I must confess the fact I don`t know older releases from Virgin Black... but now it will change soon, because this record really got me today.
"Requiem - Mezzo Forte" is excellent fusion of classical music and very slow (funeral) doom metal. Actually, guest musicians often take main roles here, namely Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Susan Johnson on soprano. Choir is also important and often used element here. Metal components are added sensitively; vocalist Rowan London uses his tenor much more than his growls, while drums plays decently for the most time, guitars are usually put on to further develope the theme or just follow it. Nobody is trying to stand out above the others, they all work together for one consistent outcome. And really nobody is hurrying here, it`s a requiem, you know...
What a beautiful record this is!