Sunday, May 06, 2007

An Anomalous Harmony Between The Juxtapositions Of Purity And Humanity's Darkness

Virgin Black is an Australian gothic metal band with hints of black and doom metal and heavy on the orchestral front. These guys have carved out a powerful and unique style of music. One can compare the music to that of soundtrack quality in that it is emotional and epic and vivid.

I'll start with the bands 3 song EP "Trance" which my copy came as a bonus track with 2002's "Sombre Romantic". "Trance" is far more goth influenced and lacks some of the epic orchestrations that would follow. It's not bad, I love the sorrowness and industrial-like riff work. I find this is an album that knows what it is and where it will go. "Opera De Trance" has a technoy goth beat and some killer guitar riffs with a black metally whisper. Rowan's signature mournful vocals shine through, though not quite peak form. "A Saint Is Weeping" again has the technoy goth beat and has a harder edge with some nice passionate guitar solos leaving us feeling uplifted.

The track I like best is the epic album closer "Whispers Of Dead Sisters: I Sadness, II Angst, III Reflection". This has the signature sound that would become prominent on their follow up. It has the brooding mournful opening leading into some heavy freaking riffs, heartfelt soloing and some chaotic metal before a sombre outro. A fine song and a fine lead in to their full length debut.

"Sombre Romantic" is a goth metal masterpiece. Opening with the mournful cello and gregorian vocals of "Opera De Romanci - Stare" creates a lamenting feel and Rowan London's vocals begin to shine. This blends seamlessly into "Opera De Romanci - Embrace" which has a crushing opening riff blended with choral vocals and percussion bells creating a wonderful anticipating feeling, ending with a guitar riff that feels like it lingers. This is followed by the brooding technoy beats of "Walk Without Limbs". This song is "Trance EP" like but with more influence of the full mournful dark sound.

After the opening 3 tracks we get treated to a lamenting number in "Of Your Beauty" with depressing piano and deep sad vocals. It is a haunting song and painful. The rage comes out on "Drink The Midnight Hymn" which is dark and heavy with black metal intensity and full orchestral elements and vocals. A sinister and bleakly mournful song.

The album peaks with the ever mournful lamentation of "Museum Of Iscariot" which is painfully beautiful and Rowan's vocals are brilliant. He reeks of sorrow and emotion. His range is incredible and I've never heard a voice more mournful than his. The acoustic picking simplicity is great and the accompanying solo is heartfelt and powerful. The song transitions into a hopeful bleakness of one who has reached their end. A truly brilliant song with disturbing imagery and my favourite track on the album.

"Lamenting Kiss" is a brooding, heavy and dark piece of gothic metal leading into the doomy "Weep for Me". "Weep..." is bombastic and sorrowful both vocally and with guitars. "I Sleep With The Emperor" begins with Rowan's a capella lament before brutalizing us with a black/death metal onslaught. It has an ambient, doomy reprise of "Opera De Romanci - Embrace" which is a fitting reminder of the mournful opening before leading us into the lamenting hurt of "A Poet's Tears Of Porcelain". This song, along the lines of "Museum Of Iscariot", is mournful and passionate with emotional performances by violins/cello's and guitars while creating a huge epic sound. A beautiful sadness and I say ...

... Amen.

Virgin Black are one of the more original and daring bands out there today. And as I said earlier, Rowan's voice is beautifully painful. One of the greatest vocalists I've heard ever. I hold him up to the likes of Colm Wilkinson of voice's that truly move me. Virgin Black though not labelled Christian (due to professed malcontent with the Church) have a vivid spiritualness that's mournful and beautiful and deeply powerful.

Stay tuned for next week's review of "Elegent ... And Dying".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog rocks!! I'm glad I found it!!

I'll be back~stay brutal \m/


9:07 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

hey friend, can you believe i'm out in blogland?! lol..doing my rounds for mother's day. pls pass them out for all who apply in your world.

glad to see you have kept up posting. i miss visiting here for sure. hope to be back soon.

until then, keep on smiling and take care.

7:33 AM  

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