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Virgin Black's SOMBRE ROMANTIC is put together very much in the classic composer style, as the Australian Gothic metal troupe take great care in creating and maximizing the drama and dynamics during the course of this 10 track release. Melding black metal with touches of opera and Medieval music, Virgin Black's inspirations go way beyond your average extreme metal band's love for Cradle of Filth. There are vocal moments on this disc that will send chills down your spine, likened to hearing a Pavarotti concert, yet those instances are balanced out with some galloping guitar runs that would give Dimmu Borgir a run for its mascara money. In short, Virgin Black succeeds where other bands can't even compete. By giving the extreme metal listener something truly extreme, rather than rehashed heaviness or third-rate operatics, we get a work of art that many Gothic rock fans will shed quite a few tears to.
- Mike SOS