The House of Atreus Act II (Noise)
by Vinnie Apicella
And now the sequel to the mammoth undertaking that was The House of Atreus: Part I from early last year. The two-disc set picks up from the exact spot “Wings of Vengeance” left off, though anyone new to Virgin Steele and their reconstructed operatic versions of classic Greek Tragedies, fear not, for right from the onset the storyline is presented from beginning to end; the cast of characters revealed, full lyrics, and really the only things missing are the hammer and lightning bolt! Virgin Steele got their start when metal was still forging its own tradition, and in true studs and leather style, they walked their own path through trials, tribulations and trends to remain focused on superior musicianship, intriguing storylines, and a medieval mindset glorifying a stimulating past wrought in myth, history and heavy swords. But for all of Virgin Steele’s metal and might, they’ve managed to fashion an impressive degree of musical color, and placed within this context, there is a break in the distance in the dark clouds of doom. Self-proclaimed “barbaric-romantic opera,” The House of Atreus: Act II is every bit that description. Its 23 tracks combine savagery with sensuousness, Manowar with Rainbow, and sensitivity with rage in an enchanting tale of tragedy and triumph.
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