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Usually I'm not a big fan of ep's, but since I'm such a sucker for Virgin Steele I'll gladly make an exception. This ep was released in between the two House Of Atreus albums and has some new songs (Wings Of Vengeance and Flames Of Thy Power) which are also on The House Of Atreus Act II, a song which is only on this ep (Agamemnon's Last Hour) and three songs from earlier albums in a different mix.
Wings Of Vengeance and Flames Of Thy Power are perfect examples of what was next to come on Atreus 2: solid epic power metal you would expect from Virgin Steele. Agamemnon's Last Hour is a short piano interlude with some high pitched vocals. Nothing really special though. The real special is the new mix of Prometheus The Fallen One, which originally appeared on The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell 2: there are some extra vocals and the guitars and drums are a lot heavier. This song definitly is a huge improvement over the original version. It's the same case with Great Sword Of Flames, which is also a lot heavier. Gate Of Kings is a good acoustic version, though not especially better than the original.
What makes this ep so valuable to newbies, is the fact that it shows Virgin Steele in all its different aspects. To the collectors like me, it provides some good valuable new old songs which are in the most cases better than the originals. Besides that, 31 minutes of music is almost a complete album. A must have for the fans, but also very interesting for the metalheads who like epic and bombastic songs.
This e.p really is only intended as a small warming up to the second act of the "House Of Atreus" saga - and since all of the songs can already be found on any of the previous or future albums (albeit the versions on here are slightly changed) a bit pointless in the long run (but hey, I got it inbetween "House I" and "House II" so as in the topic - it was a nice warming up).
The only song on here which isn't on any other release is "Agamemnon's Last Hour" and it's really to short or unspectacular to make this one a worthy purchase - still all of the songs on here (especially "Gate Of Kings") remain excellent in their own right.
If you never heard Vs this might be a decent introduction, but now really a neccesity if you already own everything (unless of course you are a die-hard fan or collector like me).
I know I was kinda hard on the Virgins earlier ('Life among the ruins'), so I'm gonna make it up and try to do them some justice. This is a mini cd promoting their latest album 'House of Atreus act II' (I think anyway), three new songs, two of them is included on the full-length also (tracks 1 & 2), both decent metal songs which I can listen to if I don't have anything else beside me. The third, "Agamemnon's last hour", is a short softie. David Defeis ranges from a falsette (it isn't the best I've heard but it's ok) to a kinda raw and right-in-the-face voice ala Eric Adams (Manowar) which I think suits him best.
Then there's a new version of "Prometheus the fallen one" from 'Marriage of heaven and hell part 2', pretty good song. Though the real treat here is "Great sword of flame" from 'House of Atreus act 1', one of my fave songs with this band - uptempo metal with a real Manowar-chorus ("great sword of flame, rip the night, great sword of flame in the sky"), don't get the impression that I worship Manowar though. "Gate of kings" is another song off 'House of Atreus act 1', however not one of the better.
Not a total disaster, but this isn't that interesting either - so if you're gonna get something with Virgin Steele (yes I give my approval although it's nothing I listen to myself), get 'Invictus' or one of the 'House of Atreus' albums