This is a re-release of Virgin Steele’s 1993 album with expanded liner notes and a second CD of bonus materials, not a new album. Why Steamhammer chose to re-release this particular record is a mystery because most fans of Virgin Steele consider this the band’s worst album. It’s easy to see why. This is Butt Rock from beginning to end. The singer thinks he’s the bastard son of David Lee Roth and David Coverdale (Whitesnake) and the rest of the band is trying desperately to make White Lion and Europe sound heavy. Life Among the Ruins is so limp-wristed that it makes Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue sound like Master of Puppets-era Metallica in comparison. Hell, I think Vixen might even be heavier. Songs like “Sex Religion Machine” and “Too Hot to Handle” sound like desperate attempts for attention. It’s like somebody told the members of Virgin Steele that writing shitty songs like this would get them chicks, but nobody told them that they were five years too late and that the party was already over. This is an album that Virgin Steele should be trying to bury, not promote. Life Among the Ruins is down there with Pantera’s long out-of-print early albums (the ones prior to Cowboys from Hell when they were wearing make-up and had big poofy hair) in terms of being shamefully bad. Fans of Poison and Warrant might enjoy this record, but if you prefer anything heavier or more Metal, avoid this like the plague. There are far better albums out there. In fact, there are far better Virgin Steele albums out there, too.
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