For less than three years, the restless spirit of Equilibrium
found the perfect niche – shortly after two albums behind his back, Rene Berthiaume successfully underlayed his understanding of how must the modern folk/viking metal sound nowadays and dressed up his own ideas in sounds which gave birth to the thrilling debut “Turis Fratyr
” (2005) and its collosal follow-up “Sagas
” (2008). Music, full of neverending ambition and will, seeped with various elements of folk, death, power, southern-Caribbean motifs and just everything that the common listener might need in order to get the perfect album. Two
albums that irrevocably won the hearts of numerous fans out there to a level of personal identification.
Today, the pitch-black shadow from the cover artwork of “Sagas
” seem to weigh heavily over the musicians – all line-up changes between their first two opuses were strong enough to cut down the roots of every newcomer band, and yet this year the “equilibrium” was threatened once again because of the departure of both drummer Manu Di Camillo and vocalist Helge Stang who put his heart and vocal chords into the band’s works. On a pure technical level, the lyrics in the new record are the most advanced up to date – some of them are written in an older, archaic form of the language that raises the standard level even higher, still focusing on the favorite fable/herioc/mythical theme. The balance is once again restored and the German quintet finally came to “Rekreatur
”, the title of the third stop on their way to glory and fame.
The traditional fragnance of epic solemnity welcomes us right at the beginning of “In Heiligen Hallen” and declares “we’re here again!” on the band’s behalf, while the following growling screams, guitar madness, headlong tempo and warlike cries, framing the obligatory melodic direction finish the unsaid – Equilibrium
are among us for the third time, more ambitious and fierce in a long time. All doubts disappear completely after the neck-killing folk melody of the successfully realized single “Der Ewige Sieg”, which is one of the most memorizable moments in the album, corresponding directly to its name (The Everlasting Victory
). The Bavarian campaign continues under the sound of the marching epos “Verbrannte Erde” with a lot of atmosphere, slow ominous pace, bloodstained battle-piece sceneries and Robse’s deadly roars who manages to handle his responsibilities for the first time and by no means less good than his vocal predecessor. The power metal features of “The Affeninsel” present a little gift to all old-school gamers who loved the adventure classic “The Monkey Island
” and dissolve into well-known pirate tales with a little help of masterfully performed “Caribbean” spirited keyboard moments. The legend of the water spirit, inspiring the writing of “Der Wassermann”, soothes the senses with an enchanting melody, passing through several metamorphoses of calm rhythm section to steadfast riffs and culminating harsh clamours. “Aus Ferner Zeit
” and its high-voltage mood links us to the album’s title and the apotheosis of nature which is the main inspiration for “Rekreatur
” in general – all inexplicable natural manifests and the everlasting circumrotation, making every living soul go its own way. That
’s exactly what the Germans tend to do while the female chants and the Finntroll
-like choir participations make way for the hurricane whirlwind “Fahrtwind” – one of the fastest tracks of the band with a momentary courtesy to the classic rock times with low guitars, distortion and groovy melody. An eerie mid-tempo tragedy called “Wenn Erdreich Bricht” speaks unambiguously of the respect which the musiciand hold to their own past with a boldly incorporated melody, directly linked to “Sagas
”. As expected, Mr. Berthiaume announces the curtain fall with a culmination just as every Equilibrium
album tends to do – the 13 minutes long instrumental fury “Kurzes Epos” is for “Rekreator” everything that “Mana” stood for in “Sagas
” with a similar force and remarkable technical approach. Without the unnecessary compositional pomposity, the Short Epos is able to slam the mouths shut of all critics out there with a most wonderful melodic base and continuous mood changes – from the nostalgic trills and the majestic, opera effusions of the vocalist Gaby Koss (Haggard
), through cheerful nautical keyboard solo passages and drum-string aggressive duels to the touching somelmn ending itself. More
than just a worthy last page of an even more deserving album, while such genious sparks prove once again that if one day Equilibrium
go for an entirely instrumental album, it’s bound to be greeted with the very same favourable success from both press and fan base.
Most paralells of comparison between “Rekreatur
” and the previous records of the band suddenly become useless just the way “Sagas
” disn’t meet the expectations of some fans after “Turis Fratyr
” – for good or bad, the band we hear today is not the same, the staff changed and the musicians grew up, keeping their own identity and will to play music just the way they love and feel the most. With its third opus, Equilibrium
deny to turn into a mass media puppet with a dictated scenario and state frankly that they’re once again ready to engage the attention of their faithful followers, determined to attract even more additions to their ranks.