Dismal – Quinta Essentia

Rating: 1/5
Distributor/label: DreamCell 11 Entertainment
Released: 2020
Buy Album: https://www.auralwebstore.com/shop/index.php?id_product=1087&controller=product&id_lang=1
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/DISMAL.TheWaltzOfMind/

Band line-up:

Rossana Landi – Vocals & Double-Bass
Bradac – Piano, Synths, Orchestrations & Percussion
Daniel Porfido – 8 strings Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar
Lautaro Acosta – Violin


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…


On the surface, the Italian outfit Dismal, appear to be a band well versed in their art, and you’d expect them to know what they are doing, but it seems after 25 years on the road, a veteran band composed of classically trained musicians can still deliver a freshly hewn hunk of disappointment.

Their latest release “Quinta Essentia” is labeled as an epic symphony of gothic and symphonic metal, delivered with all the strength and dexterity of their homeland’s classical composers, but I could not for the life of me gather where this piece was going from the moment I pressed play.

Opening track “Gold Leviathan Part I, II” felt sluggish, and  “Turin Black Light Act I, II, III” seemed to change from one direction to another in an almost erratic, chaotic manner. One moment there were synths and keys accompanied by good classical vocals, but then it all took an unexpected turn to something slower or focussed more on certain instruments and I felt I was lost.

By the time I’d reached “Hermes the Thrice-Greatest” I wanted to give up, as I could not follow where the band was going and I was now convinced I’d come across another case of a band trying so hard to stand out they end up embarrassing themselves and ultimately, while attempting to say so much, say nothing.

That may sound a little harsh, but I cannot think of anything better to describe this album. I did make it to the end but was unsure whether the songs had ended or were taking another tempo change as the odd pacing played havoc with my attention span.

I’m sorry, Dismal but this album did not bode well for me at all. If you are an avid collector of classical music, neoclassical metal, symphonic and gothic genres, give this album a try but if you come away as disappointed as I was – you have been warned.

Review by Demitri Levantis