VIRGIN STEELE – Visions Of Eden

VIRGIN STEELE - Visions Of Eden


Release date: September 6, 2006

User Review
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Virgin Steele’s career has been a long and winding one, having produced both all-time classic albums and the worst of rubbish. Luckily, Visions Of Eden is more of the former, and although it’s in no way a classic album, there’s some very cool things going on in it. The opener, “Immortal I Stand,” is majestic, melodic, and catchy, and “The Ineffable Name” has a great groove (although the main riff is very much a derivative of “Dust From The Burning” off Invictus). “Black Light On Black” has one of those utterly beautiful trademark DeFeis chorus melodies, the ballad “God Above God” works very well (DIG that chorus vocals!), and the closing epic, “Visions Of Eden,” sums it all up very well. There’s really no problem at all in the songwriting … rather, the problems with this album surface in the production and mixing.

Yeah, there are some serious mixing issues with this album. DeFeis and the boys have obviously wanted the album to be very “epic,” not only in terms of songwriting (only one out of eleven tracks clocks in at less than six minutes), but also in terms of the overall sound. This has caused the album to be way too keyboard-heavy, the guitars sound thin and are far too low in the mix. Edvard Pursino is not a bad guitarist, but at times he sounds like a guitar machine (not that such a device exists, but imagine a guitar version of the drum machine) here with boring sixteenth-note rhythm “riffs” that come through sounding rather autopilot-like. This may very well be due to the arrangements, as several of the songs could benefit from being shortened down a little. This would probably ruin the entire “epic” idea, though, and that seems to be the whole focus with this album.

Vocal-wise David DeFeis, like Jon Oliva, only seems to grow younger, and both his growl and falsetto sound phenomenal all the way through. This is especially evident on the aforementioned “God Above God” –- the track is indeed an instant eye-wetter. Everything’s not that good, but overall Visions Of Eden is recommended to all fans of the band. However, a “radio-edit” version of the album would be even better (this is like swearing in church, but still), and the production issues really are significant. Still the overall strong songwriting almost makes up for them – from that aspect alone, Virgin Steele delivers the goods once again.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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