Origin: Ukraine
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Label: Schwarzdorn Production
Year: 2014

Ukrainian symphonic black metal duo Quintessence Mystica is back with its second work. The band was formed in 2008 by Master Alafern, violinist of the Academy Symphony Orchestra of Kharkov Philharmonic Hall (also in Thunderkraft, Святогор, Триглав)! He plays all instruments in the band and is responsible for part of the vocals, while Dromos Aniliagos is the main vocalist. Their debut album “The 5th Harmonic of Death” was recorded in 2009 and was released in 2011 via the German label Schwarzdorn Production. In 2011 Quintessence Mystica recorded their second full-length album “Duality“, which will be released via Schwarzdorn on June 23, 2014.          

Duality” is a really impressive album, with an excellent grandiose sound, as the genre demands. Clearly improved compared the debut work, the new album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Moonhome Studio in Kharkov by Munruthel! And while symphonic black metal is the base of their music, Quintessence Mystica don’t hesitate to experiment with various other extreme metal genres, ranging from melodic death metal to avant-garde black metal, progressive and modern extreme metal and they even borrow elements from industrial and thrash metal! They have a very modern, powerful and rich sound, with a really professional production. I have to admit that the band exceeded my expectations in technical terms and totally impressed me! Luckily enough the music is equally good. “Duality” contains 10 songs, lasting a little less than 39 minutes, but their compositions are so complex and diverse that the album sounds like being much longer.

Their songs have a bombastic mood, full of different melodies and constant changes of rhythms, from fast outbursts to slower atmospheric passages. Technical aggressive, melodic guitars are combined with brilliant synths, creating a very mystical and sometimes sickening atmosphere. Synths don’t have the typical “symphonic” color, but they are used in so many different forms and styles, varying from classical orchestrations, to single instruments (can’t tell if they are physical instruments or not), epic keys, or modern synthetic sounds; a brilliant work. Guest saxophone by Yaroslav “Daar”, adds even more to this bizarre atmosphere of their music. Vocals are also very diverse, with brutal aggressive screams being the most dominant of them. Few female choirs, clean male vocals and narrations are completing the puzzle of their sound. The band has done a great work in the compositions, paying the same attention to melody, aggression, technical details and emotion, all in perfect balance. Their lyrics are in English, but they are not included in the CD.

Quintessence Mystica have created a wonderful work of symphonic black metal with a killer sound that fans of the genre should immediately check. “Duality” will be released by Schwarzdorn Production in a 6-panel digipak edition, whose artwork and design is finally made by the Russian designer Al.Ex {Mayhem Design}. One of the reasons for the album’s delayed release date is that before Al.Ex, three more designers worked on the cover, but they all failed! Since there is no official page of the band, you can visit their label’s page for more info, sound samples and pre-order details.


Rating: Rating 9-10 (9/10)

Quintessence Mystica @ Schwarzdorn Production


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