VIRGIN STEELE – The Black Light Bacchanalia

VIRGIN STEELE - The Black Light Bacchanalia
  • 7.5/10
    VIRGIN STEELE - The Black Light Bacchanalia - 7.5/10


Release date: November 5, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It is really amazing that Virgin Steele have been around since 1981 and now are back with their 12th full length album. Despite their constant presence in the Metal scene, Virgin Steele seem to be a little bit underrated, and hence have not enjoyed a lot sale-wise since the Invictus release 12 years ago. In Invictus, David DeFeis left aside to some extent the complicated song structure in the magnificent The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell parts and enhanced the Power Metal profile… meeting many times the Manowar sound. But, the lyricism runs strong in DeFeis’ blood stream and Virgin Steele returned to the concept albums, diving into Greek mythology/ancient history for inspiration.

The following albums, despite their high quality, did not meet the new expectations set with Invictus and steadily the Metal scene lost interest for this band. And what a shame that was! The House Of Atreus and the black Visions Of Eden did not receive the feedback they deserved. So, The Black Light Bacchanalia is the new release from this US band that somewhat continues the same mostly dark concept introduced with Vision Of Eden. Again DeFeis deals with stories from ancient Greek mythology and has put together another killer album. “By The Hammer Of Zeus (And The Wrecking Ball Of Thor)” is a classic Virgin Steel opener entering with the trademark DeFeis vocals (especially in the high pitches) and the galloping Power Metal rhythm. The lyrics run smooth over Pursino’s guitar work and the solid drumming, where melody and power are well-mixed into a great blend that stands somewhere between Invictus and The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell.

Each song has a character of its own backing up the story the lyrics narrate, while serving the listener with addictive melodies like in “The Bread Of Wickedness”, the epic “Necropolis (He Answers Them With Death)” or the impressive 11-minutes of “To Crown Them With Halos Parts 1 & 2”. There are tracks like “Pagan Hear” close to the Invictus days with fast tempo breaks, double drum pedaling, and a catchy chorus that sets anchor to the listener’s mind after the very first listen. The interesting elements in this album are the tempo changes and the melodic breaks that shine through the piano phrases, fitting hand-in-glove with the expressional vocals. Additional credit should be given to “The Torture’s Of The Damned”, a piano-based song where DeFeis does his magic with his voice coloring the lyrics in his unique way, backed up by a hearty bass guitar sound and the atmospheric keyboard work.

This is not an easy album to listen to; anyone who is seeking the straightforward Power Metal and the simple sing-along chorus will be disappointed unless he is prepared to sink his teeth deeper into DeFeis’ poetry. Every CD spin reveals something new to the listener, who is rewarded by the great collection of melodies and rhythms that Virgin Steele present. The only complaint that can be made here is about the sound production, which is a little weak. Fortunately, the album will also be released in vinyl… where Metal music is treated properly.


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

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