Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Quitessenz - To The Gallows


1. Zeitgeist
2. Of Majestic Shores
3. The Claws Of Nosferatu
4. Her Spell
5. Sounding The Funeral Bell
6. To The Gallows
7. Endless Night
8. Seth
9. Gloomweaver
10. Cursed By Moonlight

One-man German black/thrash with old-school tendencies you say? Don't mind if I do! Quintessenz is that band (at least on record anyway) and "To The Gallows" is the band's latest full-length. Genozide formed the band in 2010 and subsequently released an demo and an EP in the following two years. The EP "Okkult Metal Spell" was released as a 7" via Evil Spell Records, whom also released the band's debut album "Back To The Kult Of The Tyrants" in 2013. "To The Gallows" was released right at the turn of the new year and is available on both cd and LP.

This is definitely a lot more catchy than I was expecting it to be. Opener Zeitgeist is equal parts Venom and Danzig, with great guitar work and possessed but audible vocals. Great fun already and all played on record by one man. There’s more menacing atmosphere abound on Of Majestic Shores. The song is more progressive but it still contains the infectious bounce of the album opener. The production is incredibly strong for a solo effort as well, helping the solos to really stand out. “To The Gallows” is definitely a diamond in the rough and I wasn’t prepared for it to be this fun to listen to. The Claws Of Nosferatu gallops along at a strong pace and the reverb/echo on the vocals add yet more old-school vibes. No songs on the album are long for the sake of it and there’s no time for mid-paced shenanigans either, just straight-up headbanging mayhem, as demonstrated on Her Spell with it’s extended instrumental passage and continuous blasting. Twin-harmonies are the icing on the cake too. You’d think that with a title like Sounding The Funeral Bell, it would be some kind of slow burning funeral doom song but it so isn’t. It’s very much in keeping with the rest of the record but with added  effects that bring out the horror-punk in the album. The title-track starts with a very telling sampled intro and it’s followed by the most convincing black metal shrieks on the album so far. This song highlights the breadth of Genozide’s musical palette. The band’s lengthiest song is Endless Night but you wouldn’t know it. There’s a lot to be said for heavy metal in it’s purer form, but one you can’t say is that it’s boring! Even the endearing folk-guitar that backs up the vocals during the second half of the song are excellent and lead to a rather dramatic ending. Seth may be named after a long departed Yorkshire soap-opera character, but it’s not beige I tell thee! There’s subtle Middle-Eastern melody going on at times and it remains a thoroughly intense affair. There’s actually a surprising amount of technicality present on “To The Gallows”. Gloomweaver contains a lot amongst it’s frenetic pace. Album closer Cursed By Midnight is like the black/thrash equivalent of skate-punk and could well have graced any Tony Hawk soundtrack back in the day. It’s a fitting way to end the record. Quintessenz is great and “To The Gallows” is well worth getting hold of.

"To The Gallows" isn't currently streaming online with the exception of Youtube, where some songs are available. 

You can buy both cd and LP versions directly from Quintessenz here - http://www.quintessenz.bigcartel.com. They're also available from Evil Spell Records here - https://shop.undercover-records.de/NEW-PRODUCTS_1

Evil Spell Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/underevilspell

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