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The House of Atreus Act II
Released: 2000, Noise Records
I reviewed The House of Atreus Act I last year, and in so doing also gave it a 4/5. I remember after posting the review someone decided to rate me. Needless to say they gave me a 0/5! Hahaha! All because I didn't give his favorite band a 5/5. Well dude, time to give me another zero, 'cause Act II is also a 4/5 in my books. It's not like I don't like this band, a 4/5 is a damn fine rating if you ask me! It seems like people either love or hate this band. Well I dunno if I'd call it "love", but I do get off on this. As you should know, this is basically a metal opera and is a continuation of the story, the GREEK tragedy from Act I.
In terms of length, this is two CD's worth of music. Some songs are, for lack of a better word, filler, in that they are not "songs" but pieces of the story. So when you look at the track listing and see 23 songs on it, remember that it's not actually 23 "songs" in the strict sense of the word. I won't give you a rundown on every songs cause we'd be here until next November. I'll just highlight what stands out on this CD to me in terms of songs or musical pieces. The first thing I have to rant about is David DeFeis vocal styles. When he's very good, he's great but when he does the falsetto voice it's sometimes questionable. Thankfully, the majority of the vocals are sung in the style that I like. When he sings in his ballzy / bluesy / true metal Manowar styled voice it's like - metal god!! I also like the spoken sections between songs that David does. I know some die hard Virgin Steele fans probably want to hang me for blasphemy for saying that I actually don't flip out over his falsetto voice...but hey, this is JUST ONE METALHEADS OPINION!!! If I want a godly falsetto voice I'll listen to King Diamond! Anyway, enough of the rant...on to the songs. Act II begins with one of the albums strongest songs - "Wings of Vengeance." What a song this is!! I love the trills on the riffs in this one - very original sounding. Excellent riffing, memorable chorus, great drumming. This song has all the elements in it that love about this band. "The Voice is Weapon" is another of the CD's memorable tracks. It's stand out point is the drums. It's non-stop double kicking all the way through and David is in untouchable god mode on the chorus. The screams on here add that extra punch to the song for me. "Moria" begins with orchestration and piano pieces and is actually quite good. Surprising really, cause I don't usually go for this style. The instrumental, "Nemesis" is another excellent barbaric romantic metal opera. This is what sets this band apart from so many others. I've never heard a band incorporate orchestration like this before....totally original and 100% Virgin Steele. This is followed by another of my favorite tracks - "The Wine of Violence." All this is just some of the good things I have to say about CD #1!! CD #2 begins with "Flames of Thy Power (From Blood They Rise)" - you know when there's a Virgin Steele song about fire or flames that it's gonna rule! ("FIRE GOOOOODDD" ha!) "By The Gods" - is another great song and is about time they entitled a song after David's favorite pet quote! After these two songs, CD #2 is not quite as good as CD #1 - not that it's bad, just not as intense or as overall "metal" (yes the less metal the less interest I have - so what!?!?!).
I've found that people either get this band or they don't. To be honest when I first heard them I though they were just Manowar wanna be's. However the more I heard them the more I realized this was totally wrong. Virgin Steele are original, innovative and the more I hear them the more I get into it.
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