Quintessence Mystica

The 5th Harmonic Of Death

Written by: PP on 26/01/2011 02:05:11

A despaired holler of "wooooaaaaahhh" opens "The 5th Harmonic Of Death", a fitting introduction and a brief moment of foreshadow for the evil and putrefying soundscape put forth for the next three-quarters by Quintessence Mystica, a Ukrainian black metal outfit. Not to worry, melody plays a huge role throughout the record (kinda given away by the title, too) given it's black metal of the symphonic kind. That is, the overkill on snare drums, blast beats, and tremolo riffs is accompanied by dramatic, theatric synths throughout the album.

The shrieks are your standard, evil black metal ones, typical to the genre but yet fitting and suitable for their sound as a whole. Nothing new here, in other words, this stuff has been done to death by the likes of Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and the likes, or the basic premise of it, at least. Occasionally, however, the band ventures all out into electronica in a few synth-only passages where they use sounds that you would normally associate with the neon and scene-core genres, such as on "Aspects Of Contemplation Projected Onto The Eternity" (yeah, I know, ridiculous title). Think Abandon All Ships and stuff like that. Perhaps that's an overstatement of sorts, but Quintessence Mystica come curiously close to sucking in elements from very, very trendy genres to spice up their sound. And you know what? I kinda like it. It's an interesting and certainly a brave approach to symphonic black metal, one not too many bands have dared to try. It's too bad the effect isn't used more extensively throughout the album, as it would give the band a truly unique sound within the niché genre, and perhaps even appeal to people outside of it.

Then you have a song like "Crossroads Of Time", which integrates saddened bagpipes (by the sounds of it) into the mix, adding a layer of melancholic melody on top of the endless tremolo riffing. Complete with funeral-styled synths, it makes the song another highlight and a breath of fresh air in a genre riddled with saturated genericness brought by a thousand Dimmu Borgir clones. Make no mistake, though, Quintessence Mystica are very much an underground, evil black metal band at heart, evident in the shrieks and the rolling and rumbling tremolo riffs that dominate this album. But I for one welcome the variation, the desire to sound different, something a great deal more black metal bands should look into. P.s. get a fuckin' Myspace/Bandcamp/Reverbnation/Soundcloud page please. It's 2011 for fuck's sake.


Download: Aspects Of Contemplation Projected Onto The Eternity
For the fans of: Dark End, Demonic Resurrection, Sycronomica
Listen: A few songs on label Myspace

Release date 07.01.2011
Schwarzdorn Production

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