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Review: Virgin Black - Sombre Romantic
Virgin Black
Sombre Romantic

Label: Independent
Year released: 2001
Duration: 44:38
Tracks: 10
Genre: Gothic Metal


Review online: July 9, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam McAuley
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.82/5 (76.36%) (11 Votes)

This is an atmospheric, almost gothic metal band from Australia that performs with a great deal of passion and some classical instrumentation. The songs are often haunting and complemented by elements like operatic vocals and piano. The music might appear on the surface to be cheesy, but there is actually a great deal of substance to these tracks as they weave memorable moods into their sound. The songs often find stumble across incredibly catchy moments with the orchestration provided.

Despite adding some complexity, the songs are ingrained in a rudimentary style finds a nice overall balance to the disc. The word sublime comes to mind to describe the music of Virgin Black. It isn't perfect, as some portions are too long and drawn out, but the number of outstanding moments more than make up for these. In comparison to a band like Hollenthon, the songs here are more subtle, yet no less powerful. Both bands have had their success on certain occasions and Sombre Romantic is probably the high point of the Virgin Black discography. The highlight of this release is the nice build-up of the track "The Museum of Iscariot" which is followed by another excellent one in "Lamenting Kiss". Unfortunately, the album doesn't start as magnificently as this peak, but the stellar parts are worth taking notice of.

It may take time to adapt to the very unique sound of this band, but the journey is well worth the time. This collection of songs is more strong and interesting than any other Virgin Black album and makes Sombre Romantic a recommended release.

Additional Information

Re-released by The End Records in 2002.

More about Virgin Black...
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