Hailing from Australia and describing themselves as a "symphonic/ gothic/classical act," Virgin Black are a dour quartet who revel in all that is dark and doomy. Requiem—Mezzo Forte, the band's just-released effort, is the third component of a brain-spinning five-part trilogy that's equally confusing and impressive. Rowan London leads this decadent crew through the expectedly dire trials and tribulations but also manages to infuse the proceedings with a legitimately classical tone that benefits everyone involved. Like Marilyn Manson fronting a full orchestra, this is dense, heavy shit that struggles (like most metal) to overcome its pretensions. In the end, Virgin Black emerge from the murk and present more of a demonic, tongue-in-cheek road show than an actual band. Just how scary does scary have to be? How much eyeliner and shadowy robes can one band bring on tour? Why not head to Arlington and find out?
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