Rating:
9.2
Virgin Black - Requiem - Fortissimo
18 February 2008


01. The Fragile Breath
02. In Winters Ash
03. Silent
04. God In Dust
05. Lacrimosa (Gather Me)
06. Darkness
07. Forever


Australia's Virgin Black is one underrated band. After flooring the Gothic competition by releasing one masterpiece after the other, the band undertook a full-year of recording with a complete symphonic orchestra that gave birth to three albums under the project name "Requiem". While the first part of the trilogy Requiem - Mezzo Forte was a breathtaking album in their characteristic style, Requiem - Fortissimo deals with the dark side of their music.

Definitely heavier than its predecessor, Requiem - Fortissimo is another landmark for Virgin Black. Singer and mastermind Rowan London left his clean vocals home on this one. Growling from the first second to the last, this might take listeners by surprise. But true to himself, Rowan showcases once more that he is one of the best singers out there, managing to bring emotion, melancholy, and variation to his growls. At times, it sounds like Satan is in the house and can become quite disturbing if you are unprepared for this kind of vocals. Plus Rowan's vocals are often coupled with disturbing background vocals, either male or female. If I had to rename this album, this one would be called "Land of the Dead". It's so dark, it feels like we are projected into a twilight world where the dead are talking to the living.

The orchestra plays a big part in this record, despite the "fortissimo" tag that might let you believe otherwise. Virgin Black's artistic approach to music impresses me. Using all the advantages of the orchestra while building melodic riffs with Samantha Escarbe's guitars, the songs are all testimonies of the band's know-how. Above all, Virgin Black retains its slow, languishing atmospheres that turn anything they touch to gold. If you need an example of an album that can be dark and heavy without shredding and blasting 90% of the time, this record is for you.

A few melodies from Requiem - Mezzo Forte reappear along the tracks with a culmination point on 'Darkness'. But it is not some patchwork re-use, far from it! The arrangements are more than tasteful and the whole album flows easily and leaves the listener astounded. Now, I have to underline the fact that listening to this is an intense experience, and some of you might not be drawn to such music. However, as far as symphonic as concerned, the meeting of Virgin Black and the Adelaide Symphonic Orchestra fashioned a reference point for any Metal band, and really, for any band.

Set to be release in February 2008, Requiem - Fortissimo is going to establish Virgin Black to yet another level, and they might attract more fans with this devilish, dark melodic opus. It is what music should sound like: dark, heavy, melodic, intriguing. Now, I am looking forward to Requiem - Pianissimo, yet to be released. But for now, this album is going to top my charts for a while.


Highlights: 'Darkness', 'Silent' and 'God in Dust'

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Virgin Black
Album: Requiem - Fortissimo


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 08.12.2007



Comments

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Katatronik - 08.12.2007 at 12:55  
So spoke well... Such an underrated band!
Can't wait to hear this new work, Mezzo Forte was amazing IMO...
Bararey - 08.12.2007 at 16:28  
Hope with this release they get a greater exposure, they really deserve it.
the stranger - 08.12.2007 at 17:12  
The masterminds are both Samantha Escarbe & Rowan London one can't create music without the other. Except that fact alone, great review.
Veneror - 08.12.2007 at 23:07  
Written by the stranger on 08.12.2007 at 17:12

The masterminds are both Samantha Escarbe & Rowan London one can't create music without the other. Except that fact alone, great review.

True, true. Like others, and as a longstanding fan of about 6 years, I hope Virgin Black is able to gain more exposure off of this next album - not that it's what they're soley after - clearly they're true musicians and artists not desperate for attention and respect - but because there's something beautiful to gain from their music for those that will hear it and invest some time in them and the subject matter presented.
Adammm - 08.12.2007 at 23:38  
Been looking forward to this since I heard Mezzo Forte a few months ago. Sounds like it'll be even better than I expected.

Can't wait for Piannismo to come out so I can listen to all 3 in sequence.

Also, contrary to your review; I've been under the impression that Mezzo Forte is the second piece in the trilogy (kind of a transition). Fortissimo being Part 3, the heaviest. While Piannismo will be the softest record, kicking off the trilogy.
Aphelion74 - 09.12.2007 at 04:33  
I head "Silent" on their myspace. That male voice is a total disaster, I can understand the lower exposure than other bands. Take Therion's Lemuria/SiruisB, not es prog as Virgin Black and not that orchestral either, but...great atmospheres and a little difference:

Mats Leven

I guess I ll keep listening to Mezzo Forte which is simply divine!

