Virgin Steele

The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part 2 (Reissue)

Written by: PP on 29/12/2008 18:53:12

Compared to the recently reviewed part 1, the part 2 reissue of Virgin Steele's "The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell" is a considerably more symphonic affair, with strings, piano and other classical instruments added for good measure. I, for one, think the symphonic element adds much more depth to the band's otherwise cliché glory/heavy metal sound (read: Manowar), in places elevating songs on the record among the very best I've heard in the genre of a million billion copycat bands.

Especially a song like "A Symphony Of Steele" is worth mentioning here, as it is a full-speed heavy metal assault with a somewhat poppy chorus for a band in this genre. I've seen lots of Virgin Steele fans diss this as the worst song on the record, but I'm guessing this is because they're so against anything 'pop' that the chorus pushes them away. Don't listen to them, because it shits all over boring-ass 10 minute heavy metal 'ballads' like "Emalaith" that just beg for the skip button to wear down upon repetitive listens of the record.

"Crown Of Glory (Unscarred)" is another good example of a great song that utilizes all the clichés from the genre starting from the vibrato vocals to the racy, Priest/Maiden-styled guitar wizardry. "Twilight Of The Gods" does this even more so with its groovy twin-guitar that recalls "Run To The Hills"-era Iron Maiden.

But then we have more of the annoyingly long pieces that start off with atmospheric introductions and nice guitars, but just drag on and on and on and on and on and on... such as "Prometheus The Fallen One". Come on guys, eight minutes of power/heavy metal wankery with fantasy elements and stolen riffs from Manowar isn't enough to convince me. Stick to writing the poppier choruses like on the snappy "Victory Is Mine" since that's clearly what you're good at. How some websites rate this as a four to five star album is beyond me.

6

Download: A Symphony Of Steele, Victory Is Mine, Crown Of Glory
For the fans of: Manowar, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest
Listen: Myspace

Release date 31.10.2008
Dockyard 1

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