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Sombre Romantic

Virgin BlackAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $13.02 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2001 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $13.02  

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Frequently Bought Together

Sombre Romantic + Requiem: Mezzo Forte
Price for both: $25.88

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 12, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The End Records
  • ASIN: B00005YP9I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,672 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Opera De Romance: I. Stare
2. Opera De Romance: II. Embrace
3. Walk Without Limbs
4. Of Your Beauty
5. Drink The Midnight Hymn
6. Museum Of Iscariot: I. Stagnation/II. Death/III. Procession
7. Lamenting Kiss
8. Weep For Me
9. I Sleep With The Emperor
10. A Poet's Tears Of Porcelain
11. Unknown

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never gets boring April 2, 2004
Format:Audio CD
It's not often that you find a band that's willing to experiment with several different music styles on the same album. Virgin Black's Sombre Romantic features songs in black metal style ("Drink the Midnight Hymn"), darkwave ("Lamenting Kiss"), gothic ("Museum of Iscariot"), opera/symphonic (opening two songs), and some other goodies thrown in. Rowan's operatic vocals are fantastic; it's nice to find a band with a trained male vocalist instead of the screamy 80's metal voice or overused black/death screaming & growling, the latter of which is becoming used in all the wrong places by some bands. There is very little black metal screaming on this album, and when it does appear, it is used effectively. The songs, composed by Rowan and guitarist Samantha Escarbe, are constantly changing and never get boring. The lyrics show some religious themes, but do not try to force anything down people's throats. It is a lyrically superb product overall. The compositions are very solid, and although no two songs sound alike, there is little disparity in quality of musicianship. Highly recommended to fans of anything from Tristania to Burzum.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Ages with amps December 3, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Virgin Black is the darkest band I've found whose music and lyrics address spiritual crisis without mocking it. While a lot of metal sounds like the heat of killing, this band sounds like an hour later, when we stop and look at the dead all around us. If you've heard Saviour Machine, Virgin Black moves slower and heavier in that direction.

"Opera de Romanci" opens with a cello and Gregorian chant promising darkness to come. "Embrace" makes good on it with a dose of slow metal and orchestration worthy of a film score. Virgin Black strikes a great balance, alternating between "funeral metal" and orchestration. "Walk Without Limbs" starts with a cool beat, like Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business". Then it changes gears into an industrial-rock sound unusual for this band.

"Of Your Beauty" finally puts Rowan London's operatic voice in front. His voice and the exceptional lyrics pull the listener into a place where it's always 4 a.m., and Winter never quite yields to Spring. "Drink The Midnight Hymn" jumps out of the speakers with a dose of speed metal and shrieking akin to Mayhem. On this CD and the following "Elegant...and Dying", the songs change speeds and modes often. Samantha Escarbe plays guitar with restraint, valuing the songs over solos.

"Museum of Iscariot" is a three-part suite with a lot of variety, and less intensity than some of the tracks before and after. "Lamenting Kiss" has a semi-industrial beat and an opening chant that sounds like a train siren losing strength with distance. Then London's voice takes the lead again. "A Poet's Tears of Porcelain" is a powerful finale - Escarbe finally busts out some fierce guitar melodies. The metal cuts off abruptly, leaving a brief chanted melody to end the whole thing. The image I get from this album is of someone lying down on a stone altar in the dark, eyes open, and waiting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Sombre Romantic makes a daring and death-defying leap onto the gothic/metal scene. There are elements of gothic metal that gothic metal has never seen before. The album is extremely melancholic and depressing. The music is mostly down-tempo, lots of melodies and orchestrating going on. The beauty in the album is the combination of operatic vocals with metallic growls. The whole album can be reminiscent of listening to a combination of Pink Floyd, Theatre of Tragedy, and Porcupine Tree. It sends you away to that part of your mind you never experimented with or ever used. This is not background music to be played while you are walking around. This is some serious music to be carefully listened to while you sit and comprehend the beauty and originality of it. The cruel and unusual behaviour of humanity is what Virgin Black sought to accomplish in their music, they have succeeded and then some. This album is amazing, it is a 44 minutes and 38 seconds of Victorian style operatic performances. All the mourning and tears are brought alive by this band.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing debut from this band from down under! February 18, 2002
Format:Audio CD
wow i never thought they could make such wonderfully dark and poetic album in australia. this sounds like it could easily be at home in europe. anyway about the music...well its hard to categorise but the closest description would be gothic electronic metal with operatic and growled male vocals along with some female vocals....its like walking into an eerie carnival or circus from the victorian era england...the atmosphere is wonderfully dark and 'foggy'. the lyrics are brilliant. they also use a live orchestra and piano instead of the usual keyboards which makes them sound very authentic.
anyways this is a very good album which no fan of gothic,ambient or even dark and black metal should not miss
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars opera metal music is reborn again October 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
virgin black is an unbeleivable band i could'nt beleive my ears when i bought this cd and listen to it, iv'e been listening to opeth for the past six months and virgin black is the only band that has pulled me from listening to opeth. new comers trust me don't listen to the 30 second sound clips because theres not enough there to let you know what kind of band they are i recommend just buy the album you want be disappointed, if youre looking for something different then virgin black is the way to start
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Virgin Black can do no wrong
Virgin Black's music is a niche type of music, you will either love it or hate it. I for one, love their music.
Published 9 months ago by Practicedummy
5.0 out of 5 stars Virgin Black!
This is the first I heard from Virgin Black and it has been tear stained love ever since. The variety of sounds in this release work together to form a classical quality.
Published 14 months ago by prodigal son
3.0 out of 5 stars The vocal stylings took me out of this musically enjoyable disc.
Opening with monkish chants and some elegant violins I was getting into this album (my first experience with this band). The singing (in Italian? Read more
Published on February 10, 2012 by THowerton
4.0 out of 5 stars good first effort
I'm not crazy about this album like I am with Elegant and Dying and Requim:Mezzo Forte but after many listens I am starting to get around to liking it. Read more
Published on April 21, 2007 by Brian Skala
4.0 out of 5 stars ***comfort in darkness***
In the current musical mood of whiney bands singing about fake depression and supposedly "dark" passages of songs...ie. Read more
Published on October 17, 2006 by Mr. Robert C. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Something more then what you'd expect.
Sombre Romantic is a step up if you will in the gothic metal genre. It is a very solid album from start to finish but has alot of layers that keep things interesting. Read more
Published on August 29, 2005 by Theseus the Glove
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Metal at it's best!
Virgin Black is absolutely the darkest and most atmospheric band in the world. This is a brilliant album. I love it, it kicks butt and plenty other things. Read more
Published on January 26, 2004 by Tom Servo
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all
It really makes my day when I run across a band that can put together an album that sounds magnificent all the way through and that is what Virgin Black did with this album. Read more
Published on August 7, 2003 by "diahain"
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful
These guys have captured a sound that I've been trying to come up with for some time. Rowan's vocals are haunting, and he has the talent, range, and vocal strength to pull off an... Read more
Published on May 17, 2003 by David Holz
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