Review Summary: Triumphant.....majestic.......galloping horses charging the fields as the huge elephants begin to display their viciousness. Reinforcements at last...... Or one of the greatest folk metal debuts i've heard in some time.
Equilibrium can mean two things to people. Either the futuristic action packed thriller starring Christian Bale or to others Equilibrium bring to mind an explosive folk metal outfit from Germany. Needless to say, I’m going with option b here. I recently came across a Viking metal group from Munchhen, Germany called Equilibrium and was instantly gratified by the sheer power and tight musicianship within this group. Although hailing from Germany I can’t help but feel that they’re actually from Scandinavia instead. For one, they sound more Finnish than German to me, incorporating the same melodic speed metal precision akin to Kalmah and Ensiferum. They also sound Swedish, spouting out tales of ancient folk tales and recalling the most stable Viking elements of Bathory. For Equilibrium, just blend together add a healthy dose of power metal, melodic death metal, and black metal along with a hefty folk influence to get one of the finest albums I’ve heard in the genre.
Folk Metal at a whole is a hard genre to create something fresh and original. Granted it may be done but most tend to clone Bathory and other seminal groups. One of the only faults with this album may be because of that but Equilibrium show off why their one of the better in the genre. They excel in strong writing abilities, creating each track to be nothing short of epic and daunting without sounding overly cheesy or uninspired. They also show great skill with a tight rhythm section that will inspire instant head banging after hearing the first few licks. “Turis Fratyr” is a speed based affair for the most part. Plenty of rapid double bass patterns intertwining with heavy mid paced riffing, Braveheart like instrumentals, and searing vocals to be found here. The synthesizers play a big role in setting the medieval tone of the album. Many times I rarely get excited when the keyboards are a prominent feature of a certain bands sound because much of the time they sound hollow and stale. With Equilibrium, they’re certainly not and boast richness and triumphant overtones. The atmosphere of the album has a fist pumping quality to it that recalls the great battle of Minis Tirith.
“Turis Fratyr” is the bands debut album, released some time in 2005 but you would never know by the professional musicianship displayed from the band. First things first, how are the vocals? The vocals are quite excellent actually. Helge displays plenty of control and aggression while seamlessly shifting between black metal influenced shrieking to deep, guttural, growling familiar to early nineties Florida death metal. There really isn’t any singing on the album with a few exceptions. Most notably is the ending of the 8 minute epic “Widdars Hallen”. The track stops for a moment before erupting with a Summoning esque synth line. Soon enough some soothing Germanic female vocals enter the mix and instantly recall Lord Of The Rings. The guitar work is quite impressive. More melodic than heavy, Rene and Andreas play with speed and precision, laying out a wide assortment of great riffs and power metal inspired solos. At times they slow down and prove themselves with great tempo shifts and beautiful melodies. The drumming patterns from Manuel are speed based and never fails to impress with his firing double bass movements. The bass has it’s moments but nothing too spectacular. Aside from they synthesizers, Equlibrium incorporate some nature based samples and flute into the metal heavy environment. The sound of roaring fires and running rivers add urgency to the hypnotizing harp melodies found on “Im Fackelschein”.
Coming in at 13 tracks covering near 60 minutes of music might seem a lot of ground to cover but the energy and passion flowing through this album makes it seem shorter than it really is. The pros for this album are quite amazing. The cons although limited should be given some notice. Equlibrium have created superb folk metal with this debut but often at times recalls oh too certain from other famous folk metal groups, Moonsorrow, Ensiferum, and Kalmah particularly. If you can overlook this and the near absence of the bass then you should love it. I recommend fans from black metal to melodic death metal to give this album a notice. This is one of the greatest metal debut albums I’ve heard in some time so I’m looking forward to hearing their second release although I have noticed that they have posted some new samples on their myspace. I’m off and away, riding the horse of light and fending off the witch king of Angmar in the process to get to Frodo and the ring for my own selfish desires.
I'm confused with your quote, besides still not being able to do that. Yeah it's solid anthemic metal you could slay dragons to. Yeah, the movie does rule, Christian Bale is pretty raw. The Dark Knight is going to rule.
Are you talking about the actual language? (I'm assuming they sing in German from the song titles). Because Swedish and German don't sound all too similar, and Finnish sounds completely different to both.
Nice to see sputnik working again. And to see this still in other,fuck. No i'm talking about the music. The guitar work reminds me of Ensiferum. I hear some Moonsorrow and Bathory as well. If I didn't know better I would have assumed the band was from one of those countries.
Thanks Phoenix, don't remind about Kaamos, fuck them. I should done The Forlorn instead. However, if you're like me, headbanging profusely and pumping your fist in the air every time you hear Death Bringer From The Sky By Ensiferum I urge you to jam out to De Sturm. Fuckin epic is a good trait to describe it.