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Michael Popp: Vocals, Fidel, Saz, Shalmei, Ud, Tar
Phillip Groth: Keyboards, Vocals, Guitars, Programming
"In 1991, Michael Popp and Ernst Horn developed the concept of combining medieval melodies and songs with electronic music. As singer they chose Syrah, alias Sigrid Hausen, who is one of the leading interpreters of medieval music. (...) In 1995, when the second CD was finished and Deine Lakaien were about to go on tour (Ernst Horn and Michael Popp were members of Deine Lakaien), the idea of a double concert was born. QNTAL as first act with smooth transition to Deine Lakaien. ... [later in 1996] Ernst Horn wanted to primarily care for the progress of Deine Lakaien. For this and also for private reasons, Ernst left the band. Replacement was found in the Berlin musician and producer Phillip Groth... "
"Medieval electro, with a pinch of renaissance. That's how you could describe the music of the German formation Qntal with a little fantasy. (...) Qntal finds inspiration in divergent medieval songs and poems (in English, Latin and ancient German) and gives these a medieval twist by using samplers, synths ands drum computers."
-- Araglin, funprox.com, 5/05
1992: Qntal I
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1995: Qntal II
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½ 2003: Qntal III: Tristan Und Isolde
"Dark, driving and sometimes spooky, this third recording of Qntal is one of the more interesting attempts to deconstruct and modernize medieval music. Whispy, sometimes detached vocals float above a deep, multilayered foundation of keyboards, guitars and insistant beats that develop and grow beyond the mindless repetition often heard in modern dance music. The compositions are well thought out, carefully layered, and have interesting and varied sound effects. And, thankfully, Qntal has chosen to move beyond the much-overused Gregorian chant (a la Enigma's many copycats) to tap into the music of the medieval laypeople--minnesingers, troubadours, scholars, kings and that ubiquitous composer of all that is traditional, fondly known as "Anonymous." It's nice to have this sort of music given some exposure too. But I have to admit, what with the techno elements and dark ambience, not to mention the driving dance beats that threaten to drown out the vocals, it's sometimes hard to find much of the Middle Ages in this album. To be sure, the lyrics are taken from period sources as minnesingers Walter von der Vogelweide and Gottfried von Strassburg, as well as the Carmina Burana, the Cantigas de Santa Maria, and the Cantigas de Amigo. I recognize the melody of Maravillos as being relatively intact, and some additional melodies sound familiar as well, such as that of Cantiga de Santa Maria #1in track #8, here coupled with German lyrics by Gottfried. But other songs seem more contemporary in origin, constructed with the general assumption that anything in a minor key with a simplistic or droning harmonic structure will sound medieval."
-- Brianna Neal, amazon customer review, 9/06
¼ 2005: Qntal IV: Ozymandias
"Qntal IV is about the transitoryness of human creation, using the famous romantic poem Ozymandias by P.B.Shelley, that these three thoroughbred musicians have set to music in two very atmospheric songs, as the title, and as a leading thought for their own work. To Qntal, next to the power of the sands referred to in Shelleys compelling lines, the fire, the flames are also symbols of their fourth CD. Flamma, that haunting, percussion-based song from Carmina Burana about the blazing flames of love, is part of this aspect. The stroll through the force of the elements is continued: the totally enraptured Vogelfluc by pre-medieval minnesinger Bernger von Horheim raises Qntal to the lofty areas of flying, the world of fantasy and dreams. (...) Following the success of Mayden in the Moor on Qntal III, this time around the musicians have set to music several old English poems, like Blac, secretly Syrahs favourite, with its chorus: Schwarz ist alles, wonach ich mich sehne (Black is everything I yearn for.)"
-- press release
½ 2006: Qntal V: Silver Swan
Tracklisting: 1. Monsieur's Departure 2. Levis 3. Falling Star 4. Von Den Elben 5. Lingua Mendax 6. Altas Undaz 7. Winter 8. Amis Raynaut 9. The Wave 10. The Whyle 11. Silver Swan
"On its 2006 album, 'Silver Swan', the German goth ensemble Qntal offers up another compelling set of post-modern takes on medieval music. Drawing inspiration from a 17th-century madrigal by English composer Orlando Gibbons, the trio, fronted by the siren-like Syrah (born Sigrid Hausen), unveils some of its finest and most majestic works to date, as evidenced by the moody, synth-laden Von Den Elben."
-- cduniverse.com"Qntal took their inspiration from the elegance of the swan for their fifth album. (...) You will understand that Qntal's music is not heavy or loud, but as graceful as that swan, intelligent, demanding and modest. It is beautiful, peaceful and fluent music with serene vocals that has some folk and classical elements in it. A well-made record of three schooled musicians that will suit you when you need a time of rest and reflection."
-- vera, lordsofmetal.nl, 06
2006: Qntal VI: Translucida
Tracklisting: 1. Sleeping 2. Departir 3. Ich minne einen Ritter 4. Translucida 5. La Froidor 6. Glacies 7. Worlds Of Light 8. Obscure 9. Sumer 10. Amorous Desir 11. Ludus 12. Passacaglia
"On their brand new album 'Translucida', Qntal have turned their backs on the world of fairies. Bright-as-bells sounds bring back the bands roots on 'Translucida'. Instead of great gestures, the album is dominated by unadorned elegance. Translucent arrangements focus the attention on Syrahs multi-faceted vocals, which are not accompanied by choral passages this time around. From the iridescent opener, Sleeping, to Passacaglia, which reveals Antonio Vivaldis melancholy side, the exceptional voice of this classically trained vocalist explores the most diverse sonic spaces. Next to measured moments, the sixth QNTAL release includes a number of candidates for the club circus, such as Sumer, Ludus or indeed Glacies, a medieval dancing song, which was synthesized consistently without taking away any of its inherent joie de vivre."
-- press release"....you know what to expect from these three and they deliver admirably but it is more of the same, it is not the 'Qntal I' fell in love with on their previous two albums who just kept raising the bar. Perhaps they needed a breather, I'm not going to say that this album is a disappointment because it's not, but it is fairly predictable."
-- Peter Marks, releasemagazine.net, 2/08
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