Released: 2015, Klonosphere Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
It has been nine long years since Pitbulls In The Nursery’s debut album was unleashed on the world. But now, following some lineup changes, these French progressive metallers are back with their second full-length album, “Equanimity”, released at the beginning of May. And what a rollercoaster of a ride they have come up with this time!
Starting off with “Crawling” a static crackling gives way to a machinegun salvo of sound. Jarring notes, unsettling atmospheres, and unexpected variations in tempo interlace a myriad of styles taking the listener on an unparalleled journey. Not typically hailed as the quintessential death metal instrument, the inclusion of the sitar on “Equanimity” adds a very unique feel to the soundscapes woven by Pitbulls In The Nursery. This adds unanticipated dimensions to their experimental approach and odd time signatures, resulting in a mashup of fragmented shatters of sound that still fit flawlessly together. Each musician has the skills and the daring to experiment widely, resulting in songs artfully switching from tranquil to tempestuous in the blink of an eye. And as if that weren’t enough, the drummer is tighter than a miserly old spinster’s clutch on her purse-strings, giving the music an overarching backbone that holds everything together perfectly. Given this turmoil, the instrumental track “Interlude” at the midpoint of the album is like a soothing wave of calmness which provides a much-needed respite from the madness, whilst driving home the album name “Equanimity”, and preparing the listener for the remaining unbridled and unrestrained bedlam.
Overall, the best word to describe Pitbulls In The Nursery is eclectic, with a fusion of a range of influences, from nu metal to reggae. There is nothing typical or conformist about this opus; their only use for boundaries is to see how far they can be pushed. “Equanimity” is impressive in how the band manage to incorporate so many dissimilar elements into a cohesive whole without the music sounding disjointed or uncontrollably chaotic. The quality of the production is also excellent: each track is crisp and clear, easily distinguishable from the others, whilst each new listen reveals previously hidden facets that make the album a treasure trove of new discoveries. Whilst this album will undoubtedly be too experimental and oddball for many, it will just as surely be a much-loved oeuvre for fans of progressive death metal.
Review by Erika Kuenstler