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colin040
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:53 am 
 

Spoiler: show
STEAMHAMMER / SPV - News
Press Release September 18th, 2018

VIRGIN STEELE

US Metal legends VIRGIN STEELE will release "Seven Devils Moonshine" on November 23, 2018 a special 5 CD box-set for their 35th anniversary.

Founder and mastermind David DeFeis explains the whole box-set:

“Cheers, Greetings & Salutations Dear Ever Faithful Eternal Metal Listeners and Friends of the Musical Realm & Written Word Domain! I am putting pen to paper today to inform you all about what we have been doing over the past year and what this Box-Set you are now holding in your hands is all about, its backstory…how we arrived here at this place, and perhaps a bit more about where we might be heading.

As some of you may know we have been re-issuing the VIRGIN STEELE Catalogue bit by bit over the past several years, and in doing so we have consistently been adding copious amounts of Bonus Material to accompany all these various re-issue offerings. The last two albums scheduled as part of the re-issue campaign we began, are the albums: THE BOOK OF BURNING & HYMNS TO VICTORY. When those two albums first appeared they were released simultaneously, therefore we thought why not once again issue them at the exact same time, but…this time let’s include a brand new album and create a kind of Box Set package. Well…once we began planning and recording for such an endeavor we very soon accumulated far more material than what could possibly fit on one disc…so…we thought OK fine…we’ll plan on releasing two new discs chock full of new material to go along with these last two re-issues…and…shortly after that decision was made, we managed to record even more new material, so now we have in addition to the two re-issues, (which by the way do contain one bonus track each), well Friends we now have actually three brand new discs of VS material included within this special Box Set release!

I wish to stress the fact that what we have done here with our Box Set is include 3 brand new albums, not bundle in merely a collection of old bonus tracks we had hanging around for ages and ages… These 3 new discs contain either brand new original songs written and recorded within just these past few months, or brand new re-written covers of songs that we enjoy and felt could be re-cast in the VS style, or…new recordings of classic VS material done either in a special orchestral type setting or stripped way down and re-imagined in vastly different form. Again at the risk of repetition…these aren’t tracks that have been sitting around in the vaults waiting…these are all newly recorded tracks completed specifically for this particular Box Set release. I don’t know if anyone has ever done this kind of thing before, but we felt that for us it was absolutely necessary to do this, and it makes perfect sense for where we are…at this moment.

OK Friends with glass in hand as is only proper as proprietor of the Vineyard, I shall be your guide to this Netherworld and I shall discuss and try to reveal a bit of something about the “Spirit” and “Flavor” of each of the 5 Discs contained within this Epic Box Set we call: SEVEN DEVILS MOONSHINE.”

SPV / Steamhammer is proud to release this boxset on November 23rd, 2018 incl 5 CDs (a total of 88 songs) where 3 CDs contain totally new songs and new versions. The package will also include a sticker and a 24 page booklet with new lyrics and photos by David DeFeis.

TRACKLISTINGS:

CD 1 “Ghost Harvest (The Spectral Vintage Sessions)” Vintage 1 – Black Wine For Mourning
(new album)

1. SEVEN DEAD WITHIN
2. GREEN DUSK BLUES
3. PSYCHIC SLAUGHTER
4. BONEDUST (Orchestral Version)
5. HEARTS ON FIRE
6. CHILD OF THE MORNING STAR
7. MURDER IN HIGH-GLOSS RELIEF
8. FERAL
9. JUSTINE
10. PRINCESS AMY
11. WICKED GAME
Clouds Of Oblivion Medley (Tracks 12 & 13)
12. LITTLE WING
13. THE GODS DON’T REMEMBER…

CD 2 “Ghost Harvest (The Spectral Vintage Sessions)” Vintage 2 – Red Wine For Warning
(new album)

1. THE EVIL IN HER EYES (Piano & Vocal Version)
2. FEELIN’ ALRIGHT
3. SISTER MOON
Summertime Darkness Suite (Tracks 4, 5, & 6)
4. SWEATING INTO DAWN
5. SUMMERTIME
6. BLACK LEAVES SWIRL DOWN MY STREET
7. RIP OFF
The Gods Are Hungry Triptych (Tracks 8, 9, & 10)
8. THE GODS ARE HUNGRY POEM
9. THE POISONED WOUND
10. THE BIRTH OF BEAUTY
11. PROFESSION OF VIOLENCE…
12. ROCK STEADY
13. NUTSHELL
14. SLOW & EASY “INTRO”
15. JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO
Late Night Barroom Hoodoo Medley (Tracks 16, 17, 18, & 19)
16. SOUL KITCHEN
17.WHEN THE MUSIC’S OVER
18. CRAWLING KING SNAKE
19. WHEN THE MUSIC’S OVER “Reprise”
20. IMHULLU
The Drained White Suite (Tracks 21, 22, & 23)
21. AFTER DARK
22. WAKE THE DEAD
23. THE GRAVEYARD DANCE
24. THE TRIPLE GODDESS
25.TWILIGHT OF THE GODS (Live Acoustic Rehearsal Version)
26. TRANSFIGURATION (Live Acoustic Rehearsal Version)

CD 3 “Gothic Voodoo Anthems”
(new album)

1. I WILL COME FOR YOU (Orchestral Version)
2. QUEEN OF THE DEAD (Orchestral Version)
3. THE ORPHEUS TABOO (Orchestral Version)
4. KINGDOM OF THE FEARLESS (The Destruction Of Troy) (Orchestral version)
5. THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA (Orchestral Version)
6. ZEUS ASCENDANT
7. BY THE HAMMER OF ZEUS (And The Wrecking Ball Of Thor) (Orchestral Version)
The Gothic Voodoo Suite (Tracks 8, 9 & 10)
8. RUMANIAN FOLK DANCE No. 3 “PE LOC”
9. DELIRIUM “Excerpt”
10. SNAKESKIN VOODOO MAN (Orchestral Version)
11. THE ENCHANTER
The Fire & Ice Medley (Tracks 12, 13 & 14)
12. BONE CHINA
13. NO QUARTER
14. BONE CHINA “Reprise”
Passion In The French Quarter Medley (Tracks 15 & 16)
15. CHLOE DANCER
16. GENTLE GROOVE
17. DARKNESS-DARKNESS
18. DEATH LETTER BLUES
19. SPOONFUL

CD 4 “Hymns To Victory”
(re-release)

1. FLAMES OF THY POWER (From Blood They Rise)
2. THROUGH THE RING OF FIRE
3. INVICTUS
4. CROWN OF GLORY (UNSCARRED) (In Fury Mix)
5. KINGDOM OF THE FEARLESS (The Destruction Of Troy)
6. THE SPIRIT OF STEELE (Acoustic Version)
7. A SYMPHONY OF STEELE (Battle Mix)
8. THE BURNING OF ROME (Cry For Pompeii)
9. I WILL COME FOR YOU
10. DUST FROM THE BURNING & AMARANTH (Orchestral Versions) - Bonus Tracks
11. NOBLE SAVAGE (Long Lost Early Mix)
12. MISTS OF AVALON
13. EMALAITH

