The Book Of Burning

Virgin Steele

There is no doubt that Virgin Steele have played a major role in the forming […]
By Aris Stremmenos
March 9, 2002
Virgin Steele - The Book Of Burning album cover

There is no doubt that Virgin Steele have played a major role in the forming of today's power metal scene, with many landmark albums over their 20 years of existence. Few people haven't heard (of) the amazing Noble Savage, the epic Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Part II or the (unreasonably) controversial Invictus.
Many people have cried along with Burning Of Rome (Cry For Pompei). But not many people have managed to feel their skin creep with Don't Say Goodbye (Tonight)and not because they don't recognize it's value, but because those people who could manage to get their hands on albums like Virgin Steele and Guardians Of The Flame.
This fact was recognized by band leader David DeFeis a long time ago, and it was in his plans to re-release them, re-mastered with a lot of bonus material as well. But due to many factors it wasn't possible for them to release the full albums. Instead, after many years from the announcement of their plans, Virgin Steele release a collection of songs from both albums, plus a great deal of bonus material.
To be more precise The Book Of Burning contains 16 songs, 8 of which are new versions of songs from the Virgin Steele and Guardians Of The Flame era, re-recorded with the present line-up. Those who have heard the original recordings, will immediately notice the vast difference between them. The new versions have been adapted to the band's new sound and philosophy, keeping only the melodies and the general idea. Even though I have loved the classic versions, I can't deny that the new ones where very well done, carefully and with respect to the classic sound.
The other 8 songs are completely new ones, written on the summer of 2001. All of them have a nostalgic touch in them, reminding me a lot of the Noble Savage and Guardians Of The Flame period of Virgin Steele. You can easily pass them for new recordings of old songs! My personal favorites from this group of songs are The Conjuration Of The Watcher and Rain Of Fire. I really do hope that the next Virgin Steele album will have the same sound, which is far better than both acts of The House Of Atreus.
All this talking is good, but does it really worth its bucks? I answer definitely yes!. It's not a simple collection, and I don't think its even a collection. From one point we have 8 quality re-recordings of old and VERY rare songs, and from the other we 8 very good new songs. For the many Virgin Steele fans, a must!
By the gods!!!
P.S. The songs with the * sign after them are the completely new songs

8 / 10


"The Book Of Burning" Track-listing:

Conjuration Of The Watcher *
Don't Say Goodbye (Tonight)
Rain Of Fire *
Annihilation *
Hellfire Woman *
Children Of The Storm
The Chosen Ones *
The Succubus *
Minuet In G Minor
The Redeemer
I Am The One
Hot And Wild *
Birth Through Fire
Guardians Of The Flame
The Final Days *
A Cry In The Night

Virgin Steele Lineup:

David DeFeis - Vocals, keyboard, synth bass
Edward Pursino - Guitars, bass guitar
Frank Gilchriest - Drums

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