VIRGIN BLACK - Elegant... And Dying
July 15, 2003, 15 years ago
Whether or not it was originally conceived as such, Virgin Black's second album sounds more like a gothic religious ceremony (complete with Gregorian-like chants) than a collection of "songs." The nine tracks that make up this 75-minute epic have the feel of symphonic movements and frequently go from quiet, gentle piano or guitar interludes to thunderous metal crescendos, the dark lyrics and operatic vocals (and choir!) lending a seriously dramatic air to the whole thing. Elegant... And Dying is a bombastic and ponderous affair, taking goth's penchant for morose tragedy to unmatched extremes. Yes, it is overwrought and a slight bit pretentious, but one can't help but be impressed by this Aussie quintet's ability to craft such a fully realized work.