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Released: 2005, Black Attack
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
This is the first Equilbrium review for Metal-Rules.com. The new album ERDENTEMPEL is coming out next month so I thought I would go back to the very beginnings of this excellent band and review their debut TURIS FRATYR. I’m on a bit of a viking/pagan/folk kick with my reviews this month (Tyr, Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Thyrien) so it fits well.
There are any number of German bands doing celtic/folk/pagan/viking type themes and Equilibrium from Barvaria are one of them. The debut came out in 2005 on a small label, Black Attakk. Like many people, I had first discovered the band in 2008 when they released their second album, SAGAS on the much larger Nuclear Blast to wide critical acclaim. It was pure luck I found a copy of the debut album and bought it from a friend who was willing to part with this rarity.
This 53 minute, 12-track album has three instrumental connecting interlude style pieces at track one, five and ten. TURIS FRATYR has a decent cover with runes and a wilderness scene, like many of these albums tend to. The lyrics are in German and I would have enjoyed a translation but listening to people sing in another language has never an impediment to my enjoyment of a record.
Equilbrium remind me a little bit of the band Ragnarok, not the Norweigan Black Metal one but the short-lived UK Ragnarok from the 90’s, who had a nice blackened death/thrash sound infused with celtic melodies and influences. I know that is a bit of an obscure reference but it is an apt comparision and long-time fans of this style may recognize the similarity. Synthesizers play a larger role in the bands sound and there are many symphonic, orchestral parts, like those heard at the beginning of the third cut, ‘Unter Der Eiche’, before the songs becomes a raging jig with harsh vocals and then dropping into a slower section with more synthesizers and chanting and fiddle…this song has it all! Tracks like ‘Der Sturm’ are a little more straight forward with an almost Power Metal feeling especially in the melodic soloing but all with a very harsh vocal style. The are some longer more interesting songs some of them pushing into the nine and nine minute range displaying the band early progressive tendencies that became a bit more prominent on the next couple of albums.
TURIS FRATYR was an extremely promising debut and Equilibrium is one band that actually did live up to the hype. Don’t let the fact that they only song in German throw you, you do not want to miss this one. I would not be shocked in Nuclear Blast reissues this album in near future based on the bands current popularity.
1. Turis Fratyr
2. Wingthors Hammer
3. Unter der Eiche
4. Der Sturm
5. Widars Hallen
7. Heimdalls Ruf
8. Die Prophezeiung
10. Im Fackelschein
11. Tote Heldensagen
12. Wald der Freiheit
Helge Stang Vocals
René Berthiaume Guitars
Andreas Völkl Guitars
Sandra Völkl Bass
Julius Koblitzek Drums
Previous review: » Equilibrium - Sagas