Release DetailsLABEL Black Attakk
RELEASED ON 1/31/2005
posted on 3/2005 By:
Germany's Equilibrium have arrived just in time to hang ten on the recent wave of impressive folk/viking metal licking the shores of MetalReview. Turis Fratyr is an album that borrows some of the more admirable qualities of its many peers and combines them for an album that while perhaps not a monument for the genre, is certainly homogenously agreeable from start to finish.
So, imagine if you will, a band that takes the synth-driven grandeur of Moonsorrow, the melodic sensibilities of Ensiferum and Kalmah, and the unpredictable energy of Korpiklaani and Finntroll and manages to capitalize on them in a number of distinct songs. That's one of the perks of this album; it's sort of a tour de force of what this genre has to offer. You'll hear Equilibrium take cues from a number of remarkable bands, but without ham-fistedly trying to make them all work in one song. On "Met" you'll hear the band's more reckless side, as they engage in an all out pub rocker. Frantically alternating tempos before gradually culminating in a jovial crescendo, this is certainly the kind of tune that euphorically dances around and unceremoniously wedgies the sober guy at the party. "Die Prophezeiung" is slightly less jaunty and leans in a melodic death direction. While still featuring an array of traditional folk elements, in terms of riffs and composition, it is very much in the vein of Eternal Tears of Sorrow or Kalmah. "Widars Hallen" is the longest track on the album, but somehow manages to retain an unflagging fortitude for eight minutes. Equilibrium bristle with a brand of white knuckle energy uncommon of such unabashedly melodic bands. Their ability to maintain this zeal over the course of such a long track is really a testament to their songwriting ability.
I'm really high on Equilibrium, but at 50 minutes even the most spry of performers can wear thin on a listener's endurance. And, while it's true this band does professionally draw from a healthy stock of different influences, it's all basically coming from the same big pot. It's potent and it's melodic. Unfortunately, it's occasionally redundant. Not bad by any means, but perhaps a bit much to handle in one sitting.
There are a lot of bands playing this style, and Equillibrium have somehow managed to carve a niche for themselves, not necessarily by breaking from form in any way, but by playing with a seldom found reckless abandon. It's true that Turis Fratyr can become a bit taxing towards the end, but that has more to do with the album's length and less to do with the quality of the individual songs. The players understand their form and play their stuff balls-out. I respect that.
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