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Virgin Steele: Age Of Consent

Twelve albums in Virgin Steele' label SPV deem fit that their 1988 Age of Consent album should be re-released as a Deluxe Edition. As a stand-alone album, it is let down by its formulaic approach, that is disjointed, an album that is constructed of varying styles, that seems to lack direction. Although it is nice to have these Deluxe Edition releases, sometimes they do not add anything and for me this is a prime example of this. At nearly two hours long, distraction is added and at times the whole process just becomes lost, leaving the listener somewhat bemused; something that makes the whole album feel like it has just been cobbled together without too much thought.

As a band they were definitely influenced by the likes of Dio, Priest, Maiden, Kiss and the chest thumping Manowar which is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. These musical tones and references can be heard throughout the whole album.

It is worth noting that the bands mainstays David DeFeis and Edward Pursino do excel here in the whole process as they work their way through the standout tracks, the anthemic opening The Burning of Rome, the galloping Lion in Winter, Perfect Mansions with it vocal approach that comes across as a mixture of Paul Stanley and Eric Adams, the inimitable zeitgeist power ballad Cry Forever, the stunning bonus track The Changeling Dawn or the guitar driven The Curse. . What's of real interest here though are the covers, two Judas Priest numbers, Desert Plains, Screaming for Vengeance and the Uriah Heep's Stay on Top.

The album does feature some nice intro instrumentals such as Prelude to Evening, Stranger at the Gate and Coils of the Serpent which build some nice atmospherics, but they alone aren't enough to keep the interests ignited.

It is the cheesier moments like Let it Roar and hair metal Seventeen, which maybe the age of consent, that detract from what could have been a rather good album. Back in the day when the album was originally released, I have to admit that I really liked it, but as time changes so do opinions. One can only say that if the chest beating 80's Metal era was up your street then you may find something of interest here.

Track List:

Disk One
1. The Burning of Rome
2. Let it Roar
3. Prelude to Evening
4. Lion in Winter
5. Strange at the Gate
6. Perfects Mansions
7. Coils of the Serpent
8. Serpents' Kiss
9. On the wings of the Night
10. Seventeen
11. Tragedy
12. Stay on Top
13. Chains of Fire
14. Desert Plains
15. Cry Forever
16. We Are Eternal

Disk two
1. Screaming For Vengeance
2. The Curse
3. Breach of Lease
4. Another Nail in the Cross
5. A Changeling Dawn
6. Under the graveyard Moon
7. Down by the River

Added: May 14th 2012
Reviewer: John OBoyle
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Hits: 2425
Language: english

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