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I might be the only one... - 98%

Lennert, June 23rd, 2006

...but I think this is by far the best Virgin Steele album ever. Better than the house of Atreus pt 1, better than the marriage albums, hell, even better than Invictus. Virgin Steele is THE band when it comes to epic stories and I think they succeeded the best in it with this closing chapter of the House of Atreus. This is one of the few metal operas that really sounds like an opera (forget Avantasia, those records are not even close to the quality this album has, only Ayreon might get close).

There is no need to tell you about David's magnificent voice and writng skills. There also is no need to stress the facts that Edward Pursino is a great guitarplayer and Frank Gilchriest is one hell of a hard-hitting drummer. The songs are as good as part 1 with one big improvement: they sound like a complete story. Songs like Great Sword Of Flame from part I were absolutely great, but didn't really add much to the story. This time all the songs sound like a complete story together. In fact the (to some) pointless interludes aren't that bad this time (well, I like them anyway) since the most of them are to be found right after the other on the second cd.

The first cd contains more heavy speedy songs, while the second album (concerning the judgement of Orestes) has the more melancholic epic songs with The Arms Of Mercury and When The Legends Die as complete highlights. The other best songs are Fire Of Ecstasy, The Voice As Weapon and the mighty A Token Of My Hatred.

The House Of Atreus is lyricwise the best and most tragic concept album they ever wrote, musicwise it has the same quality of The House Of Atreus Act I. Virgin Steele lovers MUST buy this album!