Virgin Black combines elements of doom metal and classical music, and in its image, the band uses gothic aesthetics, which led a critic to describe their style as having influences of "dark wave with gothic atmosphere" and "symphonic gothic-doom". Rooted in Death/Doom, Virgin Black states their influences the British group My Dying Bride, the American gothic metal band Saviour Machine and 19th century classical music. Sombre Romantic features operatic elements combined with some doom and black metal influences, representing shrieking vocals, death growls and melodramatic tenor and baritone singing as well as choirs. Their sound is typically sorrowful representing mostly down-tempo arrangements. Occasionally the lead guitarist Samantha Escarbe plays a faster tremolo riffs typical for extreme metal, such as on "Drink the Midnight Hymn" from the debut album. Sometimes there are longer, mellow and emotional guitar solos such as on "Weep for Me". Certain songs such as "Walk without Limbs", combines ominous cello with programmed drums typical for Dark Wave music.
Virgin Black's lyrics are typically introspective, melodramatic and poetic, featuring gothic horror take on usually faith-based subjects. While members of Virgin Black have Christian beliefs, the band has often sought to explain that its music is an exploration of spirituality and attempts to highlight the difference between the Church and the spiritual aspects of Christianity. In response to a question on the "religious atmosphere" in their music, Rowan London responded: "We write our music and lyrics from a personal perspective, hence they do have a particular moral and meaning but we also encourage people to shape it to fit their specific situation. "Museum Of Iscariot" for example was written from a spiritual view point and is describing the struggle to step beyond the limitations that we all seem to put on ourselves. However, even though its written within a spiritual context it can also be applied to many different aspects of life. Its important to understand that we're not trying to act as if we know everything about life, it would just be great to see more people considering things other than purely the material world."