(Review by Sloof)

December 1982; I went to my local record store to buy the newest releases and Virgin Steele was amongst them. Their eponymous album was touted by the vendor and as he never disappointed me so far, I was eagerly waiting what this American band would offer. Well, I can easily say that I was fan from the very first listen, and through the years, Virgin Steele became a constant in my shopping behavior. The mix between the original vocals of David DeFeis and the shredding guitars of Jack Starr were really rare that time.


After the release of ‘Guardians Of The Flame’, Jack Starr called it a day and left Virgin Steele as they progressed too much into the keyboard-onerous trend. Jack Starr his debut album was called ‘Out Of The Darkness’ and originally released in 1984. Together with Garry Bordonaro and Carl Canedy (both from The Rods) and vocalist Rhett Forrester (ex-Riot), they recorded 10 tracks, and even David DeFeis from Virgin Steele, can be heard on the background vocals. Years went by and Jack Starr released 4 albums so far, while he also recorded 6 albums as Jack Starr’s Burning Starr.


Due to the fact that ‘Out Of The Darkness’ was released exactly 30 years ago, it was time to polish the tracks and re-release this valuable part of Heavy Metal history and enhance it with bonus material. R.D. Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy) re-mastered the original recordings and added some material from different creative periods of Jack Starr.


There are 5 instrumental songs from the instrumental album ‘A Minor Disturbance’ to display the craftsmanship of this unique guitar wonder. On his previous album ‘Land Of The Dead’, there were a few tracks that featured Manowar members like Ross The Boss (in the track ‘Warning Fire’) and David Shankle (in the track ‘Never Again’), while ‘Out Of The Darkness’ welcomed Gary Driscoll (ex-Rainbow) on the track ‘Let’s Get Crazy Again’. Gary Driscoll (drums) died in June 1987 and Rhett Forrester was murdered January 22nd, 1994 when he refused to give up his vehicle in an attempted carjacking.


This is a brief overview of what Jack Starr is all about and what were the highlights in his career so far. Jack and Rhett together result in a superb mixture of melody and power and indicates that although the album is already at the age of 30 years, the material stood the test of time! A playing time of almost one hour and 16 tracks that vary from a minute and a half to 6 minutes is what you get, but there is one thing in common and that’s the superb and first-rate guitar work of Jack. His fingers swing along the guitar neck and the strings are persistently and inexonerably tagged!


Songs like ‘Concrete Warrior’ will result in heavy ‘head banging’ while fists are in the air, and tracks like ‘Eyes Of Fire’ will continue as heavy as hell. This is one of the best albums of that era and it’s good that youngsters will get the chance to discover Jack Starr’ talent and Rhett Forrester’ unique vocal chords!


My rating: 90 / 100




95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish