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Top Customer Reviews
Rowan London's singing and Samantha Escarbe's lyrics express suffering and sorely tested hope. The rock is strong in a Saviour Machine/Opeth/Primordial fashion, but the piano is the most menacing thing about this album. While the bombast and cinematic style are very similar to Saviour Machine's "Legend" trilogy, Virgin Black focuses on the pain of faith instead of any peace or joy found in it.
"The Everlasting" is worth the price of the disc all by itself. At 17:13, the song alternates among every singing style and intensity of music used in the prior tracks. The third verse in "Beloved" sums up the whole CD: "Can anyone taste my blood? / I have clung, quivering, with bruised flesh / Christendom rise and dress yourself / What delicious tears you've made me shed."
There's a LOT of beauty and complex arrangements throughout the CD, but its strongest impact on me is how it romanticizes anguish, how it acknowledges God but challenges all hope equated with His name. "Elegant...and dying" is worth any three CDs of thorny-lettered Satanic speed metal. Plus, these songs are all pretty freakin' long; you get quality AND quantity.
Like Sombre Romantic, Elegant ... and Dying is gothic-influenced doom metal, a mix of brooding piano, operatic baritone singing, usually slow but occassionally black inspired riffing, incredibly emotional lead guitar, with the occasional black shrieks thrown in for good measure. Rowan London's incredible baritone and Samantha Escarbe's meaningful leads deserve particular mention.
However, unlike many dark metal bands, these elements are not simply thrown together but are part of the emotional whole formed by each song along with the honest, painful lyrics. Elegant... and Dying takes this completeness a step further, as the entire album seems to be one complete work of separate parts, rather than 9 separate songs as with Sombre Romantic.
To the reviewer who called it a Rowan London solo album, besides the fact that Samantha handled most of the lyric writing this time around, there's plenty of distorted guitar, but its always the right amount for the song. Additionally, while there isn't a solo on each and every song, a lot of the rhythm parts are harmonized parts with two guitars. Finally, while Virgin Black IS far from being a Christian band, and are anti-established church style Christianity, they have never and don't plan on ever being anti-God. Elegant...and Dying portrays the painfulness of faith in God, but in the end, though our wings are burning, hope remains.
If you dont know virgin black's sound, they make genuinly beautiful music. Whereas opeth, shape of despair etc.. make suffocating clostraphobic music, and agalloch make sparse cold music virgin black create an incredibly rich warm sound. It is, in their own words, "comfort in darkness" and no amount of reviewing could sum it up better then that. It is a dark album. a depressing album, but altogether a beautiful album. Comfortable, rather then desolate.
Piano, orchestras, timpanis, drums (with use of doube pedals) black metal inspired guitars, pianos, keyboards and classically trained vocals create a mixture of black metal, neoclassical, neofolk other genres.
on elagant and dying the band have a variaty of dynamics, from the double pedals in the 16 minute epic "the everlasting" to the timpani and brass driven beginning song.
The album can be heavy aswell, a stripped down black metal, which contrasts with the sparseness of the last song which i find the best on the album due to its desperate atmosphere.
this album however id not about individual tracks. It is a journey,an epic, a mood, an atmosphere, it is not sometihng to briefly listen to, it is something to get submerged in and is completely worth the time and money. I have been listening to metal sincei was 13 and this band are one of my favorites, and trust me when i say they are one of the most beautifel.
in short i would STRONGLY recommend this album to anyone who is into ;
shape or despair
or anyone with some musical intelligence!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably the best CD of this genre, it's dark, deep and very intoxicating. One of my all time favorite CDs.Published 4 months ago by Jack L. Williams
Best Cd by Virgin Black. Goth doom metal for fans of My Dying Bride, Moonspell, Danzig and Type O Negative.Published 5 months ago by P. Buche
This band is a niche band and you will either love their music or hate it. I for one, love their music! :DPublished on October 8, 2013 by Practicedummy
Virgin Black is my favorite band of all time, so I admit my bias. Even still, this release is a great musical experience.Published on May 22, 2013 by Light Of The Morning Star
Ive just started to listen to Virgin Black and WOW WOW WOW.I dont know what to say that hasnt been said before.This group is absolutely delicious. Read morePublished on April 7, 2012 by JUDAS TREES
I did not think I would like this type of "Operatic" metal. An old girlfriend turned me on to this, and I thank her for this and many other wonderful things. Read morePublished on April 30, 2006 by D. West
This is a very interesting band. They are pretty hard to classify and they are a variety of elements. Read morePublished on October 7, 2004 by Brian Skala