CD 5 “The Book Of Burning”
(re-release)

1. CONJURTION OF THE WATCHER
2. DON’T SAY GOODBYE (TONIGHT)
3. RAIN OF FIRE
4. ANNIHILATION
5. HELLFIRE WOMAN
6. CHILDREN OF THE STORM
7. THE CHOSEN ONES
8. THE SUCCUBUS
9. MINUET IN G MINOR
10. THE REDEEMER
11. I AM THE ONE
12. HOT AND WILD
13. BIRTH THROUGH FIRE
14. GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME
15. THE FINAL DAYS
16. A CRY IN THE NIGHT
17. QUEEN OF THE DEAD (Nordic Twilight Version) - Bonus Track


Image

Well shit, David DeFeis mentioned a boxset before but now there's this big thing. There's no doubt Nocturnes sucked but sure some of these new songs should be decent, right? Going by an interview I've recently found some of the new material would be a bluesy vein like a heavier Life among the Ruins and others should be more epic rocking stuff like the Marraige series. Part of me would really like to believe this band could still deliver, we'll see.

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kluseba
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:42 pm 
 

This is definitely value for money. I will check it our beforehand but probably end up buying it. The House of Atreus boxed set is also still on my list.
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agent_fist
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:46 pm 
 

I love the ambition and this level of commitment. It's almost painfully earnest and trve. It won't be good music, but is that even the point of this band?

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:40 pm 
 

I liked Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation way better than The Black Light Bacchanalia. It's really good songs are good while the bad ones are also still kinda interesting because you can't wait to hear how hilariously DeFeis will screech or moan this time, plus there was more of an Edward Pursino presence which is a great thing. Bacchanalia on the other hand was just one big boring mess.

agent_fist wrote:
I love the ambition and this level of commitment. It's almost painfully earnest and trve. It won't be good music, but is that even the point of this band?


Their ambition has always been admirable. They were always overreaching, and it paid off for them with their slew of classics. I hope they redeem themselves in their later era.

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Epicureo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:48 pm 
 

*DeFeis's screeching intensifies*
This is going to be amazing.

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colin040
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:33 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
I liked Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation way better than The Black Light Bacchanalia. It's really good songs are good while the bad ones are also still kinda interesting because you can't wait to hear how hilariously DeFeis will screech or moan this time, plus there was more of an Edward Pursino presence which is a great thing. Bacchanalia on the other hand was just one big boring mess.

agent_fist wrote:
I love the ambition and this level of commitment. It's almost painfully earnest and trve. It won't be good music, but is that even the point of this band?


Their ambition has always been admirable. They were always overreaching, and it paid off for them with their slew of classics. I hope they redeem themselves in their later era.


You must the only one I know of who preferred Nocturnes over Bacchanalia. I find the latter better because it still has some of that epic quality to it, despite not being much of a guitar-oriented album. I'd easily take the first four tracks on that release over anything on Nocturnes or even Visions (which despite DeFeis' great vocals hasn't got much to offer if you ask me.)

Some of the new material should be similar to the bonus material on Nocturnes as that Ghost Harvest stuff was mentioned before. The bonus material was actually rather good although DeFeis sounded hit or miss on those tunes; either good as he should (as in singing) or just terrible (whispering and relying on auto tune.) I guess it will be the same thing with his vocals this time.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:48 pm 
 

They have sucked for like over a decade now and the last album was truly embarrassing on like a St. Anger level for a band that used to be so good. But then again they always have cool song titles, so I'll probably end up checking a few out. Maybe they have a Hardwired-quality album in them at least, to keep the Metallica thing going.

If anything it'd at least be good if they got a really good guitar tone again - that's how low the bar is for me.
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Terri23
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:51 pm 
 

colin040 wrote:
Well shit, David DeFeis mentioned a boxset before but now there's this big thing. There's no doubt Nocturnes sucked but sure some of these new songs should be decent, right? Going by an interview I've recently found some of the new material would be a bluesy vein like a heavier Life among the Ruins and others should be more epic rocking stuff like the Marraige series. Part of me would really like to believe this band could still deliver, we'll see.


Life Among the Ruins was fucking awful. Please no.
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Aydross
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:05 pm 
 

Man I got virtually zero hope for this but I really fucking want to believe. At least the album cover is good.
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colin040
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:16 am 
 

Terri23 wrote:
colin040 wrote:
Well shit, David DeFeis mentioned a boxset before but now there's this big thing. There's no doubt Nocturnes sucked but sure some of these new songs should be decent, right? Going by an interview I've recently found some of the new material would be a bluesy vein like a heavier Life among the Ruins and others should be more epic rocking stuff like the Marraige series. Part of me would really like to believe this band could still deliver, we'll see.


Life Among the Ruins was fucking awful. Please no.


I forgot to mention that that the first disc should resemble Life Among the Ruins although it's suppose to be heavier/more gothic-y. I really doubt we'll get an album full of ''Sex Religion Machine'' and whatnot. :p

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Lord_Jotun
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:54 am 
 

If this had happened ten years ago I would be creaming my parts so hard that my balls would be drier than the Kalahari desert for weeks afterwards. After witnessing the last two albums, though, I don't really know.
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MatsBG
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:08 am 
 

Can't say I'm all that excited for this release. The "gothic blues" or whatever DeFeis calls their style nowadays doesn't work at all. Nocturnes lacked everything that made the band great, and seeing as the song titles bear a striking similarity to this new release's tracklists, I won't hold my breath.

(Still gonna buy it though...)

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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:53 pm 
 

I mean, everyone knows this is going to be a steaming pile of crap. DeFeis is a total nut at this point - I mean, he was always a bit...eccentric...but he has literally no one to keep him grounded anymore.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:15 pm 
 

Yeah I was super confused for a minute...I thought after I clicked this thread and read the first few excited comments that I had accidentally sorted the entire forum in reverse chronological order or something and had clicked a thread from 2002. My expectations for this are that it's going to be hilariously inept and awful. If it's anything better than that, it'll be a vaguely pleasant surprise?
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Element_man
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:32 pm 
 

Damn these songs titles are absolutely whack
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:23 pm 
 

Will it be 3 albums of those weird, one-of-a-kind whispered vocals he does?
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MawBTS
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:52 pm 
 

Why are the most prolific bands always the ones that nobody in their right mind wants to hear from?

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:56 pm 
 

MawBTS wrote:
Why are the most prolific bands always the ones that nobody in their right mind wants to hear from?


