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“Requiem: Mezzo Forte” by Virgin Black

Artist: Virgin Black
Title: “Requiem – Mezzo Forte”
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 4/3/2007
Genre: Gothic Doom/Symphonic Doom
Rating: 3.5/5

As part of their three-volume “Requiem” set the band Virgin Black makes you feel as though you should be sitting in an elaborate Opera house as you absorb the second part of the trilogy, a brooding piece of music entitled “Mezzo Forte”. The bands skill at blending Classical and Operatic style into the often somber tones of Doom and Gothic Metal style is commendable but it will not be something that you can “get” at merely the first listen unless you are a diehard fan of this type of style. The intense drama and passion that comes at you on track after track must be absorbed and thought upon so that perhaps after your third listen you will be better able to appreciate what exactly they are doing. The band was founded by Rowan London and Samantha Escarbe back in 1993 in Adelaide, Australia. London handles keyboards and the male vocals while Escarbe is responsible for guitar. Both are core contributors in terms of the song-writing and composition on their albums. For “Requiem: Mezzo Forte” the group had the assistance of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Soprano Susan Johnson. On bass is Grayh and on drums is Dino Cielo. The resulting music is both thunderous and at the same time lush based on the orchestration and melodies. At times I felt as though I was observing from an ornate balcony as I wondered how so much diversity was fit into the time we being were presented. As the second of three parts this seems to be a mix of what the group has done throughout their career.
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