VIRGIN BLACK — Sombre Romantic (review)

VIRGIN BLACK — Sombre Romantic album cover Album · 2001 · Gothic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"Sombre Romantic" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian goth/doom/symphonic metal act Virgin Black. The album was originally self-released in February 2001 but saw a label release through The End Records in 2002. Virgin Black were formed in Adelaide, Australia in 1995 and they released the "Trance" EP in 1998 as their first release.

The music on "Sombre Romantic" is a rather eclectic goth/doom metal style including choirs, strings, piano, and semi-operatic singing. The atmosphere is drenched in melancholy, which can be heard in both the way the vocals are performed and in how the melodies sound. While it´s truly an epic release with several majestic moments, it´s also quite a dynamic release also featuring more stripped down and quiet melancholic sections. Some tracks also feature more extreme type vocals, and it´s safe to say "Sombre Romantic" is a diverse release.

The diversity also makes it slightly inconsistent in style, which can be a strength or a weakness depending on the ears who hear, but personally I could have wished for a more stylistically "clean" release. Not that variation isn´t a good thing, but more because Virgin Black are more convincing playing some styles than others. The album for example opens very strong with "Opera de Romanci: I. Stare" and "Opera de Romanci: II. Embrace", but can´t quite follow up the powerful and epic opening with something equally breathtaking. All material on the 10 track, 44:25 minutes long album is still very well written though, and overall "Sombre Romantic" is quite the intriguing release.

The sound production is professional, clear, and well sounding, and upon conclusion "Sombre Romantic" doesn´t sound like a typical debut album. Other than the flow of the album, which is disturbed slightly by the stylistic diversity of the music, it´s a pretty impressive release and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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