I think Fortissimo without horrible growls would have been much better, but hey i m no raw black/raw death fan. Thanks for the review Tutor, stay...canadian

Cheeeeers
Damned-In-Black - 09.12.2007 at 04:59  
Can't wait to hear the full album... I think I heard a track from it on their myspace at some stage, too... and wasn't overly impressed (I can't remember why.. and I'd rather wait for the full album, to hear it again), but I'm still expecting my thoughts on the album as a whole to be very positive.
BlueMobius - 09.12.2007 at 05:35  
Written by Guest on 08.12.2007 at 23:07

Written by the stranger on 08.12.2007 at 17:12

The masterminds are both Samantha Escarbe & Rowan London one can't create music without the other. Except that fact alone, great review.

True, true. Like others, and as a longstanding fan of about 6 years, I hope Virgin Black is able to gain more exposure off of this next album - not that it's what they're soley after - clearly they're true musicians and artists not desperate for attention and respect - but because there's something beautiful to gain from their music for those that will hear it and invest some time in them and the subject matter presented.


Yes, I like the message of this band. Very good.
the stranger - 09.12.2007 at 16:59  
Written by Guest on 09.12.2007 at 04:33

I head "Silent" on their myspace. That male voice is a total disaster, I can understand the lower exposure than other bands. Take Therion's Lemuria/SiruisB, not es prog as Virgin Black and not that orchestral either, but...great atmospheres and a little difference:

Mats Leven

I guess I ll keep listening to Mezzo Forte which is simply divine!

I think Fortissimo without horrible growls would have been much better, but hey i m no raw black/raw death fan. Thanks for the review Tutor, stay...canadian

Cheeeeers


I had a similar feeling when I heard Mezzo Forte in the first place. I don't think that Rowan's growls are awful, they are pretty good, much better than your average death growler. The thing is that it takes time to grow on you.
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.12.2007 at 17:02  
Sorry but I have the same problem with this album and band as with Saviour Machine it just instantly puts me to sleep, that's how boring I find it. It is one of the couple of perfect cures for insomnia.
And I don't find this emotional music at all.
This is one of those bands I can't understand people going bonkers about.
ArcesseEum - 11.12.2007 at 02:08  
I saw them with The Oracle in toronto... they were amazing.
madgirltheory - 15.12.2007 at 05:27  
VB is my Australian fav band, wow... can't wait to see their new album
vargmetaleux - 24.02.2008 at 19:08  
with this album Virgin Black confirmed their potential but nothing special nd it's not definitely heavier than its predecessor.
omjaimes - 14.03.2008 at 17:30  
heyy ... I need the lyrics of Requiem - Fortissimo; my mother languaje is spanish so i dont understand some parts in the lyrics;:noidea: please sombody send me the lyrics ... thnks
Kinetic - 19.04.2008 at 19:34  
This trilogy of albums is far from being gothic...the metal element in both albums is funeral doom, growls included. Except probably for Silent and God in Dust.

Both decent releases if you want (I know this sounds silly) to experience evil dungeons.
Sebulba - 04.06.2008 at 11:07  
every comment seems different than the other, different oppinions it seems ...so, not much help here, I just have to listen to it myself
Freezer - 04.06.2008 at 11:47  
Written by Kinetic on 19.04.2008 at 19:34

This trilogy of albums is far from being gothic...the metal element in both albums is funeral doom, growls included. Except probably for Silent and God in Dust.

Both decent releases if you want (I know this sounds silly) to experience evil dungeons.
Indeed, it's very much more doom oriented than gothic. I'll give it a listen, since I liked Mezzo Forte
HolyandFallen - 16.06.2008 at 20:07  
That's the Virgin Black I would surely never expect. So powerful, so heavy, so mercyless, great work! I was really impressed by Mezzo Forte, but Fortissimo...is seriously kicking us into that extreme atmosphere they never used before.
moonton - 01.08.2008 at 09:41  
so depressive. one of the best albums eve.
dismaleuphony - 15.09.2008 at 08:35  
I finally picked up this album, and really, it's one of the band's best, if not their best altogether Great vocal work as always, and finally the band gives us all the heaviness that they can, and does it with confidence! I'm still getting into the lyrics and such, but I think I will let their upcoming live performance in a few weeks let me in on the band's emotional spirit first!

And I definitely agree about the disturbing aspects of the vocals... they are used with class and not done in an immature, cliche way that so many bands are content to use. Nice
Solstafir! - 26.10.2009 at 22:05  
That's one creepy artwork...
That's one awesome band!
THE_BLACK_GOD - 11.01.2010 at 00:38  
"At times, it sounds like Satan ...", "Lacrimosa" exactly has made me feel this. I had gotten goosebumps for the very first time when I heard it.

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