They put out an album like every five years; hardly prolific.
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Lord_Jotun
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:40 am 
 

Perhaps by "prolific" he was referring to VS crapping out all these discs at once? In that case he definitely has a point, as bands that put out lots of releases in very short amounts of time tend to be rather lax when it comes to quality control.
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colin040
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:34 am 
 

Both you and Oblarg seem to be correct. In an interview with metal kaoz, pointed below DeFeis claimed this boxset was suppose to come out 6 months ago, but the thing got delayed and he kept on writing songs instead. What I find rather strange is how plenty of this boxset material was done the last couple of months and weeks from what I've heard. You'd think that a band that has been ''working on several albums at once '' as DeFeis claimed would include one of those in the new disc but there's no mention of that.

Spoiler: show
Hello, this is Dimitris from METAL KAOZ, calling for David.
Hi Dimitris, this is David speaking. Good morning!

Good morning to you too, how’s the weather in New York?
Very hot at the moment.


Well, here it is raining cats and dogs.
This is the end of the world... (laughs)


No, we have a lot to discuss… (laughs). And one of those subjects is the release of the two VIRGIN STEELE albums. First of all, how much work did you put on these?
Quite a bit of work; there is always work when you do any kind of reissues. There is the remastering of the original songs and then there is all the bonus material; and you have to go through a lot to choose what to use. I had a list for 30 different pieces of music to choose from, and I had to reduce that to what would fit because I did not want to do an extra bonus disc. I want this to fit into the original recording something I was lucky to be able to do.

You said that you did the remastering, does this mean that you have the original tapes?
Of course, I have everything.


Great! I know that you like to work a lot so did you put some kind of limitations upon yourself to sort of plan how much time you will invest on this?
I never put limits on anything. I tried to max it out to the best of my ability. But you know, you are satisfied to a point but if there is another or maybe two weeks I would be still working on it. And this is what I am doing right now for the other box set which will be coming out in November. So, it is endless and it never ends because there are so many possibilities, you know, I could try this or that, use this compressor, that limiter… it goes on and on. And you are always learning in the process.

Well, I was asking because those two albums were released back in the '80s and you might not want to mess with the atmosphere of the original…
You don’t mess with the atmosphere of the album and you want to maintain the integrity of the original project or whatever it was. All you are trying to do is to make it sonically a little bit more clearer or whatever along the way. But yeah, you can definitely overdo it, but I don’t think anything was overdone on that stuff. I did the remixes in some cases because the condition of the original recordings and tapes was not always the best and you have to transfer everything to digital format to work on it. Before doing so, the tapes had to be baked; I don’t know if you are familiar with that.

I have no idea what this process is.
When the tapes sit around for a while, moisture gets in and you have to put them in a convection oven which kind of cooks them (laughs) and then you can play them. Because if you play them without doing this, all the emulsion of the tape will come out in the head and you will be left with nothing. So, you have to bake it, so the surface of the tape will remain stuck and it won’t come off as you’re playing this.


Does this process wear out the tapes?
Yes, it does and this is why you have to bake them and immediately transfer them to a digital format to work. You cannot keep working with the original tapes because in the end they will fall apart. It is beautiful that you can do this because you can leave tapes sitting around for 30 years and then bake them and be able to play them again.


I guess this is due to the carbon on the tapes that absorbs moisture, right?
Exactly!


Cool, I learned something new today. So, the distribution of these re-releases will be done exclusively through No Remorse Records? I mean, how can we get the vinyls here in the US?
You'll have to order directly from them. It is a very limited situation. I was not seeking to put these records out again, so they approached me, made a nice offer and were nice, so I went with it. This was not in my radar to do in this moment in time when I am so busy with everything else. So yeah, it has to be ordered through them. I guess, if it goes really well - which seems to be doing already - they may get some distribution deal for the US.


Good to know. When you were working on the re-releases, what were the memories that came to mind from the days you were recording the first VIRGIN STEELE album?
I have very clear and vivid memories of us in the studio and of our time together. The band as it was then, the friendship, the going out to the clubs every night, I was always going out one or two of the guys and, you know, seeing other bands, doing shows together and all the things people do when they are in a band and you like each other. Those were great and magical days; we were so young at the time and being in the studio was a first-time experience for us. I was briefly in the studio before that but it was nothing that monumental. To sit there and think that you are able to do what the ZEPPELIN guys were doing felt very exciting. And we did it live in the studio for the most part with a few overdubs for the first album and it was just after being together as a band for three weeks and we put the whole thing together so quickly... It was a whirlwind, you know. We had rehearsed for three weeks and after that we were recording a record; it was so fast.

You know this better than me, that back in those days the recording sessions lasted some weeks because there was no budget at all to spend and you had to go in, record and get out.
Yeah, there was no real budget and we paid everything on our own, so this was exactly the deal; go in and do it as fast as we could. But you know the songs kind of led us to that sort of approach; I had the keyboards in the same room with the drums, the bass and the guitars and basically, we were in the same room all together. Sure, there was some isolation but for the most part we were looking at each other.


Were you at all tempted to re-record any of the songs?
No, we did that a little bit with the “Book Of Burning” but I did not want to go in there. Let those versions speak for themselves and be that. I am so busy with new music and other things and as I said this was not in my radar at that point in time.


Have you depleted all of your archives by putting the bonus material on the two re-releases?
No, I still have live stuff; from the ‘House Of Atreus’ tour I have almost 30 performances / concert takes so I can go through that stuff and do a whole box set if I wanted to. There are other things around as well but what we are doing now is actually putting out – I don’t know if anyone is going to understand this but I hope they will – a boxset in November. It will have the last two reissues; “The Book Of Burning” and “Hymns To Victory” and then it will have three new albums which will have new music and not shit that has sitting in the vault forever – you know – waiting for its chance to come out. It is all new stuff that I have been recording over the last few months.


The last few months you said?
Yes, so everything is very new.


I wanted to ask you about this, since I read about it in a Facebook posting; first of all, why did you choose to put out three new albums all at once?
Because we are crazy and because they are all different. We wanted to do something special because this will be a boxset. I mean, I believe that if you want to do a boxset, then you have to go deep, rare and stay off the beaten tracks, short of speak, and do different things. One of the records, will feature stripped down live sort of orchestral version of some VIRGIN STEELE songs, like “Kingdom Of The Fearless (The Destruction Of Troy)”, “The Orpheus Taboo”, “By The Hammer Of Zeus”, where the piano and the vocals were done live. For some of the tracks I went back in the studio and added some orchestrations, like maybe some cello other percussion but the initial spark of it is totally live and since some of it is stripped down piano versions you can hear me talking back and forth and also the feedback because it was loud as I was singing through a PA. We recorded this in every part of my house. And then, there are some rewritten “strange” covers like a Robert Plant track called “The Enchanter”; there is a bunch of strange stuff in there. It starts off in a total barbaric/romantic vein with “I Will Come For You” and then goes into a deep Voodoo / South with Blues stuff by the end of the record; it is really cool one. The other two records will be with normal instrumentation (guitars, base, drums); the one is called “Ghost Harvest Vintage One, Black Wine For Mourning” and the second “Ghost Harvest Vintage Two, Red Wine For Warning” and this will be the most esoteric of the two. The first one has some stuff that I recorded over the last two or three weeks; it is very fresh so we are talking about brand new VIRGIN STEELE songs with two bizarre covers. And the other record has a little bit of everything; some stripped down but not exactly acoustic versions of some things, some brand new material like this crazy ass thing called “The Triple Goddess” and it’s got a couple of weird covers that are very heavy and rewritten as well. Each of those discs is almost 80 minutes so there is a lot of material in there; I think there are 88 pieces of music in the whole thing.


