Singled Out: Virgin Steele's Feral

Virgin Steele

Virgin Steele recently released their new box set "Seven Devils Moonshine" and to celebrate we asked David DeFeis to tell us about the epic track "Feral." Here is the story:

Many people assume that my lyrics are strictly Mythological...this couldn't be more wrong. Yes I do reference Mythological situations and I have written lyrics that certainly describe aspects of Mythology, but...more often than not I am actually talking about life today as we know it and in particular...my corner of the sky and the real life experiences I have had, and the life I lead so...as we are discussing the release of the Virgin Steele-5 Disc Box Set "Seven Devils Moonshine", regarding the lyrics found on these new discs there really aren't many Mythological references, and realism is the order of the day and extremely prevalent. Many of the songs on the Ghost Harvest "Vintage 1" Disc- (Black Wine For Mourning), do relate to each other and I shall discuss two songs as they are intertwined. The songs I will discuss are: "Murder In High-Gloss Relief " and the ten minute Barbaric-Romantic-Blues-Metal Epic: "Feral".

The very short track "Murder In High-Gloss Relief", is a prelude of sorts. Using just piano, a spoken poem and a bit of orchestration, this song sets the stage for what is to come. Like the music, the lyric is stark, somewhat cryptic, yet revealing, and perhaps raises the question who or what is the "bride of 16" and why is she "cold"? Maybe that is answered in the next track "Feral" or perhaps more questions are raised. I don't like to be explicit, revealing exactly what my thoughts are about a song, as I like for the listener to absorb and feel the emotions expressed and maybe see their own life inside the song, but I will try to tell you something of what the song is about hopefully leaving the mystery somewhat intact.

Musically "Feral" is what I call a "Gothic Blues Epic". It moves through several keys, D minor, G Minor, A minor, E minor with also a detour into the B locrian mode, before arriving back into D minor. I use lots of suspended seventh chords, & suspended seconds that provide a modern sonic vocabulary, and help to take the song away from the duality of simply either minor or major, providing a more unsettled experience that underscores the subject matter.

Many more times than I can count, I have met and gotten involved with girls and women who have had some seriously tragic pasts and or seriously tragic present day issues, and this track discusses the kind of Romeo & Juliet scenario where "star-crossed" lovers get caught up in what others/outsiders think for whatever reason are "desires forbidden" ...and try to thwart the lovers budding romance...but like I say in the song "Cupid enslaves what he will". While at the same time that some people are trying to destroy this relationship, one person in particular is also physically abusing the "Juliet character" from within and without. Incestuous factions wreck havoc on the entire family...there is rape, suicide, murder and revenge all taking place in a never-ending cycle of bloodletting. Do our hero and heroine survive? The answer is up to each person who comes to the track...whether they do or they don't...regardless by the song's end there is still a sense of freedom and triumph. Why? Because..."Feral we race through the hills...Feral we lay"...

Is this a true tale? Of course it is...

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the box set right here!

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