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Equilibrium: Sagas

Ready for the next big player in the ever-growing pagan folk metal genre? Look no further than Germany's Equilibrium, who bring their 'A' game on their second release Sagas, which is also the first CD on their new deal with Nuclear Blast. Chances are this Bavarian group will appeal to you if you are already enjoying acts like Finntroll, Ensiferum, Eluveittie, and Turisas, as well as progressive black metal bands such as Enslaved, Dimmu Borgir, Wintersun, Bal-Sagoth, and Cradle of Filth. Sagas is upbeat, raging black metal, littered with plenty of symphonic keyboard arrangements (making the songs almost sound like mini-film scores at times), Bavarian folk interludes, crushing guitar riffs, relentless blast beats, and a varied mix of black metal shrieks and death metal growls. It all works well together, each of the 13 songs having a life of their own, as Equilibrium grab the listener from the first note and never let go. From the killer symphonic black metal of "Verrat", to the almost Deep Purple inspired arrangements of "Snuffel", there's plenty of variety here, and tunes like "Prolog Auf Erden" and "Wurzelbert" have such gorgeous keyboard orchestrations that I can even see proggers getting into this stuff. Should you be in the mood to dance the Bavarian polka while enjoying a large pint of ale, "Heimwärts" is a great way to go, and reminds a bit of Korpiklaani or Finntroll.

Towards the back end of the CD you have a few longer pieces, which are really epic in scope and show the true instrumental talents of the band. "Die Weide Und Der Fluß" has some tasty electric guitar lines, along with some folky mandolin & acoustic guitar, "Des Sängers Fluch" is a richly melodic, haunting folk metal gem, with great vocal growls that remind a tad of Amorphis and Opeth, and "Dämmerung" is a rich, symphonic black metal piece with stunning keyboards and effective vocal shrieks. The killer closer "Mana" is a wild 16-minute instrumental that is pure progressive metal bliss.

So, if Sagas sounds like a can't miss for fans of pagan folk metal, progressive black metal, Viking metal, or progressive metal, well, that' because it is. Though the vocals are all sung in German, it doesn't really detract from the overall effect of the album. This is huge, epic stuff, and highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Prolog Auf Erden 3:39
2. Wurzelbert 4:58
3. Blut Im Auge 4:44
4. Unbesiegt 6:19
5. Verrat 6:04
6. Snüffel 5:45
7. Heimwärts 2:33
8. Heiderauche 2:30
9. Die Weide Und Der Fluß 7:20
10. Des Sängers Fluch 8:05
11. Ruf In Den Wind 4:53
12. Dämmerung 5:55
13. Mana 16:23

Added: July 27th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's My Space Page
Hits: 3167
Language: english

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