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The Virginmarys: King Of Conflict

UK hard rockers tune into the timeless groove

There’s an odd quirk about this album. While every track has undoubted quality, somehow the real essence of what the UK trio are trying to do only works when you get fully immersed in the flow of the songs from one to another. It’s then that you realise this is close to being an exceptional album.

What The Virginmarys prove is that they can really get to grips with the sort of approach Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie and Free had in the early 70s, something mirrored two decades later by the likes of Mother Love Bone and Alice In Chains. There’s a huge groove and power appreciable when you listen to the way Just A Ride flexes into Out Of Mind and then further through Bang Bang Bang.

They all have gritty melodies and fuel-injected riffs, but more importantly they have a gigantic momentum that sucks you with an intimate command of timeless hard rock. Best of all is the epic closer Ends Don’t Mend, which hums with the greatness of a young Led Zeppelin. This could easily end up among the year’s most crucial releases.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.