Italian female fronted, symphonic goth band Dismal are celebrating 25th years of
activity. Their new album Quinta Essentia mixes classical symphonic music with doom metal, darkwave, neofolk and waltz creating a wonderfully relaxing gothic fairy tale.
The first pounding sounds of Gold Leviathan Part I,II brings to mind an image of gold mining. The clinks of the track, rattles and whooshing. It sets the scene nicely, before long we get doomy symphonic metal with operatic vocals that lead into trance-like beats which are melodic and chilled. All the spaces in the background are filled with relaxing yet industrious sounds. It all builds into a very moving experience. The range of the vocalist Rossana Landi is truly breathtaking and the final minute is like tip toeing in a magical realm.
Things get even more epic when we enter the 11 minute Turin Black Light Act I,II,III. It starts like a power ballad played out on the piano that soon has the additions of power chords and high vocals. The listener soon starts to get torn apart in different directions with a feeling of being lost in a maze in a sacred park. Added soaring guitars, industrial sounds and a dark chorus creates an image of people in white dresses waltzing under the stars. A philosophical spoken word excerpt about language and the soul leads to an almost medieval waltz that brings calm and contemplation.
The tracks that follow are shorter but no less epic. Alma Mater is violin led with a gypsy feel. Classical guitar blends into chugging chords. The track is often dream-like and is theatrical throughout, it feels like an Act of much deception. Sounds of running water wash away the dreamy mood to introduce Mind Randomness. Shuffling onto trip hop, it progresses as an answer to the riddle of space and time. This delightful musical madness will unbalance the listener more than the other tracks.
Hermes The Thrice-Greatest is as dramatic as it sounds. The orchestral strings lead into symphonic metal with a full chorus. It all sounds very Wagner, invoking the images of Hermes delivering messages between worlds. The magical charm of the last minute brings us back into our world. Beyond The Matter is minimal primal industrial. A Bollywood-esq vocal and Cocteau Twins style musical elements pop and shimmer along like a will-o-the-wisp.
The Big Bang Is My Light sets up the story on classical piano with evil gothic Kate Bush vocals. Strings and guitar do battle bringing about the feel of menace. Again the final minute switches tempo creating a feeling of walking towards a light; a gateway to the world beyond. The intro to Pale Blue Dot invokes feelings of being stranded in the solar system being attacked by a string section which soon takes us on a heavy, seductive space opera. The concluding piece Leviathan of Gold Part III is reminiscent of Tricky, with all its hypnotic treasures.
In Quinta Essentia, Dismal have produced symphonic goth that is operatic and meditative, blending metal, trip hop and classical to take us across mountains, through forests via the solar system and worlds beyond.
TRACKLIST: 1 Gold Leviathan Part I, II. 2 Turin Black Light Act I, II, III. 3 Alma Mater (Alchimia Della Natura). 4 Mind & Randomness. 5 Hermes The Thrice-Greatest. 6 Beyond The Matter. 7 The Big Bang Is My Light. 8 Pale Blue Dot. 9 Leviathan of Gold Part III Become.
Dismal are Rossana Landi – vocals & double-bass. Bradac – piano, synths, orchestrations & percussion. Daniel Porfido – 8 strings electric guitar, classic guitar. Lautaro Acosta – violin.
Quinta Essentia is released on the 13th November 2020 and is available to preorder from https://dismaldark.bandcamp.com/