Virgin Steele - Age Of Consent
Modern Music
Epic Traditional Metal
16 songs ()
Release year: 1988
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Virgin Steele have had a long and storied career. Their early albums Virgin Steele I and Guardians Of The Flame showed the first signs of singer David Defeis' fondness for the epic sound the band is known for. When their guitarist, Jack Starr, left the group following the release of album number two, a young Edward Pursino stepped up to the plate. The joining of David and Edward created a highly productive and energetic union of song crafting. Noble Savage was then unleashed on the world and its combination of grandiose arrangements, one of a kind vocals, and furious soloing quickly became a cult favorite amongst metal fans. Age Of Consent is the only other album in Virgin Steele's vast discography that captures that same essence of youthful, adrenaline fueled hunger at its peak.

This being David Defeis' baby, he is the main focal point of the band. His unique vocals are truly inspiring and fits this barbaric romantic music perfectly. And by no means is unique a euphemism for "you have to get used to it." David's clear, powerful, normal singing voice is the equivalent of a roaring lion that could carry any other band just fine alone. However, in his little bag of tricks is a clear, sweet falsetto that meshes well with both softer, more lush passages, and the more aggressive moments. Despite being the "head voice," his falsetto is strong and clear and he knows just how to use it. During the rousing opener The Burning Of Rome the finale has a scream that brings an audience to its feet. Perfect Mansions (Mountains Of The Sun) is the exact opposite. This being a more tender mournful tune, the vocal delivery is perfectly controlled clean, high, singing that makes me want to go outside and do something heroic. Not every track is an epic number of glorious proportions, Virgin Steele know when to crank up the overdrive and keep it simple and straightforward. Chains Of Fire is a slick, three and a half minute, raging, lustful, song that never lets up. The track Seventeen (not a Winger cover, but the same subject) contains the title in its chorus and this always made me laugh. Age Of Consent isn't some epic time period piece that fascinated David at the time of recording, but merely just a thankful sigh for those barely legal groupies. A fun party metal anthem with some great hair metal overtones. Lion In Winter, despite being a fast speedy track has a sorrowful thread that runs throughout. The title is a metaphor about old age and death, a pretty heady subject yet it fits in well between the mythological flair of The Burning Of Rome, the somber Tragedy, and the teenage tits of Seventeen.

Due to internal strife and struggles, it would take five years for a followup to take place. When Life Among The Ruins was released it was a drastic departure from the traditional Virgin Steele sound and ventured deep into Whitesnake territory. A revival of the barbaric romanticism that made this band recognized came with the pair of The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell albums but with age came maturity and the bright burning flame of youth gave way to a deeply rooted foundation of melancholic sorrow. As per the eighties era of Virgin Steele, Age Of Consent and its companion Noble Savage should be considered essential listening.

Killing Songs :
The Burning Of Rome, Lion In Winter, On The Wings Of The Night, Perfect Mansions (Mountains Of The Sun)
Ben quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Virgin Steele that we have reviewed:
Virgin Steele - Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation reviewed by Andy and quoted 40 / 100
Virgin Steele - The House of Atreus, Act I reviewed by Olivier and quoted 93 / 100
Virgin Steele - The Black Light Bacchanalia reviewed by Chris and quoted 69 / 100
Virgin Steele - Visions Of Eden reviewed by Chris and quoted 62 / 100
Virgin Steele - Guardians of the Flame reviewed by Ben and quoted 88 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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