Monday, June 18, 2012

Virgin Steele-Life among the ruins

Virgin-Steele_Life-Among-The-Ruinsweb SPV 1993/2012 This was a rather different album for veteren metal act Virgin Steele when they released in 1993. The band had been on a decent roll in the 80's despite some gaps and pine-up changes. However 1988's Age of consent received very low distribution and was a failure sale wise. This lead to the band not playing for awhile. After changing bass players the band was finally back with another album after a five year absence. So here's a band who had played classic metal with many of their songs drawing on mythilogical influences. So what would their comeback album sound like? Well, fans (and I was one back then) were hoping for a follow-up on their 80's style of course. Instead they delivered an album highly influenced by...Whitesnake. Yes, MTV and radio darlings Whitesnake. How could this be? I guess the band thought they could up for lost time and money by going a more commercial route. However this was 1993 which means grunge was in full motion and it was nearly two years since hard rock had taken a serious hit on the chin from this change in musical trends. So even though Virgin Steele gone over to a style that had been in vogue a couple of years prior, it wasn't so popular when this album dropped. Of course they also confused and lost a number of their old fans with this album. Overall it's tight for what it is. The melodies are mostly decent, but it falls flat at times and they don't always know the best way to use their keyboards. More than that is just that it sounds very little like what this band sounded like before and that's where I lost me. Yes, I know that classic style metal wasn't in high demand either at that time. However, they had done that well in the past and that's what I expected them to do. Even putting the band's past aside it's a rather average album and I listened to this re-issue I realized that time been kind to this album either. Not one of the band's best moments but fortunately it wasn't the end of them either.


Blogger Andy said...

I remember hearing this album and being like what the f**k is this crap!!!!!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Andy-I still feel that way. It's down there with CF's Cold Lake, Twisted Sister's Come out and play and Helloween's Chameleon for odd musical directions gone wrong.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

All of those albums left me wanting to scream! CF's Cold Lake was probably the most about face, crap on a stick release of all time! Maybe we should do an article on called "For Better Or Worse" in which we list the best albums by a band and then list there "what the hell!" albums next to it?

6:25 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Priest's Turbo was horrible at the time and it's still bad, but the last two albums made it not quite as bad. Jaguar's This Time, Diamond Head's Canterbury, Raven's Stay Hard and the Pack is back plus pretty much all of Saxon's 80's albums after the alright Crusader could be on this list too.

6:54 AM  

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