I bought a veritable shit-ton of Virgin Steele albums at Xmas. I’m still working my way through them all but I’ve already got a good few new favourite albums of all time out of them. Yes, they’re that good. The standout album so far is The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Part One. This is a band firing on all cylinders, veering boldly from strident warrior metal to heartfelt balladry and epic classical pomp without a dull moment. The band describe their music as barbaric romanticism and it’s a great description because, for all the chest beating and sword waving, this is a band unafraid to employ sensitivity and romance, usually via the emotive delivery and passionate lyrics of vocalist/composer David DeFeis. He has a remarkable gift for vocal melodies that lifts songs like I Will Come For You, Trail of Tears, Life Among the Ruins and Blood and Gasoline (one of the best songs I have ever heard in my puff) to the sublime level of the godly. Essential.
HMO Rating: 10 out of 5
[Virgin Steele – Blood and Gasoline]