Qntal “VIII Nachtblume” (Drakkar)
I’m going to presume that Qntal will be a new name for the majority of our readers for this, a Metal website. I discovered the band via Spotify a few years back, when I was searching for electronic music for a playlist I was building. And Qntal stood out as they mix electronic music, with a Medieval sound. Be it mixing a poem to music or some upbeat medieval themed jig.
The biography compares them to Dead Can Dance, which I think is a big mistake. Sure they are a lead by a male/female combination, but this is more electronic based, whereas Dead Can Dance have more of an ethnic/tribal feel… and this feels much more, I don’t know, luxurious and Gothic.
Most of the vocals are handled by Syrah, and she fits in nicely with the sound of Neoclassical band, Autumn Tears, if you need a more familiar point of reference. Musically, this goes from Medieval, to atmospheric electronica to an upbeat sound that borders on EBM, without the aggression. One of the tracks, “Die Finstere Nacht” even reminded me of the Euro disco beats of Boney M.
And where you ultimately place this, I genuinely couldn’t tell you. It’s ethereal, it’s enchanting, it evokes thoughts of a time gone by… but wrapped in electronics, with the Medieval dancefest of “Chint”, being my favourite track on an album with constantly shifting sands. The choral sounds of “O Fortuna” comes a close 2nd.
When the band formed back in 1992, they were one of the first exponents of this style. And 26 years on, they still have a unique feel about them. Sometimes music has to be heard as no amount of worlds can accurately describe the wonders that massage your ears.
I have exceedingly broad tastes and this album is a stunning piece of work. And I hope it’s one that you’ll give a chance to, even if your normal listening is a bit heavier that what’s on offer here.