Indeed, this is quite a lot. Will this make it on vinyl?
I believe SPV will do some vinyl, but right now it will first come out as a five-disc boxset and then at some moment later on it will be on vinyl, I think. The pressing plants take forever to do the vinyls because they are backed up, so the discs will be coming out first.


I cannot imagine how many vinyl records are we talking about; the five discs will turn into…
Oh forget it, it is going to be ridiculous because one 80-minute record is at least four sides and that is two vinyl records.


And you don’t want to degrade the music by cramming up the music in one vinyl…
No, you cannot do that because the needle would not be able to play it (laughs). It can only be like 20 minutes per side. In the old days, VAN HALEN record was 13-15 minutes per side and it sounded heavier and fatter because the grooves were wider. If you cut the grooves thinner the music loses all its “bottom”.

Absolutely. Is there a theme connecting the three records together?
There is a connecting thread of sorts; it might not be obvious but if you look at the lyrics you will get this. A lot of the lyrics are about personal stuff and stuff I have been gone through the years, it is a very dark. There is a track there called “Seven Dead Within” which opens the first disc that is very Bluesy or it is better to describe this as Gothic Voodoo Blues. In fact, one of the records is called “Gothic Voodoo Anthems”. Have you watched the movie “Angel Heart” with Mickey Rourke?


Yes, I have.
So, it is like living inside that guy’s head, in that movie. It is very dark and there is some kind of Voodoo shit going on.


I guess the Devil is somewhere, right?
Yeah, the whole boxset is called “Seven Devils’ Moonshine”. The full title of the “Ghost Harvest” records is: “The Spectral Vintage Sessions: Vintage One Black Wine For Mourning” that’s disc 1; that’s a mouthful but once you’ll the boxset you will understand what is going on. There is the idea of the three which is supposed to be the perfect number, like a man, a woman, a child kind of thing, and there is the idea of spirits; the spirits that you drink and of course ghosts and that kind. There is a thread that connects it all; it may not be obvious or it may be obvious, I dunno. But it’s there. It’s not a concept album like “The House Of Atreus” but there is definitely a thread.


So, will you be making any videos to promote this?
Yes; I want to do, first of all, something like a movie trailer that may be like 2-3 minutes long to kind of show a little bit about of what’s going on in the boxset and then as the weeks will go on unleash a full song here and there, for sure.


And how long have you been working on this boxset? I know it may be impossible to answer that question…
It all started sometime last year. And I thought I was done because I thought that we’re gonna issue it six months ago but then it got pushed further so every time it got pushed further, what did I do? I wrote more songs and add it to it. So now it is what it is. Originally it was gonna be one disc, then it was two discs; now it’s three.


So, I have to ask; what are your thoughts of getting VIRGIN STEELE on the road? More specifically, is there any chance to see VIRGIN STEELE in the US live?
Yes, I want to do it and it’s a matter of corralling the other guys and getting it all going. What we’re thinking about doing possibly is going out with the album that is more of a stripped down very Gothic / Heavy thing– it’s not like it’s going to be violins on stage with us, but something along those lines. I want to try this because I have done this in a few shows in New York and it worked out really well. So I’m kind of excited to at least try for a little while before going back to the usual barrage of stuff that we’re usually doing on stage.


I cannot imagine how you’ll set up a setlist right now with all the material that you have.
Well, you know, a lot of what that album is, is the setlist with us doing that stuff. And I explain this in the liner notes. We just kind of went in and recorded it in two or three days what the set will be and this is what came out. So it’s pretty true to what we do onstage.


Awesome! One last question; have you ever been approached to play an entire album live?
Oh yes, several times. We decided not to do that in any point of time. I feel like people are expecting to create a note-for-note a rendition of the album, and I’m like “just put the record on”. Because when we go out live we change stuff, some songs are longer or sometimes we make a medley of several songs to fit a lot of stuff in there, so it’s never being high in my list to do but I would never write a note and say “no, never”. You know, it could happen.

I totally agree because I like to see a band live when it’s producing new music and not just performing the old material.
Yeah, I agree; you’ve got to keep things moving forward and that’s the reason why we did what we did. There’s quite of new material to satisfy people who want that and there are a lot of people who were asking over the years for some kind of stripped down live, orchestral type of thing, and then, there are some who like weird covers we’ve done as bonus material, like the Neil Young song “Down By The River” or whatever else we did. I dunno if you know the composer George Gershwin from the 1920s era of America?

No.
He did “Porgy And Bess”, “Rhapsody In Blue” – it’s very Jazzy, Bluesy stuff. So, there’s even a piece by him on there that I wrote songs around, so it gets very into the Blues in a hallucinogenic / lysergic way if you will. Some people might not get the more esoteric Left Hand Path tracks but hey, this is where we are at the moment. It’s real, it’s honest; we’re not trying to pretend that it’s 1985. We are doing what we are doing right now. But there is enough heavy stuff, believe me. Even though I say acoustic, there is some fucking heavy songs; we do a version of “The Black Light Bacchanalia” which is much heavier than the version we recorded for the album. What is really cool about doing stuff from that record [“The Black Light Bacchanalia”],is that when we were working on that, I never really got familiar about how I was gonna approach it vocally; now I’m living with it and I think the vocals are much better on the live version we did than on the version on the record. So, it’s really kind of neat to jump into that zone; but I digress. Anyway, I was saying that there is some ridiculously heavy stuff there; the other day, I had the guitar player Tommy Vitaly in my house and I played him that record and he flipped out, he loved it. He’s totally got it.

I’m afraid to ask, but I will; do you have anything else planned?
Yeah, absolutely, I was getting to that (laughs). So, the boxset is coming out in November and it’s gonna be like a huge weight off of my shoulders because I wanted to put that kind of stuff out for a while. So, release that, take a few days off and then I dive into what we have already started writing, recording what would be the next two albums for the next and probably the year after that; one is a full-on concept record in the Greeks “House Of Atreus” type mode. The keyboards and all the guitars are done already and I’ve started doing the vocals, and then we have to do drums and whatnot – we always used to do the drums last when we do this kind of records. And then for the other record, in lack of better words, is already a double album and probably very autumnal-sounding, dark and mysterious, so that part will come out the year after or it may all come out next year, I dunno. It’s a hell of a lot of stuff we’ve been recording all the time and what happens sometimes is I burn the guys out; I’m in the studio like every day and I’m constantly doing something. But sometimes Edward [Pursino] gets burned out and I’m doing stuff without him (laughs) and some of the tracks don’t even have a guitar – they’re just full-on orchestration – and that’s to give him a break.

