(7/10) When I first heard about Virgin Steele it was when David DeFeis and his gang released the "Noble savage" album back in 1985. Together with TT Quick's debut in 1986 "Noble savage" was one of the most jaw-dropping records for me at that time.
The third record of the New York based band impressed by hard riffs that have been in combination with an epical vibe and some almost progressive song structures. Not to forget the vocals from DeFeis with a wide range - from deeper parts up to high pitch screams.
The next highlight that came like a blow was the "Marriage..." trilogy. Virgin Steele showed again why the got into the spotlight and that they are capable to do big songs.
In the meantime we arrived in 2015 and Virgin Steele is releasing their newest album called "Nocturnes of hellfire & damnation". I was very excited looking forward to the new record since, as mentioned, I follow the band since quite some years.
Partly the full-length album lives up to those high expectations, but there are also moments which aren't that thrilling. I have listened to the album a few times and still tracks like "Demolition queen", even though having a catchy chorus, doesn't really kicks-in. Also the seven minutes long "Delirium" doesn't really get off the starting blocks either.
Fortunatly there are the better Virgin Steele tracks too. The fast opener "Luzifers hammer" is one of those. The old Virgin Steele times are coming back with songs like this. "Black sun - black mass" is another track you should have heard. The tune has everything you want as fan of the band - a heavy riff, more silent parts, melodic solos and the entire vocal range of DeFeis.
Another highlight on "Nocturnes of hellfire & damnation" is the ballad called "Hymns of damnation". The song shows, that DeFeis composes each track on his piano. While most of the other tracks needs to be arranged for guitar, bass and drums, it's pearls like this one that includes the piano from start to end. Soulful guitar solos have been added and the tune belongs to the credit side of this album.
To conclude: The new Virgin Steele opus has quite some 'sunny sides', but there are also a few tracks which doesn't belong to the best DeFeis wrote so far. Virgin Steele added another solid metal album to their immense discography, even though it can't compete with the bands classics.
- Luzifers hammer
- Queen of the dead
- To darkness eternal
- Black sun - black mass
- Demolition queen
- The plague and the fire
- We disappear
- A damned apparition
- Hymns to damnation
- Fallen angel
Genre: Heavy Metal