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Album Reviews : Equilibrium – Sagas

By on December 19, 2008

With the plethora of folk metal bands around today its hard to keep up with them all. Ever since the genre blossomed with pioneer’s such as Turisas, Moonsorrow and Korpiklaani,  the genre has exploded within the last few years giving it a profound impact in the heavy metal community.

Its diverse and cultural background has expanded the listening pleasure of metal and general music fans alike around the world, which adds a unique chapter in the book of heavy metal music.

Equilibrium are somewhat a new addition to the genre with “Sagas”, being their second album which infuses more folk metal elements then their previous 2005 release, “Turis Fratyr”.

The album is a marvel within itself incorporating lavish folk instruments such as flutes and strings while also incorporating symphonic German black metal vocals, which gives both a haunting yet beautiful sound to the album. The sheer level of diversity on the album is just amazing, I was quite literally taken into a fantasy world in which the music set the stage. Its infectious grooves and unique blend of world instruments, including one of which sounded awfully similar to a Didgeridoo, made this album one of the more diverse and well sounding folk metal bands of today.

Think of it as Yanni on crack, but minus the attitude.

To be honest I was never a huge fan of folk metal music, aside from my fondness for one of the pioneers of the genre, Turisas. Equilibrium have somewhat revitalized the genre for me with uplifting and powerful music which incorporates not only German and folk elements, but an endless array of music from all corners of the globe.

This young bunch of “go-getter’s” have really done themselves well on this release and have added a unique and youthful essence to this long running genre which has been somewhat unknown to many around the world.

There are many stand out songs on the album, to name afew; Wurzelbert which translates to “Root Bert” in English. I’m sorry, my German isn’t what it use to be, I got the translation from wikipedia…I assume they mean Root Beer?. In anycase the song starts off with a somewhat similar intro to a Vince DiCola song from Rocky IV then explodes with a mesmerizing polka beat which infuses heavy drums and vocals and lightens back with both accordion and flutes in the background.

Another stand out is, “Blut im Auge” which actually got me into this band in the first place thanks to Nuclear Blast’s podcasts. It’s translation is “Blood in the Eye”.This is actually one of the songs which incorporates that instrument which sounds so similar to a Didgeridoo, but for the life of me don’t have a clue what the name of the instrument is. This song is fast, uplifting and just has a unique feel to it which makes you feel as though it should be in a fantasy movie when a great battle is taking place.

One of the most epic and stand out songs on the album is the final track, “Mana”. An epic song spanning almost 17 minutes, this illustrious piece of music is simply amazing to listen too. Not one shred of lyric can be heard, its more of an attempt to showcase the bands unique and flavorsome musical talents. It’s a chance for the whole band to stretch their legs and exercise all the instruments at their disposal, and the final result is just amazing. You have to listen to it to fully appreciate it’s power and majesty.

This album is quite clearly one of my favorites of the year and urge anyone who love folk metal or metal in general to go out an purchase this gem, its simply amazing.

If your lucky enough to pick up the special edition of the album you’ll also receive a bonus DVD packed with live footage of songs played around Europe from 2001 to 2007, including the bands first visit to the famous Wacken festival in Germany in 2005.

All footage is amateur, but still is quite fun to watch. There is also a studio report of the creation of “Sagas”, backstage antics, bonus content which seems to only work on Mac computers, and finally a trip down memory line with a montage of the band showing of when they started from humble beginnings right through to where they are now.

Equilibrium are one of the most unique and well sounding folk metal bands in the metal world today. I urge anyone who is a fan of metal to pick this release up, its simply amazing. 8.7/10

Tracklisting:

1. Prolog auf Erden (Prologue on Earth)
2. Wurzelbert (Root Bert)
3. Blut im Auge (Blood in The Eye) (Reviewer’s Choice)
4. Unbesiegt (Unconquered)
5. Verrat (Betrayal)
6. Snüffel (Bavarian for: snuff)
7. Heimwärts (Homeward)
8. Heiderauche
9. Die Weide und der Fluß (The Willow and The River)
10. Des Sängers Fluch (The Bard’s Curse)
11. Ruf in den Wind (Call into The Wind)
12. Dämmerung (Dawn)
13. Mana

Band: Equilibrium
Album: Saga
Year: 2008
Genre: Folk/Viking Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
www.myspace.com/equilibrium

About

Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal Obsession.net. When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook