VIRGIN BLACK — Requiem: Mezzo Forte — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

VIRGIN BLACK - Requiem: Mezzo Forte cover
3.36 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2007

Filed under Gothic Metal


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

Massacre Records bonus disc:

1. Mother of Cripples (07:48)
2. Whispers of Dead Sisters (07:54)
3. Museum of Iscariot (07:43)
4. Our Wings are Burning (08:28)
5. Our Wings are Burning (mp4 video) (04:41)

Total Time (Bonus Disc): 36:34


- Samantha Escarbe / guitars (lead), cello, vocals (choirs)
- Grayh / bass, vocals (choirs)
- Dino Cielo / drums, vocals (choirs)
- Rowan London / vocals, keyboards, vocals (choirs)

About this release

Released April 3rd, 2007 on The End Records.

Also released by Massacre Records. Limited edition digipak includes a bonus disc with unreleased tracks and a video clip.

Thanks to Bosh66 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Australian Gothic Metal... those words alone should have been enough for me to know I should move away from such a band like Virgin Black (what a fantastic and original name, right!?)!

Gothic Metal for me is the most unbearable atrocity that music, and Metal, has ever invented. The guy who decided that it was a good idea to join Heavy Metal with classical music, 'erudite' singers (read erudite with a lot of irony) and the whole 'Goticity' thing should burn at the stake.

But I must say that "Requiem: Mezzo Forte" is not the worst record I've ever heard in this genre (the title goes to anything Leaves' Eyes has ever recorded), being very well produced and full of interesting moments. Truth is that the album has very little Gothic Metal in it, it's more like something Therion would do, more Symphonic Metal with Doom Metal blasts I guess. But there is just no way, in the end, that this is any good in the end. You listen to it and it doesn't make you listen again, ever!

This style of Metal just doesn't do anything for me. What fans of the genre take for beauty I see only nonstop boredom. But I recognize the Australians' effort and maybe fans of the genre will like it.
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.

Members reviews

Charting more bleak soundscapes.

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.

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  • Lokus
  • bratus
  • sauromat
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