The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




JUNE 24 2014



Virgin Steele has always somewhat stood alone in their vision for Heavy Metal and this year three of their best get the re-issue treatment complete with bonus tracks. Invictus of course is the third part of the trilogy that started with ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Parts I’ and ‘II’.  Of course you can read hundreds of reviews of the original album released back in 1998 here it’s all about the new fans being able to get their hands on the album, whilst for existing fans it’s all about the bonus disc!


Looking back at the album itself first, this is really the album that heralded the new age of Virgin Steele for me; it’s also probably their heaviest release and the closest that the band came to the European Power Metal legions. DeFeis works wonders on Invictus and mixes the tempo and melodies like a Heavy Metal alchemist from the fiery Metal of tracks like ‘Mind, Body and Spirit’ to the real soaring melodies of tracks like ‘ Through Blood and Fire’ (has Power Metal managed to surpass a song like this in the last 15 years?). There’s a great guitar sound and some killer drumming and bass to boot.


If you want names then check out the ferocious ‘Dust From the Burning’; the explosive ‘Sword pf the Gods’ or the sizzling glory of closing track ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’, This is true class.


Onto the bonus disc which, of course, makes this re-release essential for the converted and a great addition for new listeners to open up the catalogue. There are a further 15 tracks to savour on the bonus disc entitled ‘Fire Spirits’ – the tracks are all acoustic and taken primarily from ‘The Marriage Of Heaven & Hell’ and ‘Invictus’ albums, and to be honest some of the material here sounds stunning enough without referencing the originals. If you were lucky enough to have seen any of the acoustic shows they were taken from then you witnessed something special on the evidence here.


Acoustically-backed DeFeis’s voice comes into its own, standing tall amongst the orchestration and at times dominating it. I would have bought this disc if it was a stand-alone! Apart from the acoustic material the disc also contains one taste of things to come in the shape of a new track, the rather beautiful piano led ballad ‘Do You Walk With God’.   


Essential for fans and a great place to start for the curious…



by Mark Diggins