[interrupting] And you’re saying to him “don’t worry, take some time off, I’ll write an album in the meantime”…
(laughs) That’s what happened! All the stuff I’m talking about – and there is stuff I didn’t use, there’s tons of material – I went crazy like two months ago and wrote like another record. And there’s a lot of material we’ve not even yet approached.

Ok, David, I’ll try to digest everything you said, it sounds amazing! I’m super-excited about the upcoming VIRGIN STEELE releases and everything you’re preparing, and hopefully we’ll see you live in Chicago, because we miss you, guys.
I think our booking agent called me yesterday and told me about a show in Chicago next year, so I think something’s in the works. Thank you, Dimitris, you rule the night!


The fact that the The Black Light Bacchanalia live stuff would be different vocally could mean either two things:
1: Vocally this will be good again
or
2: The autotune will strike back. :(

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MatsBG
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:02 am
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:23 pm 
 

colin040 wrote:
Both you and Oblarg seem to be correct. In an interview with metal kaoz, pointed below DeFeis claimed this boxset was suppose to come out 6 months ago, but the thing got delayed and he kept on writing songs instead. What I find rather strange is how plenty of this boxset material was done the last couple of months and weeks from what I've heard. You'd think that a band that has been ''working on several albums at once '' as DeFeis claimed would include one of those in the new disc but there's no mention of that.

Spoiler: show
Hello, this is Dimitris from METAL KAOZ, calling for David.
Hi Dimitris, this is David speaking. Good morning!

Good morning to you too, how’s the weather in New York?
Very hot at the moment.


Well, here it is raining cats and dogs.
This is the end of the world... (laughs)


No, we have a lot to discuss… (laughs). And one of those subjects is the release of the two VIRGIN STEELE albums. First of all, how much work did you put on these?
Quite a bit of work; there is always work when you do any kind of reissues. There is the remastering of the original songs and then there is all the bonus material; and you have to go through a lot to choose what to use. I had a list for 30 different pieces of music to choose from, and I had to reduce that to what would fit because I did not want to do an extra bonus disc. I want this to fit into the original recording something I was lucky to be able to do.

You said that you did the remastering, does this mean that you have the original tapes?
Of course, I have everything.


Great! I know that you like to work a lot so did you put some kind of limitations upon yourself to sort of plan how much time you will invest on this?
I never put limits on anything. I tried to max it out to the best of my ability. But you know, you are satisfied to a point but if there is another or maybe two weeks I would be still working on it. And this is what I am doing right now for the other box set which will be coming out in November. So, it is endless and it never ends because there are so many possibilities, you know, I could try this or that, use this compressor, that limiter… it goes on and on. And you are always learning in the process.

Well, I was asking because those two albums were released back in the '80s and you might not want to mess with the atmosphere of the original…
You don’t mess with the atmosphere of the album and you want to maintain the integrity of the original project or whatever it was. All you are trying to do is to make it sonically a little bit more clearer or whatever along the way. But yeah, you can definitely overdo it, but I don’t think anything was overdone on that stuff. I did the remixes in some cases because the condition of the original recordings and tapes was not always the best and you have to transfer everything to digital format to work on it. Before doing so, the tapes had to be baked; I don’t know if you are familiar with that.

I have no idea what this process is.
When the tapes sit around for a while, moisture gets in and you have to put them in a convection oven which kind of cooks them (laughs) and then you can play them. Because if you play them without doing this, all the emulsion of the tape will come out in the head and you will be left with nothing. So, you have to bake it, so the surface of the tape will remain stuck and it won’t come off as you’re playing this.


Does this process wear out the tapes?
Yes, it does and this is why you have to bake them and immediately transfer them to a digital format to work. You cannot keep working with the original tapes because in the end they will fall apart. It is beautiful that you can do this because you can leave tapes sitting around for 30 years and then bake them and be able to play them again.


I guess this is due to the carbon on the tapes that absorbs moisture, right?
Exactly!


Cool, I learned something new today. So, the distribution of these re-releases will be done exclusively through No Remorse Records? I mean, how can we get the vinyls here in the US?
You'll have to order directly from them. It is a very limited situation. I was not seeking to put these records out again, so they approached me, made a nice offer and were nice, so I went with it. This was not in my radar to do in this moment in time when I am so busy with everything else. So yeah, it has to be ordered through them. I guess, if it goes really well - which seems to be doing already - they may get some distribution deal for the US.


Good to know. When you were working on the re-releases, what were the memories that came to mind from the days you were recording the first VIRGIN STEELE album?
I have very clear and vivid memories of us in the studio and of our time together. The band as it was then, the friendship, the going out to the clubs every night, I was always going out one or two of the guys and, you know, seeing other bands, doing shows together and all the things people do when they are in a band and you like each other. Those were great and magical days; we were so young at the time and being in the studio was a first-time experience for us. I was briefly in the studio before that but it was nothing that monumental. To sit there and think that you are able to do what the ZEPPELIN guys were doing felt very exciting. And we did it live in the studio for the most part with a few overdubs for the first album and it was just after being together as a band for three weeks and we put the whole thing together so quickly... It was a whirlwind, you know. We had rehearsed for three weeks and after that we were recording a record; it was so fast.

You know this better than me, that back in those days the recording sessions lasted some weeks because there was no budget at all to spend and you had to go in, record and get out.
Yeah, there was no real budget and we paid everything on our own, so this was exactly the deal; go in and do it as fast as we could. But you know the songs kind of led us to that sort of approach; I had the keyboards in the same room with the drums, the bass and the guitars and basically, we were in the same room all together. Sure, there was some isolation but for the most part we were looking at each other.


Were you at all tempted to re-record any of the songs?
No, we did that a little bit with the “Book Of Burning” but I did not want to go in there. Let those versions speak for themselves and be that. I am so busy with new music and other things and as I said this was not in my radar at that point in time.


Have you depleted all of your archives by putting the bonus material on the two re-releases?
No, I still have live stuff; from the ‘House Of Atreus’ tour I have almost 30 performances / concert takes so I can go through that stuff and do a whole box set if I wanted to. There are other things around as well but what we are doing now is actually putting out – I don’t know if anyone is going to understand this but I hope they will – a boxset in November. It will have the last two reissues; “The Book Of Burning” and “Hymns To Victory” and then it will have three new albums which will have new music and not shit that has sitting in the vault forever – you know – waiting for its chance to come out. It is all new stuff that I have been recording over the last few months.


The last few months you said?
Yes, so everything is very new.


