|Review: Virgin Idol - Virgin Idol|
Year released: 2022
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: May 10, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)
Virgin Idol is a new band (they don't have an entry on Metal-Archives as I write this) from Indiana in the American Midwest that plays an aggressively '80s style of heavy metal on their self-titled album. The sound is stripped down with not a lot of fancy studio effects, which gives the riffs a mean attitude and the "balls in a vice" screaming vocals complement them well. "Don't Touch the Flame" opens Virgin Idol (after a weird, spoken-word intro) with the singer at his most Halford-circa-Painkiller, then on the next cut, "Satan's Way," he digs deep for a Balls to the Wall Dirkschneider sound. The first half of the album has a sweet, uncommercial, independent label vibe and as I was listening the feeling was similar to when I first heard bands like Cirith Ungol or Thrust, which were so very different from the Dokken, RATT and Mötley Crüe of the day. "Junji" is an instrument from the Shrapnel Records shredder mold and then something strange happens. On the second half of the album, the songwriting gets a little less interesting but, more disappointing, the guitar solos all sound like they are in a different key. It is quite jarring when the lead comes in on "Demon Night" and it sounds like it is from a completely different song. I don't know what happened here, but it is a bummer because up until this point, I was really enjoying the album. That said, the first half of Virgin Idol, with its unashamedly underground approach, wild screams, and frenetic guitar work, is a breath of fresh air in the new wave of traditional heavy metal movement, where all the acts try to sound old school but can't resist a modern production. This one is like a lost gem from the early '80s, complete with the kinds of flaws that made some of those original releases so memorable. Here's hoping Virgin Idol can clean things up a bit on their next effort because when they execute, they kick ass.
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