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Virgin Black | Sombre Romantic | review | avant | metal | Lollipop

Virgin Black

Sombre Romantic (The End)
by Vinnie Apicella

Virgin Black creates and stretches their own boundaries with a groundbreaking and breathtaking new release that should serve them and their label well. For the patient listener, Sombre Romantic becomes many things, not the least of which is a full embodiment of classical music history throughout the ages. For those of quick-triggered mentality, a simple scanning will reveal several unique and likely palatable styles from among the ten choices. Hailing from Australia, Virgin Black travels far and wide past any previous points with this waking dream excursion and defies classification from moment to moment. With symphonic magnificence and technical proficiency, song strength is emphasized over virtuosic tendencies, which can often be overstated in a still formative genre such as theirs. Subtle and smooth passages recall grandiose operatic displays broken into story like sequences: "Museum of Iscariot," a great example at midpoint, divided between "Stagnation," "Death," and "Procession," all emotional wanderings unique unto themselves but very necessary to the final outcome. Infrequent though forceful measures of dark intensity make for dynamic interludes where sorrow turns to anger, dread to damnation, and distress to triumph. The songs are amalgamated and performed well in a manner beyond simple, complimentary Gothic/operatic comprehension, housing within themselves the likes of Baroque, Brahms, and Black.
(556 S. Fair Oaks Ave. #101-111 Pasadena, CA 91105)
 


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