Equilibrium
Renegades


2.7
average

Review

by Simon STAFF
August 24th, 2019 | 31 replies


Release Date: 08/23/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Experimentation that touches career suicide.

To really define and pinpoint an accurate description of Renegades, the best analogy I can come up with would be to imagine the German sextet grabbing a load of puzzle sets, opening them all up and throwing them all into one pile in an attempt to make a bigger, more interesting picture out of them all. Considering how creatively shackled a lot of bands in metal are these days – following successful trends and formulas with strict execution – I have to tip my hat for at least attempting to craft an album that’s different, whether they succeed in their endeavours or not. Renegades quite literally lends popular ideas from almost every style in metal today, and the results are as you’d imagine them to be: inconsistent. That, however, doesn’t stop Equilibrium’s sixth LP from being anything other than engaging and somewhat fun to listen to. “Renegades – A Lost Generation” opens with a stomping stadium-rock riff that’s accompanied with guttural screams – already forming the album’s contrasted elements with little shame – only to strip down to a melodic synth line reminiscent of Ennio Morricone’s “Here’s to You”. Initially grimacing at the juxtaposed elements, by the time the chorus entered the fray, I was sold; I knew what this album was going for.

In short, Renegades doesn’t take itself seriously, and that approach was a wise one. You can feel out that Equilibrium were having a good time when they were writing these interesting, sometimes idiosyncratic, tunes. If they’d tackled this album with a profound and solemn mindset, this record would have fallen apart at the seams pretty quickly. No, there’s a meta undertone nestled at the heart of it all and it doesn’t go ignored. Melodeath is firmly embedded in the base of the album’s busy sound – the sweeping guitar passages on “Himmel Und Feuer”, “Moonlight” and “Final Tear” are clear indicators of sticking to the bread and butter of their earlier works – but it’s the other elements that really give the album some distinction and infamous status. The operatic cleans that support a lot of the tracks here, while cheesy, only authenticate the fantastical aesthetics of these songs. Sure, the melodies being strung together for these soaring vocal sections sound generic and borderline obnoxious at times, but they add to the experience in some way. Where they fail on an emotionally earnest level, you can’t deny they are catchy as hell to listen to. “Johnny B” is the crowning crescendo to Renegades’ silliness: it’s lyrics are ridiculous and obscene, the music hits generic riffs and woodland-fantasy sounding electronics with a tongue-in-cheek presentation and yet, it’s weirdly fun to hear.

The band knows they push it to the absolute limits with “Johnny B” as well, that’s why they play it straight-faced with the song that proceeds it. “Final Tear” is the album’s heaviest song and the only track to step away from the bells and whistles this album largely pertains. By the time the track had ended it did make me ponder on what intentions Equilibrium had when they were writing this album. Essentially, Equilibrium are trolling their fanbase and the genre as a whole. Depending on how much emotional attachment you have to their previous albums will depend on whether you can laugh with them here or not. This is a huge experiment that will undoubtedly alienate long-time purists of the band, and I can totally understand why they’d be pissed off with hearing such a dramatic departure from their previous works. But with all that being said, I don’t claim to be a hardcore fan of Equilibrium, and without that devotion, I’ve looked upon this album based on what it presents, which is a goofy bit of fun that incorporates symphonic folk, metalcore, melodeath and pop with satirical matter gluing it all together. It’s a fascinating LP that, at the very least, had me smiling at the bombastic panache some of these songs had. Renegades isn’t a great album, but I can respect the band’s daring leap into paradoxical territories. Rap segments aside, it’s harmless fun that I saw through to the end, but it may yet stain their reputation because of it.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/discography/details/5976485.71053.renegades.html



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user ratings (29)
2.2
poor
other reviews of this album
Vanquisher (3)
A flawed but enjoyable Equilibrium album with many experimental changes that will please some and an...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Scheumke
August 24th 2019


1114 Comments


Nice review! Sound like an interesting listen if anything.

Digging: Moron Police - Boat on the Sea

Elynna
August 24th 2019


398 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Great review. I didn’t have high (or any) expectations for this one after Armageddon, but I’m still thoroughly disappointed in the new musical direction they decided to pursue.

Digging: Karfagen - Echoes From Within Dragon Island

Hawks
August 24th 2019


73570 Comments


I actually dig their newer stuff so I’m kinda pumped to hear this tbh.

Poet
August 24th 2019


6038 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been listening to this nonstop the past two days and I am still conflicted on how much I like it. It's definitely not better than their first four albums, but is better than Armageddon. Somehow all the electronic influence works pretty well here and the fact they are not taking themselves seriously helps also.



"Where they fail on an emotionally earnest level, you can’t deny they are catchy as hell to listen to. “Johnny B” is the crowning crescendo to Renegades’ silliness: it’s lyrics are ridiculous and obscene, the music hits generic riffs and woodland-fantasy sounding electronics with a tongue-in-cheek presentation and yet, it’s weirdly fun to hear. "



I could not have said it better myself. I think it also helps that it is a cover song too.

Vakarian12
August 24th 2019


4091 Comments


they've gone downhill ever since sagas

Digging: Shadow of Intent - Melancholy

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2019


15644 Comments

Album Rating: 2.7

Thanks for the kind words guys. Yeah, considering how messy this thing is, I’m surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. It should technically be my worst nightmare lol

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

frozencarl
August 24th 2019


736 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

listened to Sagas today cuz fuck this shit

Whispered4tw
August 24th 2019


883 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, this is pretty horrible. I guess they got tired of the folk stuff in the end. Himmel und Feuer somewhat tries to give the old school fans something to chew on, but even that track falls short

Also interesting to note, the quality went really downhill the moment the brother/sister duo from the original line-up left the band. Officially they already left right before Erdentempel came out (weird timing), but still participated in the creation of the album. Could just be a coincidence though.

Dedes
August 24th 2019


6653 Comments


They will never be better than Sagas but they will always be better than Armageddon

Dmax28
August 24th 2019


641 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I like Armageddon way more than this. If this album was comparable I would have been satisfied. Had zero expectations and was still surprised how bad this was.

Dmax28
August 24th 2019


641 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

And why was my sound off and several others deleted? It was a valid sound off.

vermillionZ
August 24th 2019


242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's fine

Digging: Mgla - Age of Excuse

Observer
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2019


7035 Comments


Absolutely hated sagas so im not going near this.

Digging: Reuben - In Nothing We Trust

Vanquisher
August 25th 2019


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dmax, this album was delayed a week but Sputnik allowed reviews to come in a week before it actually came out, and so it was rated before anyone had the album. I’m sure the sound offs got deleted when it switched to its actual release date

ijy10152
August 25th 2019


6 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Wow, I hated Armageddon, but even that album gets at least a 3, this is some next level garbage. I guess it's nice that some people can find nice things to say about this album, because I sure can't. Equilibrium was once my 5th favorite band, this is really really sad.

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2019


17727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I'm not too familiar with these guys, but I'm kind of liking this. Maybe around a 3.3 or 3.4 -- I'm only three songs in, so far, so it could change.

Digging: Ray Alder - What The Water Wants

zaruyache
August 25th 2019


21305 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is basically that pop metal modern melodeath junk but with folk metal. It's just four chord background riffs, tame harsh vox, and repetitive cleans in the power choruses. It's all super basic, barely folky pop metal.

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2019


17727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I have a soft spot for catchy melodeath. I ended up stopping after the fourth song, but I'm definitely going to catch the rest of this soon.

JS19
August 26th 2019


7312 Comments


Sagas is a 1.5 so God knows how terrible this is

frozencarl
August 26th 2019


736 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

take that back



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