Virgin Black

Sombre Romantic

Artist : Virgin Black
Genre : Doom Metal
Format : CD

Sombre Romantic was fashioned without a fleeting glance at what the long-established genres it engaged would have expected of it. An incredibly ambitious work, it thrust together doom, classical, opera, gothic and industrial elements in a way that somehow still allowed for a seamless stream of signature, cohesive darkness.

The single Walk Without Limbs epitomises this experimentalism, combining hard, cold industrial-like beats with a menacingly dark soundscape that builds to a chaotic crescendo where utterly spine-chilling vocals enter to punctuate its finale.  Elsewhere on the album, Museum Of Iscariot remains incredibly potent to this day as a truly heartbreaking piece, its at times “bare-bones” presentation of lone acoustic guitar and solo voice setting up an immensely emotional impact with the wailing guitar leads.

Following the release of Sombre Romantic in 2000, Virgin Black quickly became a key figure in a marked era of legendary label The End Records. It was Virgin Black, alongside equally unique and self-assured acts such as Antimatter and Agalloch that were emblematic of the label’s strong vanguard ethos. Pioneers in a time when musical categories were far more rigidly adhered to.