Qntal - New Experience
Sometimes you come across a kind of music that explores the spectrum in a perspective you’ve never thought could be existing. In this case, I recently made a review for the latest record of Qntal, a medieval oriented band from Germany. And because the music was so impressive, I went out to see the band live on stage, together with Shaydee and conduct an interview, which will be online very soon.
As we entered the venue of our beloved W2, Unto Ashes from New York was about to start and we immediately noticed the large amount of uncommon instruments with a medieval sound. The music from Unto Ashes can be compared easily with the main act of today, although they don’t have a drummer and the ambience is less bombastic and calmer. And even though it didn’t seem to me as if the musicians were doing high technical things with their instruments, the dimensions of the music and especially the integrity of the songs were impressive. The vocals were even performed tremendously and it looked as if the thirty minutes the band was on stage were over in a split of a second. Great opening act.
But we came to see the main act, Qntal, of course and what a surprise it was to be welcomed in perfectly spoken Dutch sentences by singer Syrah. The stage was totally filled with instruments and four musicians; a drummer, a keyboard player, someone to play all the different medieval instruments and Syrah. Besides that, there was a screen to play visuals, as if the sight of the band wasn’t enough treat for the eyes.
The set consisted of songs from all the albums with most of them originating from The Silver Swan, of which ‘Amis Raynout’ is my absolute favorite although it is actually hard to speak of several songs, because the show was a journey to the electronic and ancient sounds of music. The ambience in the venue was actually really nice, the crowd was obviously enjoying the show and applauded kindly after every song, while no one was talking really loud during the music. And when Syrah asked the crowd not to smoke, except for some joints because it could damage her voice, everyone seemed to agree with her and I didn’t see a single person smoke after that.
It accentuates the strength of Qntal; although the sound isn’t that accessible, the musicians all seem to have found their thing in the band and it may not lead into the biggest commercial hit you could imagine; everyone inside the W2 seemed to be in a little trance because of the music and the honest attitude of the band. Members of Unto Ashes came on stage frequently to join the main act and give the music even more dimensions, leading into the absolute climax of the evening in the form of ‘Veni Veni Veni Veni’.
I realize I might not be the biggest expert about Qntal. I can’t recall the entire setlist or even half of it. But what I do know is the fact that the 90 minutes seemed one of the shortest I’ve ever witnessed at a concert, while I couldn’t sing along with any song. In my opinion, when a band is able to impress that much both live and on an album, there must be some kind of quality in it you might not be aware of until you come face to face with it.
If you want to see pictures, go to this website: http://www.w2.nl/ and check the ‘foto’ section. I decided not to include them, as the music spoke for itself.