SCOTT VIRGIN STEELE LP USD $29.84 Buy It Now 10 days
VIRGIN STEELE - Noble Savage LP 1st Press ORIGINAL SIGNED MANOWAR CD SHIRT RARE! VIRGIN STEELE - Noble Savage LP 1st Press ORIGINAL SIGNED MANOWAR CD SHIRT RARE! USD $64.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Virgin Steele The Book Of Burning CD MADE IN BRAZIL '01 Manowar #### Virgin Steele The Book Of Burning CD MADE IN BRAZIL '01 Manowar #### USD $16.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Virgin Steele - Noble Savage  CD  1985  Steamhammer / SPV Virgin Steele - Noble Savage CD 1985 Steamhammer / SPV USD $79.00 Buy It Now 10 days
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VIRGIN STEELE Discography

VIRGIN STEELE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.87 | 7 ratings
Virgin Steele
Traditional heavy metal 1982
.. Album Cover 3.46 | 7 ratings
Guardians Of The Flame
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 3.71 | 12 ratings
Noble Savage
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 3.22 | 13 ratings
Age Of Consent
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 6 ratings
Life Among The Ruins
Hard Rock 1993
.. Album Cover 4.23 | 18 ratings
The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Part One
US Power Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.32 | 22 ratings
The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Part Two
US Power Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.18 | 19 ratings
Invictus
US Power Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.77 | 12 ratings
The House Of Atreus: Act I
US Power Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.18 | 10 ratings
The House Of Atreus: Act II
US Power Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.77 | 10 ratings
Visions Of Eden
US Power Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.36 | 10 ratings
The Black Light Bacchanalia
US Power Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 1.67 | 3 ratings
Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation
Traditional heavy metal 2015

VIRGIN STEELE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wait For The Night
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Magick Fire Music
US Power Metal 2000

VIRGIN STEELE live albums

VIRGIN STEELE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VIRGIN STEELE re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 3.05 | 4 ratings
The Book Of Burning
US Power Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Hymns To Victory
US Power Metal 2002

VIRGIN STEELE singles (0)

VIRGIN STEELE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

VIRGIN STEELE Reviews

VIRGIN STEELE Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation

Album · 2015 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation (2015) is the thirteenth full-length studio album by US heavy/power metal act Virgin Steele. This is the group's first album in five years, following on from The Black Light Bacchanalia (2010).

I've enjoyed the work of Virgin Steele quite a bit in the past, so it's to my complete surprise that Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation just isn't doing it for me. This is a pretty long album (about seventy-nine minutes), as is usual for Virgin Steele, but for the first time since I started listening to them I don't think they pull it off. Their sound has largely drifted away from power metal and back into traditional metal territory which gives the impression that they're plodding along with little to no energy. The first track Luzifers Hammer is more in line with what you'd expect from Virgin Steele and shows promise but it all starts going downhill from there, ending up with something that is too drawn out for its own good, bland in terms of songwriting and lacking in power, so is ultimately downright boring.

I could only get through the album by taking it in chunks due to the long duration. Had this been by a band I was trying for this first time I think, no actually I know I would have given up long before the last song ended but since I have enjoyed albums like The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Part Two (1995), The House Of Atreus: Act II (2001) and Visions of Eden (2006) I did my best to stick with Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation, hoping to find some sort of positive thing to say about the album. Unfortunately it's the sort of record that upon conclusion that leaves me with absolutely no desire to give it a repeat spin. A bit of trimming may have helped a bit so the record didn't drag on so long but not by much, not without a few more moments that manage to shine out. Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation is my first major disappointment of 2015. 1.5 stars.

VIRGIN STEELE The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Part Two

Album · 1995 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Like its predecessor, I don't think Virgin Steele's second The Marriage of Heaven and Hell album quite measures up to the glories of Invictus, the third album in the triptych, but it's still an interesting classic and symphonic-influenced power metal experience given a mild boost thanks to the interesting allegorical direction the lyrics take and the high quality of the band's performance. David DeFeis' vocals are energising enough but I keep finding myself missing the rawer, more feral edge they have to them on songs like the title track from Invictus. Worth checking out if you liked the first in the series, but be advised that the best is yet to come.

VIRGIN STEELE The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, Part One

Album · 1994 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Capturing Virgin Steele in the process of transitioning into an American-style power metal outfit from their traditional heavy metal roots, and working in a symphonic touch here and there, I found this album somewhat less gripping than the curiously compelling Invictus, not least because it's mildly more inclined to indulge some of the cheesier excesses of power metal than they are on that subsequent release (which I understand the two Marriage of Heaven and Hell albums are thematic prequels to). Still, as far as ambitious multi-part concept album projects go, this isn't a terrible kick-off to one, and it entertains me much more than it annoys me so I consider it fairly passable.

