Virgin Black Elegant…and dying

At its foundation Elegant…and dying is doom metal, slow and sombre, sewn together with Samantha Escarbe’s sorrowful lead guitar lament. But that’s only one dimension of an album that abounds in classical structures and arrangements, melancholy choirs, soul-splitting growls, and even a lazy jazzy groove. Virgin Black’s music comes across like a film score at times, painting images that could easily belong to some abstract, artistic movie, and Rowan London’s vocals have an echoey ghost-like quality that just intensifies the album’s solemn atmosphere. Leaving behind the little venture into techno they briefly took on their End Records debut, Virgin Black focus less on individual songs and more on creating an overall work of art, one that’s almost painfully lovely. I’ve had the good fortune to watch this band develop from the time of their first demo to their flowering as a worthy addition to the avant-garde school of metal, and with each release they continue to prove themselves more deserving of appreciation and respect. (The End)