Quinta Essentia - Neutrality for Defined Chaos
Deathgasm Records
Progressive Black Metal
8 songs (42:04)
Release year: 2006
Deathgasm Records
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review
So. What do you get when you take a group of incredibly skilled musicians who ply their trade in the Black Metal persuasion and locate them to Huntsville, Alabama? A solid debut album, and a ton of pissed off church ladies. My close friend from Cleveland (and one of only two mates from my university that listen to true kvlt Black Metal) showed me this band and my first reaction before even hearing the music was: “How do they play without getting lynched?” Times have changed my friends, and a higher level of tolerance has opened the window for Black Metal in the Bible Belt. No offense to any comrades from the Deep South, but we all know that some people in the region have a bit less tolerance for lyrical themes advocating the abolition of organized religion than others. What we have here is Neutrality for Defined Chaos. This is the debut album and the first of two full length releases of Huntsville band Quinta Essentia. These guys remind me of a Black Metal version of Liquid Tension Experiment. They are a group of ridiculously talented musicians, led by their red hot string section, who simply write songs to add some structure to their music. Because most of what makes out Neutrality for Defined Chaos is scorching guitar solos and complex drum passages. If this type of indulgence in raw talent turns you off, then Quinta Essentia are not the band for you, but if I did not like this, I would not be a diehard Heat fan. The string section here is the true strength. You will notice this immediately after popping in your disc. The numerous and continuous shredding dominates the album. It is easy to acknowledge the unbelievable talent here in the guitars. Harmonizing, sweeping, shredding, they do it all. However, the only gripe regarding the string section is that sometimes they try to be so Progressive that it gets annoying, such as the mumbo jumbo riff that opens the music on track 2 - Intuitive Path of Strength & Will. I feel that the sincere purpose of Neutrality for Defined Chaos was to declare how talented the band was and use 6 plus minutes a song to let their guitarists to run wild and craft riffs around that so it is not just guitar solos. It is not that the riffs, verses, and rhythm sections are bad, the guitar solos just blow everything else out of the water. It is fun to sometimes listen to these guys rip it up while I pace the passing lane on the desolate highway to and from my university. But like chocolate, cocaine, and women, there comes a point where indulgence becomes gluttony, and at times I wish there was more substance to each track; even though each stroke of the pick leaves me in awe of this undiscovered talent. They are one of the only bands I have heard to synthesize their sweeps into harmonies. The guitars here perform with such cohesion that it proves to be a far cry from the dueling of Thrash or the pointless trills and hammers of Death Metal. Sometimes it is good to hear two guitars work together in unison, instead of hearing Hanneman and King attempt to dethrone the other with razor sharp atonal solos. Competitiveness makes way for teamwork, as both guitars communicate with silent efficacy, translated into lengthy periods of enjoyable synergy. Even more staggering is that one of the guitarists also performs vocal duty. I know from experience that it is difficult to go from rhythm and vocals mode to a shredder in an instant; on Neutrality for Defined Chaos, Matt Barnes and Jason Flippo hurdle such obstacles with no trouble whatsoever. Unfortunately, the treble and mid heavy guitar sound that gives the solos their cutting edge are sacrificed in the riffs. Without cutting the mids, the wall of sound that has been a consistency with Black Metal since the days of Quorthon and Bathory is a difficult reach. There are a few minor and diminished riffs here and there, like the opening riff to Hidden Constellation. The overall mix is solid quality. When the drums and strings play with each other, the sound is top notch. When the vocals enter the picture, the drums, specifically the bass, are tuned out a bit. Jason Flippo displays a distinct knowledge of the gravelly and raspy Black Metal vocals yet his lyrics remain entirely audible. That for me is a huge benefit of Quinta Essentia. Flippo also displays a decent clean voice, favoring this style while each guitar plays eerie symphonic riffs as he croons out his lyrics. Lance Wright on the drums shows considerable foot pace and endurance, as many of the verses have him rolling his feet at a quick but regulatory speed. Amongst the sound quality gripes and praises, are the very discernable bass guitar. The bass runs its own course on many of the songs. Sometimes Thom Mathews’ bass follows along with the melodies of the guitarists, and other times goes off on its own striking tangents. Never before have I heard a bass guitar sound as spooky as it does on Neutrality for Defined Chaos.

What we have here are four incredibly talented musicians that are going to showcase that raw ability before they endeavor in crafting lyrical and rhythmic memories. Without these facets to their music, the incredible skill shown by all four musicians is more than enough for me to grant it a solid score, and to suggest it to each one of you who enjoy Progressive Black Metal, fiery guitar pulses, and shining talents all about.

Killing Songs :
Quintessential Holocaust, Hidden Constellation, Guided by Polaris through the Night.
Tony quoted 86 / 100
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