Here’s another band that I’ve been following for a long time. I discovered Equilibirum back in 2010 just after they released Rekreatur. Ever since hearing that album and the one before it, Sagas, I’ve been hooked on the band. So without furtherado, let’s get into this, maybe slightly biased, review…
Opening the album in a slightly different manner to normal is the spoken word track, “Sehnsucht”. A rather expressive and uplifting track with the orchestral instruments leading the song and the guitars and drums providing the drive, the track fades slowly at the end and this leads rather nicely into the next track, “Erwachen”. A slightly slower paced track than the usual high-energy songs shown on older Equilbrium albums, the song instead has a much heavier and melodic focus. It feels a lot more polished than some of the older tracks and also fits Robse’s style of harsh vocals rather well.
“Katharsis” opens with a clean guitar before the rest of the instruments come in to create an epic and almost medieval sounding track. Featuring clean vocals alongside the harsh vocals makes for an interesting sound, yet it fits in with the rest of the track really rather well. Opening with a ridiculously catchy guitar riff is the track “Heimat”. Having what sounds like a backing choir in parts, the song just keeps getting more and awesome throughout. With catchy guitar riffs, the roars of Robse and the orchestral counter melodies, it makes it truly one of the best tracks on the album and one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard from the band.
Now, “Born To Be Epic”… Good lord this track is hilarious! It’s got some of the most ridiculous lyrics and also a rather funny bridge/chorus section. Plus, the music video they did for this track is ridiculous as well. In short, it’s a rather funny track that provides a nice bit of comedy to the album. “Zum Horizont” kicks up the pace and brings a sense of normality (if that ever exists on an Equilibrium album!) back to the fold. It’s probably the quickest track on the album with driving drums and tremolo picked guitars working in tandem with the orchestral elements to create a very wide soundscape. The only downside is that Robse’s vocals are drowned out a tad in places by the trumpets…
“Rise Again” opens with the orchestral elements with what sounds like a pan flute leading the melody throughout the track before the other instruments and Robse come in. This track rather interestingly features English lyrics as opposed to German ones. They do fit the track, but it does sound a bit strange to hear Robse singing in English as opposed to German…
Onto the first single from the album, “Prey”. When I first heard this track, I was first rather impressed by the way in which the lyric video was done (shown below) and also impressed by the sound of the track. It’s a much more stripped back track than normal for Equilibrium with the orchestral instruments not having as big a role as in other tracks. That’s not to say it’s a bad track, in my opinion it actually sounds rather good and adds a nice little bit of variety to the album.
“Helden” opens with what sounds like a synth-based pattern alongside a synthesized choir before a spoken word part along with the kick drum comes in. Having an overall slower feel than the rest of the tracks on the album, the normality is shattered when “Fus Ro Dah” appears. Yes, you read right. This track serves as sort of a tribute to video games per se and along side the famous shout, is also a Mario/Sonic style section. Once again, the band isn’t afraid to experiment and have a bit of fun and it shows with this track. It’s genuinely a really awesome track is one of my standout tracks for sure.
“Koyaaniskatsi” opens with a piano based pattern before the rest of the instruments come in to create another epic sounding track. Once again, a spoken word section appears and calms the overall sound of the track. It’s rather similar to the opening track “Sensucht” in the fact that it doesn’t feature any singing and is rather expressive. Ending the album is the track “Eternal Destination”. As has been the commonplace across Equilibrium albums, the last track on the album is the longest and one of the most epic on the album. That trend has continued in rather expert fashion and whilst it may not be as long as “Mana” or “Kurzes Epos” it’s just as expressive and amazing as those tracks.
It’s always feels like Christmas has come early for me when a new Equilibrium album gets released. I’ve a lot of respect and admiration for the band as they fuse orchestral music and metal music in a way that no other does. For that reason alone, I encourage fans of bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse and Heidevolk to check out these guys. I personally feel as though they are often overlooked and they shouldn’t be, as they create some of the most amazing music I’ve ever heard.
Standout Tracks: The Whole album. (It’s just too good to pick out favorites!)
‘Armageddon’ track listing:
05. Born To Be Epic
06. Zum Horizont
07. Rise Again
11. Eternal Destination
Armageddon is released on August 12th via Nuclear Blast Records