VIRGIN STEELE Guardians Of The Flame

Album · 1983 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Oh, boy, do I remember this one. “The album Judas Priest should have made” was the critic’s quote about Virgin Steele’s debut in an ad promoting the new album in Circus Magazine. I was adventurous when it came to finding new metal bands and to liken a band to my heroes Judas Priest was like opening my wallet to the nearest record store to have this on cassette. The Canadian release, however, was different from the American one. First, it was called “Burn the Sun” and featured a plain red cover with the album title and band name branded on in black. My best friend picked up his secure purchase of a band he knew he liked while I took my experiment back to his place.

After listening to the single off the album my friend bought, we put in “Burn the Sun” and the album opened with the synthesizer heavy “Don’t Say Goodbye (Tonight)”. My friend burst into laughter. I asked him to skip to the next track as his stereo came with one of those features where you could skip tracks on cassette, and the piano chords of “A Cry in the Night” came up next. He laughed even more. Next track. This was “I am the One” which wasn’t included on the American release and opened with gentle acoustic guitar strumming. My friend was in tears by this time, laughing at me for having wasted my precious paper route earnings on this rubbish.

But it was I who had the last laugh. I refused to be beaten and took the cassette home where I listened to it front to back. I discovered that the gentle acoustic opening to “I am the One” was just an intro to one of the heavier and totally rock-out aggressive songs on the album. The title track of the Canadian release, “Burn the Sun” was definitely in the same league as Judas Priest. “Guardians of the Flame” was an epic metal track that had some unfortunate wild synthesizer solo but was otherwise very good. Other songs followed a more standard metal course along the lines of, say, Y&T but with a New York feel as opposed to the California outlook of Y&T. “Don’t Say Goodbye (Tonight)” did lean a little too much on the synthesizer for my taste but still it galloped along in a traditional 80’s metal flair. “A Cry in the Night” was a gentle piano ballad that was good enough but didn’t match some of the power ballads we were hearing in those days. Overall, I liked the album enough to buy the debut (also with different cover and track listing in Canada) and when “Noble Savage” came out I snickered at the irony of my best friend spending his hard-earned paper route earnings on it.

So, back in late 2011, I decided to track down this old classic and bring “Burn the Sun” and “I am the One” back to my music collection. The remastered disc includes all the original tracks from the American release, “Guardians of the Flame” (some of which I hadn’t heard) as well as the songs that were on Canada’s “Burn the Sun”. As it turns out, the more aggressive tracks had been saved for Canada! This disc also includes an interview with the band around the time of the album’s release and some bonus live tracks.

How does the album sound now? Admittedly, the recording quality is pretty poor, though not as bad as the first album. It was recorded in someone’s home studio, I think. “I am the One”, “Burn the Sun” and “Guardians of the Flame” still hold up like those old blues albums from the 1930’s hold up. Other songs like "Go Down Fighting" and "Metal City" sound pretty trite and cliche now. I can picture young headbangers in leopard skin-pattern spandex with feathered hair thinking this is the bomb, but these days it sounds really dated. Still, fun at the time. The other tracks are not bad but for me they are also forgettable.

Of course, this reissue includes the songs from the original American release and so there are some new tracks for me. "The Redeemer" is another longer track like the title track and could be said to be another example of early power metal. Of the previously unheard songs, this one makes an impression.

How do I feel about spending my hard-earned teaching money on this CD – imported from the US – now? It’s OK. I still love two of those old tracks and from time to time I’ll drop this in my iPhone and give it a listen. It is a perfect relic from those days when metal was making a comeback. It captures the boldness of making an album that was meant to nudge the boundaries of metal into new directions (power metal perhaps?) and the rawness of home studio recording. Jack Starr delivers on the guitar and David Defeis has his trademark high pitched vocals already in gear. It’s a fun album in a way.

So dust off your old denim vest with the Iron Maiden patch on the back, tie on a Motorhead headband, but forget about fitting into those paint-on tight jeans. This is 80’s metal on its way up from the underground. Welcome to “Metal City”.

VIRGIN STEELE Invictus

Album · 1998 · US Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
An intriguing release from Virgin Steele. It took me a little while to get into this - in particular, I found the production track offputting and downright odd, but it's grown on me since, as has the album as a whole. David DeFeis has an unusual vocal approach which works better than I expected, adding a desperate, paranoid air to his megalomaniac proclamations, whilst musically speaking the band tick most of the power metal boxes without even mildly suggesting the cheesiness of so many other groups in the subgenre. I wouldn't say it's an album I'd listen to every day but it's certainly something I'm glad to have acquired and it's truly powerful when I'm in the right mood.

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