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Crank up the epicness another notch - 85%

UltraBoris, December 17th, 2002

If you thought they couldn't get any more insane after the last album, here's this one! Still quite song-oriented (as opposed to the Atreus series), this one features stronger works than Marriage I, and is almost as good as Invictus while being a bit more varied.

We begin with probably the song that all Virgin Steele fans know (well, other than We Rule the Night!) and that is A Symphony of Steele. Great power/speed metal. Then, the more epic "Crown of Glory", which ends on the interesting note...... "bury me beside the endless sea, raise my ashes to the wind..." - that one may sound familiar to those that know some of their later works, especially those titled House of Atreus Act I. Someone should do a study on all the places where the last five Virgin Steele albums are tied together, it is really quite marvellous when taken in all at once.

"Twilight of the Gods" has little to do with Helloween, and is a great epic number, as is "Rising Unchained". (Call it a sacred vow?) Then, the album steps it up another notch, as we get to "Prometheus, the Fallen One" and also the ten-minute classic "Emalaith". This is the reason to get Virgin Steele albums, folks. If you don't like epic fucking power metal with guitar works that go on forever, majestic keyboard parts, and absolutely memorable songs, then you know what, go listen to Slipknot. For the rest of you, there is this. We have the ballad "Strawgirl", followed by the complete Priest-worship - insanely well done, this would not be out of place on Ram it Down and maybe not even Painkiller! - in "Devil Angel", and then another highlight in "Victory is Mine", before we get to "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Revisited". As I said, someone should do a study....

Or, just buy it, listen to it, enjoy... read the lyrics, read the liner notes, there is really so much going on here that it'll probably take five or six listens to truly appreciate. But, when you do.....