Genre: Gothic Metal
Origin: Adelaide, Australia
Every once in a while, a group comes along that can blow everything else like it completely out of the water. Virgin Black is that band when it comes to gothic, doom-tinged metal, producing a melancholy, orchestral sound that is, quite frankly, the best thing going in the genre right now.
When so many gothic metal bands are moving in a louder, more metallic and upbeat direction, this quartet from Australia emphasizes classical elements, piano and choral vocals as much as their long, droning guitar riffs, resulting in a superbly emotional listening experience that rises and falls in much the same way as a well-written symphony. The combination of piano and Rowan London's operatic vocals is strongly reminiscent of Deine Lakaien, and London's voice has a beautiful operatic quality able to hit high notes clearly without falsetto; being quite versatile, however, he also can be heard growling, shrieking, and chanting at many points.
Virgin Black is currently in the middle of releasing a trio of albums recorded concurrently; they were originally planned to release simultaneously, but delays have pushed them back to a staggered schedule. The first album of the trilogy, Requiem - Pianissimo, is strictly classical, foregoing guitar and bass for the backing of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Requiem - Mezzo Forte, the first to be released but the "second" in the trilogy, features the orchestra but also brings back in their normal instrumentation, and the last, Requiem - Fortissimo is the heaviest of the three, and has been set for a February 19, 2008 release.
While the band has several Christian members, and London previously sang for Christian death metal band Discarnated, the group has stated that Virgin Black's music is not intended to be Christian, but rather a general exploration of spirituality and humanity's darkness.
While Virgin Black albums are best consumed whole, certain tracks definitely stand out; Darktronica favorites are "Museum Of Iscariot," "And The Kiss Of God's Mouth II," "Our Wings Are Burning," and "In Death."
Craig Edis - guitar
Virgin Black Discography
Last updated May 13, 2008.