Virgin Black - _Requiem - Fortissimo_
(The End Records, 2008)
by: Aaron McKay (8 out of 10)
Forging ahead, this Australian five piece outfit has always been a damn far cry from lackluster. As a matter of fact, Virgin Black offers the distinct impression they have in some way found -more- notes on their instruments than other somber harbingers of doom before and even since them. Almost overly ambitious in their approach and representatively translucent in style, VB strikes at their listener with a caustic vibrancy reserved solely for the more veterans of this art.

Awkwardly contrasted against My Dying Bride occasionally in the media from time to time, Virgin Black has a back catalog that might suggest a singular divergence in their sound independent of comparison. Beginning with their self-titled 1995 demo, followed by _Trance_ in 1998, _Sombre Romantic_ caught the attention of The End in 2001/02. The vastly experimental _Elegant... and Dying_ in 2003 arguably set the stage for the VB's dichotomous companion set _Mezzo-Forte_, this effort, _Requiem - Fortissimo_ and the up and coming (as yet) unreleased _Pianissimo_.

The entire seven tracks totaling over forty minutes of complex, interwoven darkly savage imagination are a step toward Virgin Black's expressionist objective. Less soprano vocalization would go a long way toward capturing the aspiration so richly sought after on _Requiem - Fortissimo_, but a fine achievement nonetheless for this album's solemn bastion of choral and orchestral sensibilities.


(article published 16/2/2008)

10/19/2004 A Wee 7 Virgin Black - Elegant... And Dying
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