Nima : In 2006 vocalist/composer/multi-instrumentalist David DeFeis completely blew me away with the eleventh Virgin Steele album, ’Visions Of Eden’. In my original review you can read what impact that album had on me at the time, and now, more than a decade later my opinion about the record is unchanged.
The album suffered quite some criticism due of its production, and the fact that the guitars were hardly audible in the mix. Basically that is true, but for me that was never a problem, and for me the atmosphere and of course the songs themselves were what made the album to what it was. But I must admit that I secretly wondered how the album would have sounded with a different production and larger guitars. In my last interview with the master, DeFeis already mentioned that the re-issue of the album (which is the last one in this series of re-issues) will not only contain the re-mastered version of the original album, but also an additional CD with a new mix.
And so it was written, and so it was done! One of the discs is indeed a re-mastered version of the original (the so-called “Romantic remaster version”), which in my opinion sounds quite similar to the original release. The “Barbaric re-mix version” on the other hand, shows a different side of the record. The production is clearer and louder than the original, and the guitars are indeed a lot better audible in the mix. Because of this the album has a more aggressive and more direct character, and to be honest also more impact. If the original version would have sounded like this, I think the album would have been really close to getting the perfect score! Damn, it had been too long since I had heard this record, and now, with this new mix, the album won’t be disappearing out of my player any time soon.
Just like the other re-issues in this series, the album appears in a beautiful digipack, along with a more expansive booklet with more photos and liner notes. And the new mix, along with the beautiful packaging makes it worth to (re-)purchase this breathtaking masterpiece.