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I realize that this is an album designed for a very different sort of metalhead than me, but even when adopting the persona of the bizarro version of me that would conceivably like this stuff I can't find anything to enjoy here. This is one of the most artificial and pointless albums I've ever heard, and I own Exordium material. I have trouble imagining the sort of person who actually finds Quinta Essentia entertaining; they have to be zombies because this is utterly lifeless, plastic music with essentially nothing to recommend for it. It's bad in the way that an album can be bad only when a bunch of extremely capable musicians are involved, so I guess there's that: this is very technically proficient music, but that's about the end of my praise for this release.
I think that Quinta Essentia has invented a new style of metal on this release that I will dub 'Jerry Bruckheimer metal'. You know, it's what happens when you combine black and death metal, strip out everything that makes those genres interesting to listen to, and adds a ton of explosions and terse one-liners instead. Apaprently someone was listening to some black/death one day and decided there weren't enough facemelting solos, so here now is Quinta Essentia, a pseudo-shred band masquerading as black/death metal and managing to do none of the styles involved particularly well. Bruckheimer's explosions are in this album replaced with solos, which flair up just as frequently and obnoxiously as cars blowing up and with half as much subtlety or taste. I'm not saying that explosions or solos are bad by design, but basing an entire artistic composition around them rarely turns out well, especially when you're taking things as unbelievably fucking seriously as Quinta Essentia does.
If you've ever wondered what a pointless, solo-heavy form of black/death metal sounds like, the answer is, oddly enough, significantly like Strapping Young Lad. Granted, this sounds like Strapping Young Lad without any of the songwriting chops or emotional earnestness which makes that band so enjoyable to listen to, but the general aesthetic of hopelessly overblown, ultra-dramatic compositions and guitar-heavy songwriting is somewhat similar. This is slightly more death than black, but both of those genres are represented more in aesthetic than in content; I couldn't really identify any riffs that were genuinely black or death metal in nature; only very neutered forms of the genres pop up here and there, and even then most of this album proceeds as a very generic breed of 'extreme metal' which is as generic as the name implies. Much of this album seems to be a tech demo more than an actual musical piece; it's sort of the extreme metal version of Annihilator's 'Alice In Hell' in that regard.
Quinta Essentia attempts to make 'epic' music but completely fails because they have no idea how to go about it. The songwriting is unbelievably haphazard and amateurish, completely unable to sustain any coherent flow and mostly sounding as though the tabs for all the songs were written, thrown up into the air, and rearranged randomly. When a new riff appears, it's a complete crapshoot to see whether it will connect with the previous riff or just be something different entirely, and not in an interesting, experimental way, but in an annoying and incoherent way. This has all the elements of being epic- vast melodies, a wide production job, suitably enormous lyrics- but they're not arranged into anything meaningful; they're just dumped in a pile and expected to work themselves out into an 'epic' soundscape. The whole album comes off as lazy and mostly unprofessional despite the technical skill all the musicians clearly hold (and let you know about nonstop).
The most annoying feature by far, though, are the omnipresent solos. There's about twelve per song and they last for-fucking-ever, meedley-meedling wherever a gap in the lyrics occurs. The solos don't have anything to do with the rest of the musical ideas of the song; they're just there to be solos, because the band figures that metalheads like solos but place no importance on context or meaning in them. They're symptomatic of the songs, really: they're fucking never ending, wearing out their welcome within the first two minutes of rehashed ideas and never managing to go anywhere meaningful despite how 'epic' everything sounds. Everything about this album is too much; it's clearly a case where there's simply not enough ideas to carry a release, so the band figured they'd just overdrive everything and hope no one would notice.
I don't get who this is for; it's as though a band tried to make black/death metal for people who hate those styles and want something that approximates them without containing any of the features that define them. As you can tell, this album is absolutely horrible and not recommended to anyone except perhaps guitar students, and even then only lightly. I have no idea how or why this music was created, but I know that supporting it would be a dire mistake.
What strikes me here is that this really reminds of an old Swedish band called Decameron from time to time, especially the more melodic parts and vocal wise. Some form of melodic black and mixed in is a dose of death metal.
Dozens of different vocal styles can be heard on here, everything from clean to screams to growls, and all kinds of versions of the different styles too. So it’s pretty diverse in that aspect. Take track four, Quintessential holocaust, for example. We get served five minutes of grinding melodic black metal, evolving into some showing off guitar-wise with intricate solos and such, breaking down into a misanthropic kind of Shining like black metal. But I always go back to thinking of Decameron. So if you’re a fan of those guys then this is a sure bet.
As I said earlier it’s pretty diverse, in all kinds of manner. While grinding and screaming like hell it can suddenly become extremely melodic, only to shape shift into something else. This is really cool, and if you’re not a pussy who needs your metal to be cast in a certain mould then I advice you to check it out.
Originally written for www.mylastchapter.net
I first came across Quinta Essentia courtesy of an online radio website that had a playlist featuring the track "Intuitive Path of Strength and Will" what really struck me about these guys is how they were able to blend so many styles together in one 40 minute masterpiece.
We begin with an epic introduction that leaves you wondering what to expect when the first song starts. Then it flows into the first track "The Destiny of Pity is Destruction" which showcases some very catchy riffs and at 4:50 into the song there is a beautiful tapping solo (reminds me of something Rob Vigna from Immolation would do) and a great mix of death/black and clean vocals to showcase the utter brilliance this album has to offer.
We then come to the track that got me interested in these guys, "Intuitive Path of Strength and Will" which starts off with a very memorable driving riff and showcases some very nice solos and the continued use of excellent vocal variation which seem to flow perfectly. What is also interesting about this song is the continued use of multiple cymbal hits that sound very well placed during another memorable riff that is found within the first couple of minutes.
We then come to the fourth track "Quintessential Holocaust" This happens to be the longest track on the record but, what is great about it is that it does not get boring. They really seem to have this formula down to a science. A mix of some more great riffs, excellent drumming that seems to be right on par with the riffing and it has one of the more interesting guitar intros I've heard in as long as I can remember.
We then come to an interlude that is just over two minutes of flowing guitar sweeps that showcase just how incredible this band's guitarists are. This leads into the next excellent offering, "Hidden Constellation" who knew astronomy could be so interesting.
We then come to another song that has references to stars in the solar system, "Guided By Polaris" this song as well continues the technically crafted songs that still have an edge as well Finally we have an outro that is the perfect closer to this song that ties the whole album up together in the perfect way.
To anyone who is a fan of progressive death metal or even you thrash fans I strongly encourage you to give this album your undivided attention. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Also, order this album from their website if you like it because these guys deserve support for putting out one of the best debuts the 00s have seen.