3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Stay Invictus, kids!,
This review is from: Invictus (Audio CD)
I'm not entirely sure why I don't love this one as much as the others... it's surely a fantastic record. Maybe it's because at times Defeis accents the vocals in a manner similar to Sam S@nkeeyy (spelled incorrectly so he can't google his name and hunt me down and then grapple me his fat, sweaty palms). Maybe it's just because it's another amazing Virgin Steele album and this particular fanboy is getting complacent with all the excellence about.
Still, wonderful stuff on display here - perhaps the heaviest and most direct work in the Church of Latter Day Virgin Steele. Pursino plays guitar, Frank hits the drums in his unrestrained manner yet and Defeis crowns and anoints himself as one of metal's greatest singers... well it was 1998 and no one actually listened to actual heavy metal then. `Invictus' is probably the track that has everyone spewing "This band sounds like Manowar!" and all sorts of other knee-jerk reactions. Admittedly the bass playing here is much like Joey Demaio in one of his calmer moments and I suppose the bass is strangely prominent for Virgin Steele. But the chorus and progressively tinged middle section could be the work of none other than David D Ancient-Zeus-an-Mythology-Mothra Defeis.
Other standouts include `Mind, Body & Spirit' which rather than coming across as some new-age self help book as the title would suggest, rocks along at a comfortable, anthemic pace and then moves to a power ballad-esque finish. It's the closest you actually get to a ballad on Invictus which is a shame really as Virgin Steele's ballads have always been of note. But they'd make up for this in force on the The House of Atreus Act I.
Veni, Vidi, Vici ends the album in rousing and impossibly epic form. Sure, towards the end it gets a little bloated and pompous, but so be it. It works. I'd say it's the band's Hallowed Be Thy Name and on a slightly related if you listen to Invictus and A Matter of Life and Death in close proximity you may note some similarities... don't think I didn't notice Mr. Harris.