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Genözider goes one step further... really? - 74%

Felix 1666, September 15th, 2018

The promo sheet tells us that Quintessenz have modified their style after the simple and furious debut. To be more precise, we are informed that the new album "goes one step further". But frankly speaking, I have doubts whether this is the right description. The one-man-army has recorded an album with new elements, but some of them border on parody, for example the vocals of the opener. A guest singer is responsible for the more or less clear vocals with a slightly demonic touch. By the way, this guy is one of three guest vocalist and I do not really see a sense in this accumulation of mercenaries. Genözider himself also delivers some more or less bombastic clean vocals during the further pieces and honestly said, I did not think that the music of Quintessenz needs this feature. Anyway, "Zeitgeist", the opener, already indicates a less strict approach and songs like "Sounding the Funeral Bell" have a melancholic and melodic sound as well. By the way, exactly this track displays that some tunes are heavily influenced by classic heavy (power) metal, just listen to the flattening guitar work of the verses.

Compared with the straight hammering of the debut, the here presented material has potentially more substance, but is this really a value in itself? Okay, the songs are equipped with mostly strong riffs and they do not suffer from major flaws, but a stubborn bastard like me misses the untamed rage of the predecessor. I appreciate the dark vibes of the album, of the music as well as of the artwork, but two or three additional speed attacks would have been nice. "The Claws of Nosferatu" shows impressively that straight brutality is still a core competency of the German lone wolf. Even a massive keyboard intermezzo does not hurt the violent wave of this track. Weekend warriors and wimps of any kind will also fall victim to "Her Spell" in view of its well defined riffing and its murderous drive. But let's stay fair, the entire album scores with a profound heaviness and an aggression level that tramples the posers one by one into their extremely cheap coffins.

If I try to forget the currish, Quorthon-influenced debut for a moment, I must admit that only a few numbers of "To the Gallows" fail to convince. Too bad that exactly the title track is neither furious nor melancholic. Its slightly ugly appearance cannot enthuse me and the nearly socio-critical lyrics of "Endless Night" ("Nature is just another weakness to overwhelm") seem displaced. Anyway, all in all, Quintessenz have released a good album with a proper production and predominantly strong material which houses a few Mercyful Fate ingredients. Some melodic guitar lines remind me of the Danish legend. By contrast, the apocalyptic "Seth" is not melodic at all, but the last highlight and its slightly oriental intro matches perfectly with the lyrics. (Incidentally, this is the last track with guest vocals and I cannot deny that Tyrannizer's nagging works well. Check out Nocturnal's glorious "Storming Evil" in this context.) So it's up to you whether you prefer this pretty meticulously designed output or to share my point of view and decide yourself for the more direct debut.

Originally written for Metalegion.com