I wanted to ask you about this, since I read about it in a Facebook posting; first of all, why did you choose to put out three new albums all at once?
Because we are crazy and because they are all different. We wanted to do something special because this will be a boxset. I mean, I believe that if you want to do a boxset, then you have to go deep, rare and stay off the beaten tracks, short of speak, and do different things. One of the records, will feature stripped down live sort of orchestral version of some VIRGIN STEELE songs, like “Kingdom Of The Fearless (The Destruction Of Troy)”, “The Orpheus Taboo”, “By The Hammer Of Zeus”, where the piano and the vocals were done live. For some of the tracks I went back in the studio and added some orchestrations, like maybe some cello other percussion but the initial spark of it is totally live and since some of it is stripped down piano versions you can hear me talking back and forth and also the feedback because it was loud as I was singing through a PA. We recorded this in every part of my house. And then, there are some rewritten “strange” covers like a Robert Plant track called “The Enchanter”; there is a bunch of strange stuff in there. It starts off in a total barbaric/romantic vein with “I Will Come For You” and then goes into a deep Voodoo / South with Blues stuff by the end of the record; it is really cool one. The other two records will be with normal instrumentation (guitars, base, drums); the one is called “Ghost Harvest Vintage One, Black Wine For Mourning” and the second “Ghost Harvest Vintage Two, Red Wine For Warning” and this will be the most esoteric of the two. The first one has some stuff that I recorded over the last two or three weeks; it is very fresh so we are talking about brand new VIRGIN STEELE songs with two bizarre covers. And the other record has a little bit of everything; some stripped down but not exactly acoustic versions of some things, some brand new material like this crazy ass thing called “The Triple Goddess” and it’s got a couple of weird covers that are very heavy and rewritten as well. Each of those discs is almost 80 minutes so there is a lot of material in there; I think there are 88 pieces of music in the whole thing.


Indeed, this is quite a lot. Will this make it on vinyl?
I believe SPV will do some vinyl, but right now it will first come out as a five-disc boxset and then at some moment later on it will be on vinyl, I think. The pressing plants take forever to do the vinyls because they are backed up, so the discs will be coming out first.


I cannot imagine how many vinyl records are we talking about; the five discs will turn into…
Oh forget it, it is going to be ridiculous because one 80-minute record is at least four sides and that is two vinyl records.


And you don’t want to degrade the music by cramming up the music in one vinyl…
No, you cannot do that because the needle would not be able to play it (laughs). It can only be like 20 minutes per side. In the old days, VAN HALEN record was 13-15 minutes per side and it sounded heavier and fatter because the grooves were wider. If you cut the grooves thinner the music loses all its “bottom”.

Absolutely. Is there a theme connecting the three records together?
There is a connecting thread of sorts; it might not be obvious but if you look at the lyrics you will get this. A lot of the lyrics are about personal stuff and stuff I have been gone through the years, it is a very dark. There is a track there called “Seven Dead Within” which opens the first disc that is very Bluesy or it is better to describe this as Gothic Voodoo Blues. In fact, one of the records is called “Gothic Voodoo Anthems”. Have you watched the movie “Angel Heart” with Mickey Rourke?


Yes, I have.
So, it is like living inside that guy’s head, in that movie. It is very dark and there is some kind of Voodoo shit going on.


I guess the Devil is somewhere, right?
Yeah, the whole boxset is called “Seven Devils’ Moonshine”. The full title of the “Ghost Harvest” records is: “The Spectral Vintage Sessions: Vintage One Black Wine For Mourning” that’s disc 1; that’s a mouthful but once you’ll the boxset you will understand what is going on. There is the idea of the three which is supposed to be the perfect number, like a man, a woman, a child kind of thing, and there is the idea of spirits; the spirits that you drink and of course ghosts and that kind. There is a thread that connects it all; it may not be obvious or it may be obvious, I dunno. But it’s there. It’s not a concept album like “The House Of Atreus” but there is definitely a thread.


So, will you be making any videos to promote this?
Yes; I want to do, first of all, something like a movie trailer that may be like 2-3 minutes long to kind of show a little bit about of what’s going on in the boxset and then as the weeks will go on unleash a full song here and there, for sure.


And how long have you been working on this boxset? I know it may be impossible to answer that question…
It all started sometime last year. And I thought I was done because I thought that we’re gonna issue it six months ago but then it got pushed further so every time it got pushed further, what did I do? I wrote more songs and add it to it. So now it is what it is. Originally it was gonna be one disc, then it was two discs; now it’s three.


So, I have to ask; what are your thoughts of getting VIRGIN STEELE on the road? More specifically, is there any chance to see VIRGIN STEELE in the US live?
Yes, I want to do it and it’s a matter of corralling the other guys and getting it all going. What we’re thinking about doing possibly is going out with the album that is more of a stripped down very Gothic / Heavy thing– it’s not like it’s going to be violins on stage with us, but something along those lines. I want to try this because I have done this in a few shows in New York and it worked out really well. So I’m kind of excited to at least try for a little while before going back to the usual barrage of stuff that we’re usually doing on stage.


I cannot imagine how you’ll set up a setlist right now with all the material that you have.
Well, you know, a lot of what that album is, is the setlist with us doing that stuff. And I explain this in the liner notes. We just kind of went in and recorded it in two or three days what the set will be and this is what came out. So it’s pretty true to what we do onstage.


Awesome! One last question; have you ever been approached to play an entire album live?
Oh yes, several times. We decided not to do that in any point of time. I feel like people are expecting to create a note-for-note a rendition of the album, and I’m like “just put the record on”. Because when we go out live we change stuff, some songs are longer or sometimes we make a medley of several songs to fit a lot of stuff in there, so it’s never being high in my list to do but I would never write a note and say “no, never”. You know, it could happen.

I totally agree because I like to see a band live when it’s producing new music and not just performing the old material.
Yeah, I agree; you’ve got to keep things moving forward and that’s the reason why we did what we did. There’s quite of new material to satisfy people who want that and there are a lot of people who were asking over the years for some kind of stripped down live, orchestral type of thing, and then, there are some who like weird covers we’ve done as bonus material, like the Neil Young song “Down By The River” or whatever else we did. I dunno if you know the composer George Gershwin from the 1920s era of America?

No.
He did “Porgy And Bess”, “Rhapsody In Blue” – it’s very Jazzy, Bluesy stuff. So, there’s even a piece by him on there that I wrote songs around, so it gets very into the Blues in a hallucinogenic / lysergic way if you will. Some people might not get the more esoteric Left Hand Path tracks but hey, this is where we are at the moment. It’s real, it’s honest; we’re not trying to pretend that it’s 1985. We are doing what we are doing right now. But there is enough heavy stuff, believe me. Even though I say acoustic, there is some fucking heavy songs; we do a version of “The Black Light Bacchanalia” which is much heavier than the version we recorded for the album. What is really cool about doing stuff from that record [“The Black Light Bacchanalia”],is that when we were working on that, I never really got familiar about how I was gonna approach it vocally; now I’m living with it and I think the vocals are much better on the live version we did than on the version on the record. So, it’s really kind of neat to jump into that zone; but I digress. Anyway, I was saying that there is some ridiculously heavy stuff there; the other day, I had the guitar player Tommy Vitaly in my house and I played him that record and he flipped out, he loved it. He’s totally got it.

