Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 5 Albums NOT of 2012 (Day Three)

Virgin Black- Requiem - Pianissimo

There's something about trilogies that seems popular in films that hasn't really caught on as much in music.  A three part movie series is almost expected of a modern blockbuster movie.  One tends to think of albums as two-parters if they're extended past LP length, and even this isn't exactly a common move in extreme heavy metal.  Opeth's Deliverance and its companion Damnation, the newest releases from Baroness and Moonspell , Helloween's pair of "Keeper" albums are all examples (the former and latter stretching the "double album" terminology) but most bands stay shy of the 80 minute mark and keep their albums on one disc.  Gothic doomsters Virgin Black had a more ambitious idea, however.  Three albums, all backed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, each expressing a different facet of the band.  Record label intervention led to the three albums being staggered and released in a different order than the original intention.  Fair enough, it made sense to put a year between the albums and to issue "Requiem - Mezzo Forte" in 2007 first, as it represented an extension of the band's older sound.  "Requiem - Fortissimo" was next and it was definitely a shock to hear at first.  This was the band at their most aggressive; guttural howls atop crushing death/doom.  In a perfect world 2009 would've brought as the "Pianissimo" part of the trilogy, a completely symphonic release.  For some reason years have gone by and the band is on an "extended break" without concrete plans to the album's fate.

Until "Pianissimo"'s release we're left with an incomplete work.  What's doubly frustrating was that it's considered part one of the trilogy.

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