Virgin Black Requiem — Mezzo Forte

Virgin Black Requiem — Mezzo Forte
Mezzo Forte is the second part and first release from Virgin Black’s monumental latest undertaking: a three-album requiem mass composed by band members Samantha Escarbe and Rowan London, and performed with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Do not confuse this with Metallica’s S & M — this is not a pop symphonisation of pre-existing songs. Nor is this Requiem the kind of neoclassical metal hybrid that’s emerged from the Therion-fuelled European metal scene. Inspired by musical romantics like Brahms, and in the spirit of some of the most powerfully emotional film scores, Mezzo Forte is an expressively dramatic interweaving of Virgin Black’s already boundary-crossing metal (and all the doom-laden and gothic atmospheres that entails) with expansive orchestral and choral soundscapes. Escarbe’s singing leads and crushing riffs play off London’s soaring melodies and visceral growls, with choir and orchestra acting as the intermediary between. As bombastic as the project may sound, the album never explodes over the top of taste and effective restraint. And as ambitious and challenging as this project must have been to pull off, Mezzo Forte never loses touch with the basic Virgin Black aesthetic. Amidst all the sophistication and complexity still lies a dark metal band with a pile of talent and soul. (The End)