US Power metallers strike it lucky with thirteenth
American heavy metal legends Virgin Steele have lined up the release of their thirteenth studio album, ‘Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation’, as a standard jewel case CD, a double digipak (with bonus 15 track CD plus a massive booklet), and double gatefold blue vinyl album (+ CD), on Steamhammer / SPV Records on June 22nd.
David DeFeis, who formed Virgin Steele in Long Island New York in 1981, states that “‘Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation’ is not a concept album per se, but there is a through line that connects the tracks. The lyrics essentially deal with relationship issues and by that I mean….the connections between entities….as in all sorts of beings, not only human beings…but also Gods & Goddesses, Spirits, Elements, or whatever, plus various creatures, animal, vegetable and or mineral, but largely the album is about connections between people. People and their belief systems, people and their Gods or Goddesses…people and their life philosophies and also the various substances we invest or inject into our daily or nightly rituals and our worldview, and all the complexities of what drives us, makes us who we are and takes us where we may…or may not be going. To sum it up this album is about….all the various ways in which humans can entangle themselves, or destroy themselves…so the album’s title essentially encompasses what the vibe of the whole Work is about. The title relates to the album in the way that the title ‘Noble Savage’, or ‘Age Of Consent’, expressed each of those particular Works. The title provides a framework and connective tissue, but each song is really its own thing.
Musically the album is pretty heavy, high energy, often dark, at turns melancholy, and at turns aggressive or angry sounding. It does have that over the top bombastic heaviness that we are about, and the whole Barbaric-Romantic thing that we are known for. The overarching theme that comes to mind when I think about the album or listen to it is passion…raw passion. There are big monolithic riffs, moody chord changes, ‘classical’ type bits, sort of Bluesy moments….it retains the Virgin Steele signature, but it adds new dimensions to it. In a strange way it ‘feels’ to me like it could have been the album we might have made to follow up ‘Noble Savage’, had I been able to devote all my energies into the more bombastic or progressive side of my musical nature at that time, rather than trying to appease some of the other “factions” around me who wanted some kind of a ‘hit’…whatever that meant at the time. So to conclude…we have infused the recordings with all that we have gone through over these past months, every fiber of our being…..and I think this album will be something our Fans will really enjoy.”
‘Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation’, Virgin Steele’s first studio album for five years, containing 14 brand new vibrant, irresistible compositions, looks all set to win a whole host of new fans, once they get an earful of this vital, confidently consummate album.
David DeFeis – vocals, keyboards, bass & orchestration
Edward Pursino – 6 string guitars
Josh Block – 7 & 8 string guitars
Frank Gilchriest – drums