I’m afraid to ask, but I will; do you have anything else planned?
Yeah, absolutely, I was getting to that (laughs). So, the boxset is coming out in November and it’s gonna be like a huge weight off of my shoulders because I wanted to put that kind of stuff out for a while. So, release that, take a few days off and then I dive into what we have already started writing, recording what would be the next two albums for the next and probably the year after that; one is a full-on concept record in the Greeks “House Of Atreus” type mode. The keyboards and all the guitars are done already and I’ve started doing the vocals, and then we have to do drums and whatnot – we always used to do the drums last when we do this kind of records. And then for the other record, in lack of better words, is already a double album and probably very autumnal-sounding, dark and mysterious, so that part will come out the year after or it may all come out next year, I dunno. It’s a hell of a lot of stuff we’ve been recording all the time and what happens sometimes is I burn the guys out; I’m in the studio like every day and I’m constantly doing something. But sometimes Edward [Pursino] gets burned out and I’m doing stuff without him (laughs) and some of the tracks don’t even have a guitar – they’re just full-on orchestration – and that’s to give him a break.

[interrupting] And you’re saying to him “don’t worry, take some time off, I’ll write an album in the meantime”…
(laughs) That’s what happened! All the stuff I’m talking about – and there is stuff I didn’t use, there’s tons of material – I went crazy like two months ago and wrote like another record. And there’s a lot of material we’ve not even yet approached.

Ok, David, I’ll try to digest everything you said, it sounds amazing! I’m super-excited about the upcoming VIRGIN STEELE releases and everything you’re preparing, and hopefully we’ll see you live in Chicago, because we miss you, guys.
I think our booking agent called me yesterday and told me about a show in Chicago next year, so I think something’s in the works. Thank you, Dimitris, you rule the night!


The fact that the The Black Light Bacchanalia live stuff would be different vocally could mean either two things:
1: Vocally this will be good again
or
2: The autotune will strike back. :(


DeFeis is already working on two new studio albums?! :crash:

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colin040
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:10 pm 
 

They (or just DeFeis himself, we don't know nowadays) have been the last couple of years apparently. First the Ghost Harvest disc was suppose to be a bonus disc for the Invictus reissue and that ''Atreus concept'' thing was suppose to be the next studio album to be released. Both things changed and instead we got an acoustic bonus disc and Nocturnes of Hellfire and Damnation instead.

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MatsBG
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:02 am
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:10 pm 
 

colin040 wrote:
They (or just DeFeis himself, we don't know nowadays) have been the last couple of years apparently. First the Ghost Harvest disc was suppose to be a bonus disc for the Invictus reissue and that ''Atreus concept'' thing was suppose to be the next studio album to be released. Both things changed and instead we got an acoustic bonus disc and Nocturnes of Hellfire and Damnation instead.


That's insane! To take that many detours in releasing new material!
But now that you mention it, there is definitely something familiar with the name Ghost Harvest. It's from an interview on their website, right?

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:16 am 
 

I have to say, reading that interview makes me hope I'll like the stuff - that kind of excitement from an artist is contagious.
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:32 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I have to say, reading that interview makes me hope I'll like the stuff - that kind of excitement from an artist is contagious.


DeFeis always genuinely thinks that what he's doing is brilliant innovation on the bold frontier of musical exploration. I think it's foolish to let it influence our expectations of the results at this point.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:58 am 
 

Lord_Jotun wrote:
Perhaps by "prolific" he was referring to VS crapping out all these discs at once? In that case he definitely has a point, as bands that put out lots of releases in very short amounts of time tend to be rather lax when it comes to quality control.


Overkill
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colin040
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:54 am 
 

No samples/new song online yet, but the cover artworks are...and if you ask me, they look pretty sweet.

Image

Image

Image

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Lord_Jotun
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:07 am 
 

I like the concepts, but the execution seems to be a bit lacking. I can't put my finger on why exactly; I feel like the atmosphere is right, but something is missing.
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Lionel Fauquier
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:35 pm 
 

Yeah I'm not a big fan of VS's newer material either , which puts me in the ambivalent camp as well . This whole three new albums thing is definitely unusual as well so I donno . :???:


I'll definitely try to give a trial listen before I buy .

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BeholdtheNicktopus
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:40 pm 
 

Virgin Steele are one of my favorite bands... they released 5 sequential albums that I consider the pinnacle of heavy metal... but oh my god, what the fuck is going on??? Thinking about how far the mighty have fallen gives me quite the dysphoria.

Just goes to show that music is magic or knack more than it is a science.

I'm going to go listen to "Kingdom of the Fearless (The Destruction of Troy)" on loop and try to forget that this is happening...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:19 am 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
Lord_Jotun wrote:
Perhaps by "prolific" he was referring to VS crapping out all these discs at once? In that case he definitely has a point, as bands that put out lots of releases in very short amounts of time tend to be rather lax when it comes to quality control.


Overkill


You're right, Overkill do have poor quality control.
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TrooperOfSteel
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 17
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:47 am 
 

I was able to have a listen to the 3 new albums last night. I wasn't impressed in the slightest. They sound more like a lounge band nowdays, the heavy and power have pretty much disappeared...

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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
Posts: 5553
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:49 pm 
 

Found a review online on http://www.metal-observer.com/3.o/revie ... moonshine/. Apparently this shit scored a 0 out of 10. :lol: Looks like we're in for another disaster now eh.

Spoiler: show
Taking the wrecking ball to a legend







There are bands that build up a legendary status and run with it, some call it quits while people are still sad about that happening and then there are some that try to continue on and completely ruin everything that they had once stood for. Enter David DeFeis and Virgin Steele. The New Yorkers ascended into the highest echelons of symphonic and theatrical power metal with albums such as Noble Savage or the outstanding duologies of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and The House of Atreus before starting to dip with The Black Light Bacchanalia and then going for an absolute crash landing with Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation, shedding much of the qualities that had once made them one of the hottest acts and especially in the vocal department showing at times cringeworthy performances. So when Seven Devils Moonshine was announced as a 5-CD box with three (!) full albums of new material, it felt more like a threat than a promise.



The two last CDs are re-issues of Hymns to Victory and The Book of Burning, in line with the recent re-releases of the band’s back catalogue, so the review will focus on the other three albums totaling to almost four hours of music and the last time a band tried something as ambitious as this, it backfired completely (see Therion’s three-hour snoozefest Beloved Antichrist). And DeFeis continues to actively not just chisel away on his legend status, but he has now resorted to the wrecking ball approach, because where Nocturnes already was bad, Seven Devils Moonshine reaches a new nadir for Virgin Steele.



