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A true Vision Of Eden - 94%

Lennert, December 5th, 2006

We are near the end of 2006 and it seems the latest Virgin Steele release is going to sneak away in the dark without getting noticed. This is a sad thing, for 1. Virgin Steele deserves more attention and 2. Visions Of Eden truly is one of the best epic powermetal albums that has been released last year.

Sure, the production could be a lot heavier than this but being the major VS fan I am, I haven't got any real problems with this; just as long as the songs are fine. And man, they are. Angel Of Death must be the most melancholic song David ever wrote, while Childslayer is close to being the most furious. Immortal I Stand and Bonedust are good, relatively short headbangers, while Adorned With The Rising Cobra and Black Light On Black are long epics which never tend to get boring. The most wonderfull thing is there aren't any of these (to some people pretentious) keyboard instrumentals, nope: just 79 minutes of pure metal.

The concept about the rise and fall of Lilith (according to some myths Adam's first wife) is absolutely brilliant. David has written some of his best lyrics (although 'Fuck you Adam, Fuck you Eve, Fuck your God and his infernal breed' may fit better on a black metal album) and is still growing as a composer. A minor downpoint may be the fact that Edward Pursino is less present with wild all-destroying solo's. He and David switch between them, and although David does a good job he is no Edward. This is the main reason I would like to hear the new songs live, because I'm pretty damn sure Edward will crush the solo's David plays.

Another minor downpoint to some people seems to be the fact Frank Gilchriest play on an electronic drumkit. This is why the drums sound a little dull compaired to the former albums, but still it is undeniable Frank does a wonderfull job. Another reason to check VS out live!

However, the minor flaws just aren't able to kill the album. The performance is great, the atmosphere intense, melancholic and majestic and songs like Angel Of Death and Visions Of Eden are some of the best tracks the band ever wrote. If you think Rhapsody Of Fire is gay and you find Manowar somewhat too brainless, Virgin Steele might be the ultimate band for you for they combine the bombasm and brutality without sounding gay or brainless. Buy it.

Real Highlights: Black Light On Black, Angel Of Death, Childslayer, Visions Of Eden.