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Virgin Black

Experimental/Post Metal

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Virgin Black Requiem - Mezzo Forte album cover
3.84 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Requiem, Kyrie (7:42)
2. In Death (8:00)
3. Midnight's Hymn (4:57)
4. ... And I Am Suffering (10:55)
5. Domine (8:06)
6. Lacrimosa (I Am Blind With Weeping) (9:59)
7. Rest Eternal (2:29)

Total Time: 52:08

Bonus retrospective CD + video (on Massacre special edition only):
1. Mother Of Cripples (Demo)
2. Whispers Of Dead Sisters (Trance)
3. Museum Of Iscariot (Sombre Romantic)
4. Our Wings Are Burning (Elegant ... And Dying)
+ Our Wings Are Burning (video clip)

Line-up / Musicians

- Rowan London / vocals, piano, keyboard
- Samantha Escarbe / guitar
- Grayh / bass, vocals
- Luke Faz / drums

Releases information

CD The End Records, TE081 (2007)
2CD Massacre Records (2007)(special limited edition digipak with bonus disk)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to avestin for the last updates
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VIRGIN BLACK Requiem - Mezzo Forte ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VIRGIN BLACK Requiem - Mezzo Forte reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Originally written for and posted at the Sonic Frontiers website at and kindly approved for re-posting in PA

Charting more bleak soundscapes.

(3.5 stars)

The music territory that Virgin Black inhabit in is as dark and uncharted as the name implies. Virgin Black are quite unique with regards to the music they create, and so do not fit well with any attempt at categorization. While their style is firmly rooted in doom/death metal (My Dying Bride is one of their influences, as they state it), this only partly represents their music and its experimental/avant-garde side. With this release, they aim to create a trilogy called Requiem with a varying degree of classical music and metal - Fortissimo, Mezzo Forte and Pianissimo. Fortissimo will feature the heaviest Virgin Black has ever done while Pianissimo will be an entirely classical album. The classical instrumentation in all albums is performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. As the name implies, this specific first part of the trilogy, Mezzo Forte, is where metal and classical reach a balance between them, resulting in a sort of "doom metal symphony" and this particular album in the Requiem trilogy is said by the band to be the closest in sound to their previous two albums, "Sombre Romantic" and "Elegant. And Dying".

Like their previous albums, this one features the same feelings of anguish, grief and tortured spirit throughout the music and lyrics. London's tenor along with Susan Johnson's soprano backed by choirs, give a majestic volume and breadth to the music, amplifying the effect the music alone has on the listener. In line with previous albums are also the slow tempo of the songs, Samantha's heavy distortion guitar and as expected, the classical instruments, which are given lead roles as well, enhancing the atmosphere Virgin Black are creating and giving a contrast to the heaviness of the band. The tracks themselves vary in terms of extent of use of both components (metal and classical) and intensity. The end result is beautiful, well crafted and balanced and makes for a good intermingle of seemingly opposing sounds.

Virgin Black is not an easy listening (not to imply that I don't enjoy the listen). The nature of their sound, the gloominess, despair and depression that emanate from their songs, can be overwhelming at times. While this album is not as eccentric as its predecessors, it's of no lower quality. However, what I miss in this album is the variety, experimenting and dynamics that were abundant in the previous ones. I also feel they could have made more of a use of the orchestra. That been said, I find this album to be mesmerizing and haunting, captivating until the end. While some might find this to be too much: too emotional, melodramatic and cumbersome, I am drawn to its bleak, somber sound and to the slow and ponderous kind of music they make. This release follows in the line of the previous two, and adds a progression to newer grounds for the band. Their albums, and this one is no different, are to be listened to at particular sets of mind, times when you're receptive to such flavour of music.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Virgin Black's sound on this first entry in their Requiem trilogy is mostly rooted in gothic metal - song titles like Lacrimosa (I Am Blind With Weeping) are the big clue there - with elements of doom metal and symphonic metal skillfully woven into their sound. The end result is somewhat more progressively flavoured than gothic metal typically gets, and the band show excellent taste in how they integrate the orchestra and choir they are backed by here into their sound. "Symphonic doomy gothic metal" is a very specific niche to try and capture, but Virgin Black do an excellent job of it.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is a beautiful album. I have never enjoyed (or even wanted to enjoy, for that matter) gothic music. It seemed too slow, too depressing, and just too boring to keep my interest. That is, until I found this little cd. At first listen, it can be described as a slow- paced, kind of depressin ... (read more)

Report this review (#135858) | Posted by pianomandust | Sunday, September 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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