I was very weary of this band considering the reputation they had for being a cheesy ripoff of better bands such as Ensiferum
. I never listened to Equilibrium
before this point, so I had no idea what to expect.
All I can say at this point is that all people who think these guys are a ripoff of Ensiferum
are utter and complete fools. No matter what these guys influences are, this album is a masterpiece of the genre in many more ways than one.
For one, I find it brilliant how a band can utterly surprise me to the point where I believe it is impossible. I listen to melodies in there before the metal dies in thinking "How the hell will they turn this into metal?!?" and all of a sudden, bam. In comes the guitars and drums, blowing me away. The musicianship of this album is unrivaled by anything I've ever heard before. Well, maybe bands like Empyrium
, but this comes close to the musical talent. Secondly, how do they write such amazing melodies? How do they create such amazing moods with nearly nothing to base it on?
I don't matter what anyone says. The melodies and musicianship on this album is brilliant. It's cheesy at parts, yes (It sounds like old french music at parts). But it's brilliantly executed and unique. Sure, it isn't for everyone, but it is certainly for me.
Another thing I love about this album is the diversity. They have pounding songs, to really emotional-melancholic ones, to calm instrumentals, and they all seem to blend together seamlessly (Not literally, but you get the point).
I don't want to go too far into this, because I'll ruin it for you. But damn, Mana. Mana is the final track on the album, which is a 16 minute long instrumental. It may be a little self-indulgent, but it had me out of my chair in awe. It's amazing, in every single possible way. There is parts on the song that are trully WTF worthy (Flute solo breakdown), but all of the other parts are.......I can't even describe it.
The other songs are just little broken up versions of Mana with vocals, which is amazing in itself. Each song ends up leaving me in awe. Especially the emotional-melancholic ones.
Do yourself a favour and listen to this album. It's long (80 friggin' minutes!), it's brilliant, and you will not regret it.
Contender for Album of the Year 2008.