VIRGIN BLACK - Requiem – Mezzo Forte

Virgin Black - Requiem – Mezzo Forte

7 songs
52:14 minutes
***** ****


The Australian gothic metal band Virgin Black showed already on their two previous albums Sombre Romantic and Elegant…And Dying how to create dark atmospheres that are different from the huge amount of average class gothic releases. Their new CD Requiem – Mezzo Forte now even tries to go a step further. It’s a part of a trilogy of albums that have been recorded more or less at the same time, but will be released at different dates yet to be fixed. This album will in fact be the second part of the trilogy and combine metal and classic music. The first part will be called Requiem – Pianissimo and will be pure classical music. The final part Requiem – Fortissimo will be harder and feature death and doom metal.

The album title Requiem refers to the music usually performed at funerals, but Virgin Black have transformed this sound in an unusual way. To create an epic sound, they were support by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Gothic metal elements make the songwriting even more dramatic, melancholic and emotional.

The album starts with Requiem, Kyrie, a depressive track based on cello and dark operatic male and female choirs. In Death is a lamentation, sounding like Candlemass and Celtic Frost’s orchestral passages. Midnight’s Hymn is another exciting meeting of opera, Gregorian chants and metal riffs. ...And I Am Suffering, possibly the album’s most dramatic track, couldn’t have been written in a more effective way by My Dying Bride. My favourite track is Domine, the only track with harder guitars and male growls, but not neglecting the monumental elements. Lacrimosa is a fine doom track and Rest Eternal finds a dramatic climax before closing this marvellous record.

Virgin Black have done some improvement from album to album. You may criticise there is not enough variation on this record, but it doesn’t matter as there are only strong moments inside. I’m now already excited to hear how this CD will work in combination with the rest of the planned trilogy. To mourn has never been as fascinating as in company of Virgin Black’s Requiem album.

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