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Review: Virgin Steele - The House Of Atreus - Act I
Virgin Steele
The House Of Atreus - Act I

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1999
Duration: 74:34
Tracks: 22
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5+/5

Review online: April 24, 2000
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The House Of Atreus - Act I

Rated 4.52/5 (90.39%) (77 Votes)

Virgin Steele's latest release is definitely one of the best albums I've heard in the last ten years.  The House Of Atreus Act I is a metal opera whose story begins on the final night of the Trojan War.  I won't waste time and space recounting the story here, everything is in the CD booklet and on the Virgin Steele Web Site.

David Defeis's songwriting is just amazing.  It is impressive to see the amount of work that went into the story and lyrics, along with the music itself, which is very well adapted to the story.  The album is made of 22 tracks, ranging from piano-only ballads to high-octane metal.  As can be expected from an opera, you'll also find some narration here and there on the album.  What can I say, this album is just great.  The only problem I found is that there is a split-second delay between tracks and that sometimes breaks the "mood" of the moment.  As far as I know, this could have been avoided, and hopefully will not be repeated in Act 2 scheduled for release sometime this year.  The problem is annoying enough to take a half-point off the rating, which is why I didn't give a 6/5.

This is an album I enjoy more and more every time I listen to it, the kind of album you just "get into".  I don't know if the previous Virgin Steele albums are in the same vein as this one, but I sure will be buying Act 2 when it comes out.

Track Listing:
  1. Kingdom of the Fearless
  2. Blaze of Victory
  3. Through the Ring of Fire
  4. Prelude in A Minor
  5. Death Darkly Closed Their Eyes
  6. In Triumph or Tragedy
  7. Return of the King
  8. Flames of the Black Star
  9. Narcissus
  10. And Hecate Smiled
  11. A Song of Prophecy
  12. Child of Desolation
  13. G Minor Invention
  14. Day of Wrath
  15. Great Sword of Flame
  16. The Gift of Tantalos
  17. Iphigenia In Hades
  18. The Fire God
  19. Garden of Lamentation
  20. Agony and Shame
  21. Gate of Kings
  22. Via Sacra
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