release their new album VIII- Nachtblume
on 9th March on Drakkar Entertainment
When Qntal first appeared on the scene with their previously unheard, bold mixture of medieval melodies and Electro back in 1992, they took the world by surprise. Of course people had heard medieval music before and were fairly familiar with electronic music, too. Combining them, though, was an unexpected novelty. To this day, Qntal are forerunners of a genre they themselves helped establish – and now they add just another fascinating chapter to their immaculate vita with the stunning opus that is “Qntal VIII – Nachtblume”.
Graced by multi-language poetry, Qntal once again bewitch their unusually broad audience, among which are fans from the medieval scene, but also from genres like Electro, Gothic or even Heavy Metal. Indeed, even people listening to Pop or classical music tend to gravitate towards Qntal. Consequently, what’s really special about these artful and emotional musical pictures is the diversity as well as a stunning display of talent courtesy of singer Syrah and sound wizard Michael Popp.
Their latest effort is no exception to that rule. Four years after “Qntal VII”, “Qntal VIII – Nachtblume” takes its avid listeners back to that strange but lovely place of enchanted melodies and weightlessly floating sounds. Piercing, almost sacral vocals, elegiac harmonies, oscillating electronics, a solemn aura, catchy melodies – there’s simply no better way of describing this unique project than that of Qntal being the German answer to Dead Can Dance. That makes even four years of silence worth the wait – even more so given the fact that Syrah and Popp also fulfil their visions in the purely medieval project Estampie and the vocal ensemble VocaMe. This time around, though, they got amplified again. “When you’ve played classical concerts in churches for the better part of a year, you tend to get drawn back to computers and synthesizers”, composer Popp laughs.
With a numeration true to the past releases, also “Qntal VIII” is to be seen as another part of a closely connected body of work. “We feel that we are connected to every single one of our songs – just as they are among each other”, the studied vocalist Syrah explains. “Over the year, we collect inspiring poems and texts, often being drawn to the treasure chest of medieval times. Poems of English writers like Byron already inspired songs on “Qntal VII”. In them, the spirit of English romanticism unites with a look back on medieval times and sheer artistic prowess to become a veritable bonanza for a musical interpretation.”
Ultimately, with lyrics by German fantasy heavyweight Markus Heitz (author of “The Dwarves”), “Qntal VIII” finds its way into the present, too. Without such a journey through time, a Qntal release just wouldn’t be complete. Or, as Syrah puts it: “We’re playing music with lyrics from forgotten centuries, feed on a perspective on past, present and future and thus radiate a certain timelessness.” This of course being one true sign of great art.
Sometimes, a start indeed is something magical. Something strange. Just like back then, all these years ago, when Syrah, Michael Popp and Ernst Horn founded this band. A truly unique project was born whose debut “Qntal I” already propelled the trio, exclusively coming from the serious shores of classical music, into a scene that back then didn’t even know it existed.
Things are radically different today, of course. And still, Qntal remain the genres’ founding pioneers who managed to extract something truly original from two musical realms – a thoroughly unique voice. Once again, “Qntal VIII – Nachtblume” proves that no one speaks it as well as they do.
Die Finstere Nacht
Music On The Waters
Parliament Of Fowles
Before The World Was Made
Syrah (vocals, flutes), Michael Popp (guitars, vocals, saz & tar, fiddle), Leon Rodt (Synthesizers)