Virgin Steele Recycling:
A Lack of Imagination or an Act of Genius?
Written by Mat, January 2002
t all began about
six years ago when I made my first acquaintance with a band called Virgin
Steele. My first thoughts and reactions were to the name itself: Virgin
Steele. Associations with Iron Maiden copies and such immediately came
to mind for obvious reasons. But after being a bit reluctant for quite
a while I finally bought their at the time latest album, The Marriage
of Heaven and Hell part II. But after a month or two the album just occupied
some space in my CD-rack and didn't get any attention what so ever. I
can't really explain why I didn't even listen to it but one day I decided
to at least give the album a fair trial. I had bought it after all. So
after the first sincere hour or so of listening I (to my surprise really
but that's beside the point) began to raise a few eyebrows. It sounded
really good and I immediately pressed play on my CD-player and heard it
for a second time. After that I realized that my earlier "like"
had turned into true love.
So this album soon became the most played album in my entire collection.
hen after some
time the songs began to sound very familiar and as usual I learned the
major part of the lyrics and melodies. Nowadays Virgin Steele is one of
my absolute favorite bands and I'm a proud owner of all their albums.
So after really getting to know their sound and their music I soon discovered
a phenomenon I hadn't noticed before, nor do I know of any other band
that does the same thing to this extent. The phenomenon I'm talking about
is recycling. Now what do I mean by this? Well, Virgin Steele "recycle"
some melodies from one song and uses them in the same, or slightly changed,
version in another. If you still don't know what the heck I'm talking
about, let me give you some examples.
n the Marriage
of Heaven and Hell part II album the interlude instrumental melody after
the second chorus in the song Prometheus the Fallen One is the exact same
melody as the chorus in the following track, Emalaith. On the Marriage
part I album, the instrumental title song also occurs in the slower part
of the first track, I Will Come for You, but this time David Defeis has
added some lyrics to it:"Fair Child of the Desolation cry to me
These words (with some smaller changes) can also be found on previously
mentioned Emelaith but in this case with a faster rhythm but still the
same melody. This melody returns once again in instrumental form on the
track Resurrection Day on The House of Atreus act II album.
On act I an entire song, Child of Desolation, is based on this Marriage
theme. This song also ends exactly as the track Crown of Glory from the
Marriage part II album starts and finishes: "Bury me beside the Endless
think you get
the picture by now so I'll wrap this up with one final observation on
the issue. The instrumental interlude and ending of the track Sword of
the Gods from the Invictus album has been reused as the main theme and
melody in the song Agony and Shame on The House of Atreus act I release
and once again David Defeis has added some new words. So this brings along
the question: is this a lack of imagination or an act of genius?
ince it's David
Defeis and Virgin Steele we're talking about here, I have to say that
it's the latter part of the question that gives us the answer.
It doesn't only prove that the man's got a great feeling to what's good
and what goes with what, but it also gives a continuum and a feeling of
a continuing story that surely/hopefully will go on for a long time.
o By the Gods-
keep up the recycling and let us true and loyal fans continue to enjoy
and embrace the glory and grandeur of your work!
Mat - January 2002