Qntal III: Tristan Und Isolde

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Qntal continues its exploration of the music and mythology of the Middle Ages with QNTAL III. Each composition on the album mixes actual medieval text with dark, droning keyboard atmospherics. III opens with "Ôwî, Tristan," a piece that features vocalist Syrah singing a plaintive melody over looming chords and ominous wind effects. This is followed up with "Name Der Rose" a track that includes chanting monks and an electronic backbeat. The electronica elements are not understated--Qntal's goal is to proudly juxtapose ancient sounds with contemporary technology. On the excellent "Ecce Gratum," for example, the group blends medieval folk or peasant music with wild electronic filigree. The album's penultimate track, "Vedes Amigo" is essentially a pop tune. On this selection, keyboards shimmer, distorted guitars blare, and a rock beat drives it all home and Syrah's voice dances over the top, singing an early text by Spanien Cantiga D'Amigo.

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