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Equilibrium - Sagas
I just got this album a couple of days ago and listened to it many times already, because I think it's just epic as hell. I expected it to be more like their demo release “Turis Fratyr” but it was heavier, darker and much more melodic, but still had all the folky riffs I loved from their first album. I like how dark some of the songs are, it gives a good balance to their happy-bouncy style.This album is one of my favorite from 2008 so far because it’s more mature and especially varied. "Turis Fratyr" was awesome, but grew stale after a while and once I got to know the rest of the German pagan metal scene I've considered Equilibrium quite overrated actually. With this album they are definitely reconquering the throne! Folk metal came in with such force as the new popular thing and is now drifting slowly out as legions of monotonous bands have sucked the genre dry of all originality, but these Bavarians are here to breathe new life into this genre with their second album.
There is so much going on in this album, so many different instruments that all blend together to create beautiful melodies and the mental imagery of roaming free in some enchanted woodland. Indeed the woodwind instruments play a large part on "Sagas", as Ulrich Herkenhoff of the Lord Of The Rings soundtrack features playing the pan flute. The album is not one of single direction; instead the album branches out and covers more areas breathing new life into the music like the roots of a tree reaching out underground for nourishment. Not only does the album have a fair number of the compulsory high-speed, galloping double bass drum tracks with an infectious bounce and feel-good nature about them such as "Blut Im Auge" and the insanely catchy "Heimwärts" - but this time Equilibrium also pay careful attention to the slower songs by means of adding an exquisite earthly ambience and the finer details of the album.
"Wurzelbert" kicks the album into full swing and sends a message across showing more solidarity to the band and the song writing in particular, "Unbesiegt" also is not a relatively fast song, although still upbeat, and with such a charm on the side of the woodwind starting off the song makes for one of the many great highlights of "Sagas".The melodies of "Unbesiegt" are incredible, I sense a hint of Latin influence. The ZZ Top riff they use is hilarious.
Last track "Mana" takes the listener on a mystical adventure through the woodland glades, complete with real sounds of nature, it is an epic and emotional journey in itself that will leave you speechless in its magnificent awe afterwards. It is not often an album so magical, so musically picturesque and complete with such a natural, green, organic spirit rears its head, but "Sagas" is one of these real gems that just need to be heard to be believed.
The Bavarians take care of their fans: 'Sagas' has a length of eighty minutes and if you want you can get an extra DVD with seventy minutes live recordings, backstage footage and the story how 'Sagas' was made at the Helion Studios in Munich. All of Equilibium’s lyrics and song titles are written in their native German, and they use Germanic folklore and mythology as topics. Indeed, Equilibrium is a German band and they do sing in that language, but since vocalist Helge Stang - whose main influence is Kristoffer Olivius of Naglfar - mainly attacks us with black metal screams it may be not that conspicuous for the unsuspecting listener.
Equilibrium are storytellers; you don’t have to understand the story for that to be obvious. Anyway, Metal is a language of its own and you don't need to understand the words to understand the meaning of brilliance!
1. Prolog auf Erden
3. Blut im Auge
9. Die Weide und der Fluß
10. Des Sängers Fluch
11. Ruf in den Wind
Title: Equilibrium - Sagas
Category: CD Reviews
Related Link: The Official Website
Added: July 10th 2008
Viewed: 1015 Times
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