Quintessente - Songs From Celestial Spheres
Self Release
Progressive/Goth Metal
10 songs (55' 24")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Brazilian melodic death metallers Quintessente has been around since the mid-90s, but other than a couple of demos and an EP, there was no output from them until 2017, when the newly reformed band released their first full-length. Songs From Celestial Spheres isn't perfect -- its symphonic goth occasionally trips up the pace of the songs -- but it's not a bad listen.

According to the band, the gothic flavor found in Songs From Celestial Spheres started seeping into the band's sound in 2000, but there are other influences. The band aims high and tries for prog-rock bombast, but the chugging mid-tempo riffs combined with the heavy use of keyboard reminds one more of the melodeath greats of the late 90s, and indeed, this is an album that could have been made then and fit right in -- there's even a touch of Sentenced frontman Ville Laihiala's characteristic growl in Andrş Carvalho's harsh vocals. Although I found fast keyboard-guitar duels such as The Belief of the Mind Slaves or My Last Oath to be my favorites, the drearily creeping A Sort of Reverie, with vocals provided by both Carvalho and keyboardist/vocalist Cristina MŶller, is somehow fitting in its resigned aimlessness.

More songs in that vein, however, are pushing it. Essente does almost exactly the same thing, complete with the nearly melody-free duet between MŶller and Carvalho. This is where all the gothic styling gets in the way, though it could be salvaged if MŶller was able to pull her weight on vocal duties; the Paradise Lost-style Unleash Them, one of the better tunes on the album, is supported mostly by Carvalho's roars on the chorus than on the lightweight duets between the two.

Though occasionally hamstrung by their mix of symphonic goth metal and prog rock influences, Quintessente has some decent tracks on here, the faster and more chugging goth tunes being a better listen than the slower pieces due to the band's ability to combine the keyboards and guitar effectively. Listeners to the less pop-oriented variety of goth metal would probably be most interested in Songs From Celestial Spheres.

Killing Songs :
The Belief of the Mind Slaves, Unleash Them
Andy quoted 73 / 100
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