Tag Archives: virgin black

Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 12

These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, these posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here are the final reviews, so “Hear Us Out” one last time.

Various Artists: “Metal For The Masses V” (Century Media Records)

The great thing about this compilation is that it includes members of the whole Century Media family of labels and as result you get Into Eternity with Meshuggah with American Heartbreak. Two CD’s loaded with songs from existing and new signings make this a worthy slab of Metal, but lets not forget the DVD that features videos from the same rosters. It’s a great way to showcase the already known while allowing you time to absorb those that are new. You cannot go wrong with a release like that for who knows how many more fans it can make for legends and how many legends it can foster going forward.

Various Artists: “Saw III” Soundtrack (Artists Addiction Records)

Soundtracks are not often easy to review since many of them are sub-par but lucky us this is an exception. After the shaking in fear has stopped from seeing this movie, you can once again feel your blood boil hot with the power of the great bands presented here. Hot new acts like All That Remains, and Mastodon are tempered by the legends Slayer and Ministry while ever rising super powers like Lamb Of God and Meshuggah dole it out as well. A soundtrack helped Evanescence, perhaps this will make a spike marked dent on someone elses career. Yes, there will be blood.
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Amorphis @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/29/2008)

Logo - Amorphis

Artist: Amorphis
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Samael, Virgin Black
Date: 9/29/2008
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

If you live in a city like New York and are a big supporter of any genre’s music scene then you are truly a very lucky person because there is seldom a night where you find yourself with nothing to do or nothing to see – especially when it comes to live music. The city offers up countless bars, venues, and theatres where music across a wide-genre scope is delivered almost nightly and if you are thinking there is no downside to this, well there is when two major events are scheduled for the exact same night. For me, this particular show would conclude the “Finnish Invasion” that I spoke of in both my Apocalyptica and Sonata Arctica commentaries. Sadly, Nightwish had indeed cancelled their appearance based on the illness of singer Anette but we did get a killer set from Sonata. Tonight’s fun at B.B. King Blues Club would also find a killer show that featured Kataklysm, Keep Of Kalessin and Eluveitie going on at the same time over at the Blender Theater and this was really going to make the Metal heads choose because all of the bands combined had the same loyal fan base. For me the choice was simple and locked on Amorphis because the band has not been over here since early 2005 by my recollection and since that time have released two more albums. The show tonight would bring along label mates Samael and Virgin Black from Australia. Here is how the night went down if you had missed it.
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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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Virgin Black & Unexpect @ Lit Lounge (6/11/2007)

Virgin Black is one of the more difficult to catch onto groups in the Metal world. There is a little bit of Opera, a little bit of Classical Symphony and a whole lot of Gothic Metal all twisted around into one unique project. I liked their album enough to come to see them, and appreciated that Unexpect was going to be the opener so if you want to read some more about this gig just scroll past the logo below to be brought to our thoughts.

Logo - Virgin BlackArtist: Virgin Black
Venue: Lit Lounge (New York, NY)
Opener: Unexpect
Date: 6/11/2007
Label: The End Records

When I say that this gig came faster than the taxman then you must believe me. I had only just finished enjoying the newest release by Virgin Black on The End Records (an interesting CD entitled “Requiem: Mezzo Forte”) and suddenly, like a bolt of lightning there was a New York gig scheduled. The performance would be held at The Lit Lounge, a club I had yet to visit, and would also be on a Monday night. This fact alone presented a problem based on work demands so it would definitely be one of those last minute decisions for me. I have to admit that my mind was made up when I learned that opening for the band tonight would be the one and only uneXpect from Montreal. The uneXpect had tried to return to the States a little over a year ago but were stopped at the gates for some odd reason. As I walked into the Lit Lounge, I found the upstairs to be a rather sizable bar but the bands were going to be playing in the clubs basement area – so down I went into the abyss. The downstairs area is quite small and confined but there is a spot to set up equipment and places to congregate should you have a very minimal crowd attending. There is a bar in the back and a spot for merchandise to be sold as well as an area where the bands can prep and ready themselves to perform. The stage size is small by regular standards but with a trio this would work.
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