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Going Off the Epic Scale! - 99%

Bloody_Hell, September 17th, 2010

David DeFeis' inspiration which was brought to him by Zeus' testicle enlarging genius imbuing spell wasn't obviously enough for David, therefore he decided to fuck it all and go wild by cutting Zeus in half with an axe then eating his organs. This time Virgin Steele's back with yet another style change, tossing away Endiamon's victory upon the gods and going a bit forward, or back in our case into Ancient Greece.

Let's just say when you thought that Invictus was the top of the top, the undeniable king of epic Virgin Steele comes again to prove you wrong; While Invictus was the Darkness Descends of power metal and never stopped pounding your vagina, HoA is more of a diverse album, taking more from Marriage than the former.

We have speed metal raging crushers such as Kingdom of the Fearless, we got narrative ballads like The Watchman's Song, we got bombastic interludes and subtle instrumentals and then of course we got the epic 6 minute or more monsters that only apparently Virgin Steele can produce.

And last but not the least you get here and then a melody or a narration coming from the previous albums very subtly like a older man offering chocolate to children if they come to a ride to wonderland. This is very reminiscent to The Crimson Idol of a certain band, but instead of a sense of continuity inside one album Virgin Steele decided to spread it over 5 years and albums worth of ideas.

The story follows the House of Atreus and all the nifty betrayals, rapes and murders that come within, but then again the way Virgin Steele delivers they might as well be singing about fairy dust and leprechauns, I wouldn't see the difference; This album captivates you from the very start and it won't let go til the very end.

Strangely enough, other than the opener and closer and the two amazingly epic songs Flames of the Black star and the bombastic Agony and Shame, I found myself enjoying the before mentioned Watchman Song followed by And Hecate Smiled. Virgin Steele doesn't only do songs right, but the little interludes I keep constantly writing actually feel epic on their own and if only 1-2 minutes long deliver without flaw.

Therefore 4 years and 3 style changes later Virgin Steele seem to be going on a inspiration frenzy, something they surely can't continue for another 10 years... or could they?