Review: Equilibrium “Armageddon”

Review: Equilibrium “Armageddon”

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Equilibrium - Armageddon - ArtworkEquilibrium “Armageddon”
Nuclear Blast records

For decade and a half German sympho-folk-metal band Equilibrium creates music for pleasure of everyone. And now every fan is waiting for their fifth album with inspiring name Armageddon.

Looking ahead, it worth to wait.

An album opens with the song “Sehnsuht”. As typicall Equilibrium’s intro, it starts very epic. Main motive goes in high tone with great drums line and surrounding symphonic sound, when the listener is under its dome. All of this exactly as it needs to be. These sounds are filling the listener with forebodings and rising. As in Sagan album there is a speech in this intro. This time it is Einstein quotes.

“Erwachen” is an active continue of an album with no less juicy elements then in a previous track: melody ease and great drummer’s work. Harsh vocals and «rude» German contrasting with symphonic parts so bright and atmospheric. Guitars saturate it in a first part of the song and coming to the fore in the second part.

In “Katharsis” blast beats and German folk lines with heroic symphonic passages, that make a little excitement to the listener, are vowed into the whole «story». Especially for this song the band got a six-string guitar with built-in metal resonator. With it this song turned out really beautiful.

Next “Heimat” have less symphonic lines. It’s easier and they don’t fall on the listener with their mass. Now guitars and keyboards are playing main roles. And for the end there is a little flute with medieval motives with great lyrics. This simple song is about that home can be everywhere.

Epic lyric-video for “Born to be Epic” was released on June, 29. With it the band members probably wanted to surprise their fans. And some unexpected solutions are really surprising.

Then there goes fast, cheerful and heavy song. If barbarians got metal gigs with mass headbanging, there was played exactly this kind of music. For describing of this song I will change my habitual writing style. From all pagan, folk and various near-black metal that I heard ever, only “Zum Horizont” became a real earworm and took my heart. There are my beloved symphonic riffs (I loved Ukraine band Symphomania exactly because of them), aggressive blast beats, fiery folk motives, some crazy energy, heavy guitars and exciting vocals. This song was quite surprising for me and made me smile for a long time. But also it made me headbang a lot (well, I’m sure not only me). And it really exceeded all expectations.

“Rise Again” is much calmer. It’s fiery, but there are imponderable live flute sounds, keyboards, sympho choruses, but it’s totally different from the previous. This song rather sounds more sonorous than previous. Also, this composition isn’t new: it was made straight after Sagas album and re-recorded for Armageddon. There is interesting story with the flute recording and some street musician from Ecuador, which was told in Official track by track.

Lyric-video for “Prey” was released in June, and was the first song to start knowing the album. It is dark, deep and solid. Exalted symphonic lines are add shades of despair, but as it always was at Equilibrium, give some hope.

“Helden” have some intriguing intro and heroic chorus with heavy guitars. This song is about world of video games. But there was a feeling that there already was something similar in the past. The only thing that makes this track original is some electronic passage.

With that, “Koyaaniskatsi” gives many unexpected. This hardly understandable experiment generally can be described as «electro-post-rock» version of Equilibrium. There are important issues in the lyrics about people’s mutual relations with the world and especially animals, but the musical form is very surprising. It does not make this track worse, but there will be a lot of questions from fans.

Final “Eternal Destination” with its first notes envelops with an atmosphere of fatality. In this track such a cheerful and unconstrained band reminds that we’ll got to pay for all that we’re making to this world. But even through the oppressive first part and main melancholic motive, the band leaves some hope and light. Here can be also heard a fragment with the voice of Robse Dahn’s daughter. And that’s cute.

In a whole, Armageddon is that one Equilibrium that thousands of fans love. Maybe darker than usual. But there are many things in the album with them the band took place in hearts of fans. There are also many experiments where experience and confidence can be felt. There is restlessness and wild energy. There are philosophical ideas. And here you can find all that you looking for. That’s why this album is brilliant.

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