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SOMBRE ROMANTIC

Virgin Black

Experimental/Post Metal


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Virgin Black Sombre Romantic album cover
3.98 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Opera de Romanci I. Stare (3:57)
2. Opera de Romanci II. Embrace (3:52)
3. Walk Without Limbs (4:26)
4. Of Your Beauty (4:00)
5. Drink The Midnight Hymn (5:14)
6. Museum Of Iscariot (7:41):
I. Stagnation
II. Death
III. Procession
7. Lamenting Kiss (5:25)
8. Weep For Me (1:52)
9. I Sleep With The Emperor (2:40)
10. A Poet's Tears Of Porcelain (5:20)
11. Hidden track (0:11)


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Rowan London / vocals, piano, keyboards, choir vocals
- Samantha Escarbe / lead guitar
- Dino Cielo / drums, choir vocals
- Craig Edis / guitars, choir vocals
- Ian Miller / bass, vocals

Cello parts written by Samantha Escarbe

Guests:
- Chris Handley / cello
- Brad Bessel, Stephanie Bessel. Aaron Nicholls / choir vocals

Releases information

The End Records, TE 023

Thanks to avestin for the addition
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Sombre RomanticSombre Romantic
The End Records 2002
Audio CD$5.97
$1.98 (used)
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VIRGIN BLACK Sombre Romantic ratings distribution


3.98
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
53%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

VIRGIN BLACK Sombre Romantic reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tristan Mulders
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Virgin Black - Sombre Romantic

When I first heard the band name 'Virgin Black' come up in conversation I thought this had to be some sort of gothic metal band with all band members wearing long dresses and corpse paint on their face... An average metal band that 16-year old high school 'metal experts' listen to nowadays (no offence meant to anyone)... And in a way these preconceptions were actually right!

For Virgin Black is indeed a band that could partially be categorized as a gothic metal outfit. Yet that banner would not do enough justification to this bunch of talented musicians, for they go beyond the boundaries of conventional gothic metal.

There's this new wave of (progressive) artists who seem to incorporate classical music into their compositions, think of the likes of Epica, Nightwish and most noticeably Swedish prog metal outfit Therion, but Virgin Black surpasses each and every one of them. Yes, all of them share that longing for operatic vocals, yet Virgin Black's music is not about the bombastic nature of songs. These 5 Australians make music without reaching out to conventional metal... it's not all about heavy metal riffs or pompous drumming... No, Virgin Black seem to enjoy minimalist moments as well, some segments are pure classical or operatic pieces of music, where other moments are pure acoustic brilliance!

Come to think of it, perhaps 'doom metal' would be a more appropriate tag for this branch of music. The dramatic vocals, either operatic or normal singing in low key, don't make the happiest of conditions to listen to music, but they do somehow manage to charm the listener. To give you an idea of what to expect: lead vocalist Rowan London's voice is a sort of compromise of those trademark high-pitched prog metal vocalists and low-key opera vocalists, whereas bass player Ian Miller's additional vocals are pure black metal in origin, i.e. he growls. Yet, his growling is not at all bothersome, mainly because most of the time when he sings, you hear London backing him up with his low and dynamic voice or visa versa.

Musically seen this band made a great debut with this album, but it was not until 2 years later, with the release of the follow-up album "Elegant & Dying", that these musicians found what I consider to be their perfect sound.

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Send comments to Tristan Mulders (BETA) | Report this review (#117498) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 06, 2007

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Virgin Black's debut does exactly what the album title promises. They are clearly deep in mourning and decadently romantic. Their music is hard to put into just one category, there are elements of goth, black and doom metal, but also soft acoustic guitat parts, mostly melodic and slightly operatic vocals, beautiful bluesy guitar solos, symphonic keyboards and melodious pianos.

Because the music is hard to describe, I need to refer to other bands to draw similarities. A first is My Dying Bride from around their second album Turn Loose The Swans. Virgin Black improves that sound with better vocals and great Gilmouresque guitar solos as on Museum Of Iscariot. A second reference would be Therion. The second track Embrace for instance features a choir introduction that sounds just like Therion on a particularly drowsy day. Also Agalloch can be mentioned. On Drink the Midnight Hymn Virgin Black bring an operatic version of a similar type of epic black metal. Also the overall sound is quite similar to Agalloch's albums. The integration of moody acoustic pieces and ambient experimentalism adds Ulver to this extensive list of references.

The songwriting is excellent throughout and with the extensive range of styles it makes for a varied and dynamic album. Fans of the bands listed shouldn't hesitate, and others shouldn't turn their backs too quickly neither. This music incorporates many forms of modern metal but it can hardly be tagged extreme. Instead it's heavy, dark, melodic and very moving.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#275218) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010

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