Sunday, May 13, 2007

With Velvet Tongues Comes Sweet Elegance .

Virgin Black's sophomore release sees the band exploring a more reflective sound and experimenting with an orchestral back drop. That doesn't mean they ignore their gothic doom metal style, but it shows some real growth that would eventually lead to the brilliant "Requiem: Mezzo Forte" but that's next week.

"Elegant ... And Dying" is a good album and a stunning accomplishment, but this album seems to get the worst reviews. I believe this is because of the experimental nature and more classical sound. And though the album isn't as brutal, I've come to appreciate the reflective mood and heavy emotions.

The album begins with the brooding gothic piece "Adorned In Ashes" and sets a dark, sad mood for the rest of the album. The doom influence steps up in "Velvet Tongue" after its sinister chanting opening. Rowan's signature mournful wail enhances the doom laden riffwork.

"And The Kiss Of God's Mouth" is a 2 part piece with part one being a beautiful lament reminiscent of Manowar's "Funeral March" (From Triumph Of Steel's epic Achilles saga). However, part 2 is a crushing doomy sorrowful song that weighs on you emotionally heavy. This is my favourite song because of the blend of brutal heaviness and strong passionate emotions.

"Renaissance" is an atmospheric dark and eerie piece that leads into the epic 19+ minute song "The Everlasting". The song features a strong orchestral sense with a very theatrical feel. But it's dark and eerie orchestration much like "Bram Stoker's Dracula" soundtrack and the vocals are mournful and passionate. The guitars kick in around the 10 minute mark and the song takes a heavier tone with Falkenbach style riffing and black metal touches, all the while never straying from it's gothic eeriness.

"Cult Of Crucifixion" continues in the doom/gothic mix with a creepy, dark heaviness. The orchestral accompaniment/mix has a Rhapsody (Of Fire) feel just bleaker and more theatrical. "Beloved" is a lamenting sorrowful doom metal song intermixed with some black metal vocals and the album closer "Our Wings Are Burning" is a reflective, melodic piece.

This album has a far grander sound then "Sombre Romantic". I prefer the more metal sound on "Sombre Romantic", but I love the overall feel of "Elegant ... And Dying". "Elegant ... And Dying" was essential for Virgin Black to make the transition to their ambitious "Requiem" trilogy in which the first release will be reviewed next week "Requiem: Mezzo Forte" and let me just tell you this is a brilliant album.


Blogger anonymous jones said...

Oooh, they sound quite good: I'll get hubby to check them out! I like kind of experimental stuff. You'd think we would have heard of them over here!
Did you see Eurovision? I was sort of hoping you might have done a review .. Serbia won, in case you didn't know. Some people say they looked like a bunch of lesbian prisoners on day release, but I thought they were pretty good even though no one knew what they were singing. But the very best was Bulgaria, in my opinion! Great song! Great drums! Great leather pants!

7:54 PM  
Blogger dschalek said...

I just never got into gothic metal. The only album that really grabbed me from the genre was "October Rust" by Type O Negative. I'll give these guys a listen, though.

8:22 PM  
Blogger etain_lavena said...

Ghee me again so so so wonderfully put, it feels like I can hear the eerie, heavyniss of it....enjoy the weekend:)

3:55 AM  

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