Virgin Steele – The Black Light Bacchanalia (Review)


Wrrrow! Look out! Eeee eeee… From the top of the mountain, yeah! Yow! Fire! Owww. Ruff. Oooh… Look out! Rowf! Yeah! Oooh yeah!

And so David DeFeis kicks off Virgin Steele’s 13th album The Black Light Bacchanalia with every vocal exclamation known to man.

He sounds excited and so he should: the opening track By the Hammer of Zeus (and the Wrecking Ball of Thor) is pure awesomeness. It delivers on the promise of its ridiculously mighty title. I’ve become obsessed with this song and have been listening to it thrice daily for many moons now. Ruff!

From the top of the mountain, yeah!
From the top of the mountain, yeah!

Unfortunately, the rest of the album isn’t as instantly appealing . Exclamations aside, DeFeis spends most of The Black Light Bacchanalia singing in an oddly soft voice. It’s an interesting experiment, making it seem like he’s whispering sweet nothings into your ear or he’s inside your head. Look out! But it doesn’t do much for the album’s dynamics, especially when many of the songs are meandering and forgettable.

But my hopeless addiction to that opening track keeps me coming back for more and moments of greatness keeping popping out with each listen. Weirdly, considering the laid-back vocals on the heavier tracks, DeFeis sings the excellent piano-ballad The Tortures of the Damned with raging passion. Fire! And the softer vocal approach works dreamily on To Crown Them With Halos (Parts 1 & 2) and Necropolis (He Answers Them With Death), bringing out all the drama and the melody. I’m finding that there’s nothing in my collection quite like this so I’m seduced into giving it another spin. It’s flawed but fascinating. And even if it doesn’t quite live up to its exclamatory opening there’s still plenty to get excited about here. Ooohh yeah!

Look out!
Look out!

16 thoughts on “Virgin Steele – The Black Light Bacchanalia (Review)”

      1. You may not have seen the ad, but the guy from the Strumbellas looks very much like “Captain Obvious”, the spokesman for a travel company. I think I need to make a meme.

        The artwork is cool for sure. Evil and cute at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Your possible tracklist, sir:

        1. Bread Of Wickedness
        2. Toast Of Naughtiness
        3. Bagel Of Badness
        4. Croissant Of Cruelty
        5. Lewdness Loaf
        6. Cereal Killer
        7. Nutella Of Death
        8. Rotting Fruit Salad
        9. Muffin Choker
        10. Black Metal Coffee

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Nice driving metal track! By its chords, it’s another one that sounds like it should be on a movie soundtrack for a flick about fast military airplanes.

    I’d love to hear that intro seperated out vocals-only like they did to DLR that time…

    Liked by 1 person

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