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Virgin Steele - "Guardians Of The Flame (re-release)"
Sanctuary Records 2002

Pulling the triggers and never asking much about how, when or where, Virgin Steele served once again alive product that contains everything as their debut album does. And even more. It takes a golden medal in comparison with the band's debut. That means again untamed wild power drive and much better sound production. This music really gives you wings to fly high. Metalized and speeded up, power blasting and splitting thundering aggression reborn again as for example in "Metal City" or "Burn The Sun", which in it's main riff remind you of "In For The Kill" from Black Sabbath (1986). "The Redeemer" and "Guardians Of The Flame" are pure gothic and epic pieces. "The Redeemer" reminds by its structure a bit of Rainbow's Stargazer (1976). A song with brilliant rhythm and riffing changes, a fantastic solo work on guitar. "The Redeemer" represents a link between old Virgin Steele and the new ones. Fierce, violent and untamed barbaric vocals, done by David, bring into the record a special feeling and high atmosphere. His keyboards are even more involved in music as before (also within solos in some of the songs).

Second release means further development of a band that really achieved remarkable standards in heavy metal music at that time. Still we've got some shakin' bluesy hard rockin' ass kickin' crusher to find, like "Go All The Way" is. But in general, epic and gothic elements overrule blues and rock'n'roll roots of the band here. The only mid-tempo song (there are fortunately no ballads) "A Cry In The Night" closes the band's second release.

Remastared and remixed, put on CD for the first time, this re-release screams out all alive creativeness of the band. David also didn't forget about bonus tracks that are added at the end. Last one "Blues Deluxe Oreganata (I Might Drown)" that was recorded live on stage in December 1990, features Edward Pursino on guitar, that joined the band in 1984. A complete nature of aggression! Savage poetry, which every single Virgin Steele fan should grab at once.

Author:   Aleš

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