Dave DeFeis has always been known for a very theatrical approach to singing, with a strong falsetto, some growls (not death metal like growls, more something feral, in line with his nick name “lion”), but always with great control and working with the song, but from opener “Seven Dead Within” on it already becomes clear that the alarming tendency of the previous album continues with DeFeis’ voice being all over the place, switching from a warbling “normal” tone to wailing highs and weak growls, but without the flow or power he used to master. The fact that the song underneath is boring does not help matters, neither does the production that puts the vocals fully centre and to the fore, while the guitars suffer greatly. Both Nocturnes and now this set actually make one wonder what happened with Ed Pursino as well, since his playing is greatly subdued, feels uninspired and makes one wonder what is role within Virgin Steele is these days.



Now this sounds very doom and gloom, but unfortunately it is not just a bad start to the album, but the one that sets the pace for the following hours and confirms that Nocturnes has not been a one off dud. There are a few “orchestral versions” to be found here and they sound cheap and badly done, like “Bonedust”, where there is no structure, no real build and at times he almost sounds like he is singing backwards, because he is completely unintelligible.



Everything sounds bloodless and blah, there is no dramatic moments, no soaring choruses, no outstanding melodies, it just blubbers past and even when the tempo goes up a bit, there is no power, no conviction. A good example for this lack of energy and spark is “Feral”, ten minutes long, with the same tempo through and through, lacklustre vocals (some of the high pitched yelps are just cringeworthy), a noodled guitar solo that doesn’t match the rest of the song, if this is feral, I don’t want to see their definition of a house cat. The duo of “Julienne” and “Princess Amy” is among the most vapid ballad-like material of recent times and the horrendous cover version of Chris Isaac’s “Wicked Game” is an abomination even on this trip through the haunted castle, even more so as it is stretched beyond belief to over 9 (!) minutes. Add to that that the following two songs almost seamlessly pick up where it left off, making it feel like an even longer torture.



And all this was just the first album! The second one…well, if the listener’s ears have not caved in yet, they will try to find a way to seal themselves, because the piano and vocal version of “The Evil in Her Eyes” (original off Noble Savage) has some horribly shrieky vocals that are interspersed with forced sounding growls, efficiently killing an originally great song. But what follows ranges somewhere between seedy bar music and mediocre as best rock, since there is not an ounce of metal to be found on this trainwreck, the song title of “Rip Off” will probably be quoted a lot, when people buy this set without hearing anything first.



The hits just keep coming, like with “Jesus Just Left Chicago” (with this weird “Chicowgow” pronunciation), which feels like DeFeis try to bring in the bar/blues feel, but falls flat with his odd phrasings and total lack of flow, continuing to drag into “Soul Kitchen” and the following tracks which all seamlessly blend into each other (and make one wonder why they were separated into different tracks to begin with) and despite their respective short duration drag on and on, even featuring a reprise of “When the Music’s Over” (which is only a mean tease, since there still is plenty to follow). And “The Triple Goddess”… After almost three minutes of pressed sounding narration it morphs into a pseudo-symphonic song with random-seeming choir before bringing in female vocalization and then finally going somewhat orchestral, but without rhyme, reason or cohesion. It is telling, if live acoustic versions of older songs (in this case “Twilight of the Gods” and “Transfiguration” off The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Part II) are the highlights of this set, where even DeFeis still sounds like he used to.



Then on to disc three and a whole bunch of “orchestral versions” and this is where things go from really bad to even worse, starting off with the complete destruction of the originally dynamic and dramatic “I Will Come For You”, which has been stripped of everything (including quality) but piano, cheap orchestral sounding keyboards and DeFeis cringeworthy vocal performance, where he sings, yelps, growls and shrieks his way through the song, practically murdering what once had been a great song. Or “Kingdom of the Fearless” off The House of Atreus Act I, which is another abominable piece of musical homicide, killed by cheap symphonics, horrible vocals and everything dragging on from the beginning on.



And to be clear, ‘orchestral version’ does not mean to just go only vocals and piano. It would require some actual “orchestral” elements, which the majority of these versions here does not have. But that is just a minor gripe in comparison to the rest. Mother Love Bone’s “Bone China” is not sacred either, a rare cover of this song, but it falls in line with the rest of the album, unfortunately, since the vast majority of this disc sounds almost the same, one way or another, be it Led Zeppelin, the three Mother Love Bone covers etc., which at times are made even worse by DeFeis odd phrasings and pronunciations (like ‘dawkness’), which further defile some of the blues songs he decided to cover with just vocals and piano as well, making the third disc another absolute waste.



Now this review probably reads overtly negative, but every single word is absolutely deserved and is a manifest to how low this band has sunk. This constitutes first degree musical homicide. Nocturnes… had been a very bad omen, but nobody could expect Seven Devils Moonshine to be as total of a disaster. One album of this would have been bad enough, but whatever prompted DeFeis to release three of them in one shot goes way beyond any comprehension. If this set can serve one purpose, then as living proof that some bands should call it quits when people are still sad about it…



So even if you are an absolute die-hard fan of Virgin Steele – AVOID at all costs!

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:43 pm 
 

Well now I am excited for this. In the way that one wants to watch movies like The Room or Troll 2.
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BeholdtheNicktopus
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
Posts: 344
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:14 pm 
 

The whole "so bad it's good" thing works in some cases, but knowing that it's Virgin Steele makes it too painful and embarrassing (for me at least) to imagine a "so bad it's good" response.

Oh man, 0 out of 10. That review is incredible, thanks for posting. On second thought, I do think it's maybe so bad it's good, but I'll make that judgment just via the review, keeping the actual music at a proper distance. Ouch.
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Oblarg
Veteran

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 2641
Location: The second sea
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:35 pm 
 

There's little unintentional comedy value to be had from Virgin Steele anymore - they jumped that particular shark with the "music video" they made for Perfect Mansions (Mountains of the Sun) a few years back. Now it's just sad.
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Epicureo
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:48 pm 
 

*DeFeis's screeching attenuating*
I still want to hear the three new albums but I'm gonna keep my expectations in check.

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Aydross
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:21 pm
Posts: 439
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:33 pm 
 

By "in check" you mean buried deep within the Mariana Trench right?
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Epicureo
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:57 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:41 pm 
 

Aydross wrote:
By "in check" you mean buried deep within the Mariana Trench right?

Truth to be told, I shamelessly think the 2015 album wasn't that bad so I'm not being that cautious about the upcoming new albums.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 357
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:58 am 
 

Nocturnes to me was a better album than Bacchanalia which was so fucking insufferable because of how bloated each and every song was. Really, really terrible songwriting.

Nocturnes has some good songwriting; Lucifer's Hammer, Persephone, The Plague and The Fire, Glamour, A Greater Burning Of Innocence and The Birth Of Beauty are really good songs that maybe could have been better with a bit more restraint from DeFeis in the vocal department...but that's a lot more songs than I can name for Bacchanalia.

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