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Age Of Consent
(Steamhammer Records / SPV)

One of the classic albums from the legendary epic Heavy Metallers in VIRGIN STEELE can be reviewed with not that many words: “A legendary classic from the Long Island band, now once again re-released” would suffice. Though I'm not known for expressing myself in short, nor do I think my dear editor would accept a one line review, so here it comes: this is a re-release of the '88 classic "Age Of Consent", which more or less was the first consistent and real class album from VIRGIN STEELE, or at least I thought so, as I quickly became confused after throwing on the album, as the track order was quite fucked up compared to the original release. It showed that the release is a re-release of the '97 re-release with additional bonus tracks and liner notes. A re-release of a re-release, why not? Though one of the new bonus tracks is 'Screaming For Vengeance' from the one and only JUDAS PRIEST, and in my world, that justify the release. And if one band has to cover Judas Priest VIRGIN STEELE is the right one, as the young David DeFeis could remind a bit of Halford in some ranges of his voice, and the two PRIEST covers on this release are divine, besides 'Screaming For Vengeance' we are treated 'Desert Plains'.. Back in '88 VIRGIN STEELE delivered a nice blend of melodic Hard Rock and the epic Heavy Metal that still paint their path. Tracks as 'On The Wings Of The Night' and the “title” track ’Seventeen' are killer melodic Rock songs, catching as hell with a good energetic drive that kicks off the party, really well written tunes, and as a statement to the that side of the band, we get a good version of URIAH HEEP's 'Stay On Top'. Of epic Heavy Metal we do also have a few well written tunes to pick, the opener 'The Burning Of Rome (Cry For Pompeii)' is grandiose and atmospheric beyond belief, and the guitar work on it make heads 'bang. The same can be said about 'Perfect Mansions (Mountains Of The Sun)', VIRGIN STEELE is an amazing band that know how to write a catchy and grandiose tune. Besides the version of 'Screaming For Vengeance' we get a lot of goodies that fans of VIRGIN STEELE will dig, the acoustic version of 'Noble Savage' retitled 'A Changeling Dawn' is damn beautiful and DeFeis' vocal performance on it is breathtaking, the same can be said of his performance on 'Down By The River', he proves again and again why he is one of my favorite singers. The bonus material do justify the re-release of the re-release, so a sure pick to get through December with a lot of headbanging and good old rocking fun.,

Anders Peter Jřrgensen

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