Metal Maniac

Quercus – Sfumato

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Hailing from Czech Republic, Quercus is a Funeral Doom Metal band with avant-garde elements. One of the main aspects that caught my attention is that the two members of the band are also in two of my favorite acts, Umbrtka and Stíny Plamenů. Founded in the year 2001 in the beautiful city of Plzeň, Quercus is the Latin word for oak.

 

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The band’s label has shared some interesting information about the whole “concept” of the album, which follows:

 

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“Sfumato is the principle of diffusion and softening of the outline of figures and objects, invented by Leonardo.

 

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As if following a treatise on light and shadows, the music in the second album of Czech avant-gardists Quercus has no clear logical boundaries. It is blurred, like the boundary between life and death, one permeates another. This music is now lifeless, now breathing, now suddenly awakening imagination…

 

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Just like the old Master Leonardo mixed in his creations the knowledge of various sciences, the leader of Quercus (Lukáš Kudrna) splendidly used his great talent of an artist to design the visual album aspect.

 

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Sfumato is the effect that has given the shimmering smile of Mona Lisa when, depending on the view focus, it seems to the viewer that the picture character is now smiling gently, and then grins predaceously.

 

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A similar effect appears when listening to the music from the album “Sfumato” of the band Quercus – smoky, bringing forth vague images from the era of science origin about penetrating force, oscillatory motion and propagation of waves…”

 

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Yes, the album feels dense, suffocating, dark, sometimes strange (the avant-garde elements don’t take over the music, but rather are used to give a different atmosphere) and cold. There are no bright colors, but it’s not a bleak release, in fact it feels very transcendental and leads you into a twilight journey of solitude.

 

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Musically, what I add is that this is an absorbing and pleasing Funeral Doom Metal release that, with its avant-garde influences used with moderation, brings a fresh air to the genre. Of course there are all the elements that this musical style is known about, low-tuned guitars, and guttural vocals, a mood of despair, almost lethargic feeling and gradual building up from a calm start to the thicker, more powerful ending.

 

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This is indeed, in my humble opinion, one interesting release from two creative artists that deserves more attention. And that’s what I ask of you whenever I share my thoughts here about releases, to do what you can, what’s possible for you, in order to help the bands you enjoy their music.

 

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Have a good day.

 

Grade: 9,5/10

 

Band: Quercus

 

Album:  (2014)

 

Label: MFL Records

 

Tracklist:

 

1. Barbarian Nostalgia

2. The Flute In The Sink

3. …Which Is Lacking

4. Mother’s Wordfall

5. Night Bathing

 

Quercus is:

 

Lukáš Kudrna

Lord Morbivod

 

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quercusdoom

 

All photos belong to their rightful owners.

August 22, 2014

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