If anyone wants a glimpse of why this bunch are so highly regarded, this is a good place to start. It is a nice selection of all sorts of tracks they are capable of making. There are no lame covers or dodgy tracks to be found. This is a great advertisement for their high quality of output. Though some disagree, I think their last album Glorious Collision is their best release to date. There are several tracks on here to demonstrate why I say that. There is little on here for longtime fans of the band, but as an intro it cannot be beat.
Virgin Steele: Age of Consent-Rerelease
You have to forgive this band for the rather lame name of the album. It was originally recorded in 1988 when it was probably something band members actually thought about. There are some epic moments of cheese on this album rest assured. This re-release by SPV of this late '80s album comes with a full disc of extras. One of them is an interesting cover of Judas Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance". The entire thing has been re-mastered lovingly with seven bonus tracks on the second CD. The band have re-released this as they thought it didn't get its due the first time round.
Obviously, if you already have this album on vinyl then this might be a good way of bringing the album into the digital age. Of course if you are a real purist you might even want to pick this up in its double LP format The re-mastering has not hurt the quality of the tracks and it's not a case of re-inventing the past. The extra tracks are ok and very much of the time. "The Curse" is quite amusing and has a very New Wave of British Heavy Metal feel about it.
If you have come to Virgin Steele later in their career, this might be an interesting way to visit their '80s past. I have to say I prefer their more recent work to this stuff.
Primal Fear: Unbreakable
This is the power metal in all its Germanic Glory. I mean, what more can you need for your fist in the air metal pleasure than the second track, "Give Em' Hell"? Everything that you always loved about Iron Maiden has been interpreted by these Germans here. Then again, Ralf Scheepers learned his craft fronting Gamma Ray until he left to try out for Judas Priest only to be pipped by Ripper Owens for the gig. Mat Sinner is still on bass doing his best impression of Steve Harris.