Bavarian pioneers of black/folk metal, Equilibrium have so far provided us with three brilliant albums, 2005’s Turis Fratyr, 2008’s Sagas and 2010’s Rekreatur (as well as an EP released in 2013) and 2014 brings us Erdentempel. The band combine a number of influences such as folk metal, “Viking” metal and symphonic black metal, whilst their riffs reflect traditional Germanic and Pagan melodies and their lyrical themes focus on Germanic tales. Although Equilibrium holds asimilar sound to bands such as Turisas and Korpiklaani, they are distinctive in their own right.
Erdentempel should come with an alert for anyone who buys it; warning them of the risk of serious addiction. For example (or should I say “zum Biespiel”), the opening track, “Ankunft”, is a 51 second instrumental that rolls like thunder into the second track “Was Lange Wahrt” – honestly, this just made me want to get hammered and dance around like an idiot, or fly dragons whilst battling thousands of other mythical creatures. The use of black metal vocals and fast picked, technical guitar work from René Berthiaume and Dom R. Crey and heavy, and speed-based blast and drum beats delivered by Hati creates an incredibly catchy song which I was instantly gratified by the sheer power and tight musicianship within this group.
Conversely, “Karawane” starts off with a slow, seemingly Asian-orientated, melodic riff, although the rhythm is deep, heavy and groovy, which gives weight to this song, making it a solid track. The deep and guttural vocals from Robse, and tight drumming, makes you bang your head and raise your fist without even realising you’re doing it. Whereas “Uns’rer Flöten Klang” focuses on more Germanic melodies, which are somewhat similar to those found in an Irish jig. The vocals are deeper again which work very well with the upbeat tune.
“Freiflug” and “Heavy Chill” are two of my favourite tracks from the album. “Freiflug” takes an entirely different approach from the previous five tracks, the intro sounding more rock influenced and less upbeat than their traditional style of folk metal, which shows the bands more serious side. “Heavy Chill” starts as any other “battle cry” song, however at 1 minute and 15 seconds the band include a surprising rock/reggae-styled break, whilst the vocals remain heavy. This unusual mix works incredibly well, and shows the bands ability to mix genres and to create something catchy and unique.
“Wirtshaus Gaudi” is another fantastic track as René and Dom speed play with precision, laying out a wide assortment of great, power metal- inspired guitar riffs. They slip in some incredibly typical German (Bavarian) sections, during which I pictured myself at Oktoberfest, dancing (yet again!), and of course, drinking merrily from steins. This mix works really well in uplifting the song’s style, particularly combined with the searing vocals from Robse and the speed based drumming patterns. This never fails to impress.
The final track on Erdentempel, “The Unknown Episode” is the only song sung in English. The riffs, melodies and drum beats, create a sound that makes it feel somewhat an anthemic track with which to conclude the album – but it also leaves one with the feeling that there will definitely be more to come from this band.
Equilibrium are by far one of the talented bands in the scene, and continue to show vast potential as demonstrated by their previous albums up to, and including this recent release. Erdentempel is a fantastic and unique album that is full of uplifting melodies laden with epic ambiance whilst including strong beats and heaviness from the black metal vocal styles, most of which are emphatically infectious.
Released on 6th June 2014 via Nuclear Blast
- Was Lange Währt
- Uns’rer Flöten Klang
- Heavy Chill
- Wirtshaus Gaudi
- Stein Meiner Ahnen
- The Unknown Episode
Robse – vocals
René Berthiaume – guitar
Hati – drums
Dom R. Crey – guitar
Sandra van Eldik – bass