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With Virgin Steele being one of my favorite five bands of all times, I wasn’t quite confident on whether I should dare to write a review over any of their albums since I feared that I might get carried away because of my love for them. However, writing my opinion for a band of their magnitude was a big temptation, so I was finally convinced to do it.
After the release of a bad album, Life Among the Ruins, the gods of melodic power metal returned with The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and put everything in place. Though it did not reach the glorious Noble Savage, it was almost equal in quality and none of the fans were displeased. This time the band records as a trio, since Edward Pursino plays the electric and bass guitar as well.
The Marriage of… contains of twelve songs and two instrumentals. It begins with the outstanding I Will Come for You. It is a classic, epic Virgin Steele piece with smart breaks and DeFeis’ harsh, still melodic vocals. It‘s one of the most demanded songs at their gigs. Truly magnificent! Then we have another masterpiece, Weeping of the Spirits. Power metal to the core, with a beautiful acoustic intro followed by an impressive riff by Pursino.
The heavy storm continues with force as Steele throw more metal thunders like Blood of the Saints with the pounding drums, or the six minutes epic, Life Among the Ruins. The guitar riffs are heavy as hell and the powerful drumming punches you in the stomach without mercy. Blood and Gasoline and I Wake up Screaming are nice ones, hard and melodic at the same time. DeFeis adjusts his vocals to each song changing them from aggressive to calm and serene without difficulties. After all, he is one of metal’s top singers.
Last Supper differs a bit from the rest in terms that it slower, though quite heavy and imposing as well. Its lyrics speak of Christ and how he knew about Judas’ betrayal. There are also two wonderful ballads, Forever Will I Roam and House of Dust, both in the familiar style of Virgin Steele. Especially the second one is absolutely, totally fucking excellent.
Of course there are some mediocre or even poor moments like Trail of Tears, however they are extremely bad and they cannot ruin the greatness the whole impression of the album. What’s more important is that in a time when some people claimed that metal was going through a crisis, Virgin Steele released an album based on and dedicated to the tradition they created. Definitely it is a top moment for DeFeis and his mates and a jewel in everyone’s collection.