Quintessence – The Dead Landscapes


Arising from what sounds to be a rehearsal recording, Michigan’s Quintessence (featuring former members of Sauron, Somber, Necrodeit and Grey Earth) summon the forces of barbaric and chaotically raw/noisey black metal of the light cursing variety. The drums often get buried in the static, but you can always feel their presence and every instrument somehow pokes through the mix. The abrasive tone adds a hateful atmosphere which I’m sure was the bands intention. The music… with a screamed vocal delivery that boarders on insanity, Quintessence have a good idea on how to establish a musical direction by using repetition, but as on “Sacrifice (Final Breath of the Fallen)”, repeating the same guitar lines over and over again in the hopes of establishing a “hypnotic” feel backfires due to the boring nature of the riff itself (this 20 minute track could have been cut in half and been a lot more enjoyable). Quintessence does use this simplicity effectively on the opener “Never Shall the Tower Wanderings of the Black Wizards be without their Glory and Reward”, due to the fact that the riff idea is a longer phrase and there is dimension there that the band capitalizes on by introducing an overlying harmony. They take a good idea and build upon it, all the while leaving the musical structure itself simple, while the maniacal vocals change enough to keep everything from falling into a rut. The opening track is quite impressive as this band have established a unique sound for themselves right away. Even the overly brooding tracks that seem to stagnate with too much of a stripped down drone in the guitar work, eventually shift into a much needed tempo or musical key change to wake the listener back up and enjoy the ending part of the song. There really is a lot of promise here as I feel this band truly is on the cusp of some creative breakthrough. They possess a very traditional but engaging atmosphere and maintain it through the lo-fi recording and overall chaotic feel of their music when the speed kicks in with sloppy abandon as on “Ages of Wisdom” and “The Elder Tower (Spirits Driven by Knowledge and Understanding).” The more I have listened to “The Dead Landscapes”, the more it has clicked with me and I really look forward to hearing where this bands goes as they hopefully refine their recording practices and sink even more thought and direction into their songwriting. – Marty
2838 E. Clinton Tr.
Charlotte, MI 48813 USA
alyx-13@hotmail.com or kekrops@zworg.com

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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