Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Virgin Black: Requiem - Fortissimo (5/5)

Joshua's Top 10 Metal Albums of 2008
#1 out of 10

Year: 2008
Genre: Orchestral Funeral Death Doom
Label: The End
TRT: 43:59

Virgin Black continues down the dark spiral of despair with this album. Officially the third and final piece of the Requiem trilogy (though the second to be released), it is the ultimate realization of sorrow and slighted petitions regarding the nature of life and love. Revolving around morbid themes of suffering and death, the band forgoes many of the contrasting elements found in previous releases and opts for a somewhat straight-forward funeral doom metal sound mixed with bursts of death/doom, and vocalist Rowan London abandons his operatic range entirely in favor of death growls. This time around, the band contrasts the heavier side of their sound against the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s classical contributions and the operatic offerings of their resident soprano. This combination manages to open up new avenues of expression and serves to underline the grief and passion of everything else they’ve done.

Fortissimo still nods to previous works, but whereas the main hook for Mezzo Forte was Drink the Midnight Hymn and Opera de Trance, Fortissimo taps the vein of I Sleep With the Emporer. Flowing seamlessly from Mezzo Forte with despair, anger and longing, it's simultaneously devastating, euphoric and cathartic.

01 The Fragile Breath
02 In Winter's Ash
03 Silent
04 God in Dust
05 Lacrimosa (Gather Me)
06 Darkness
07 Forever

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