Equilibrium album review – Armaggedon

Germany’s epic folk metallers swing towards the symphonic

Equilibrium album cover

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On their fifth album, Equilibrium have found a balance between folk metal and a symphonic approach. It makes for a smoothly flowing style that still retains a link to what’s gone before, but also takes the music more into a Nightwish-style mood.

With a lineup now featuring guitarist Dom R Crey, the Germans’ sweeping dynamic nestles thrusting aggression against melodies that wouldn’t be out of place on a HIM album. Erwachen and Heimat typify the substance, as Crey and keyboard player René Berthiaume do battle with uplifting results.

Born To Be Epic, one of three excursions into English lyrics, races along on twin rails of a blazing riff and some progressively intricate undercurrents. There’s also a controlled use of wide-ranging vocals from Robert ‘Robse’ Dahn that gives an extra dramatic frisson to Rise Again, while there’s a black metal fury about Zum Horizont that’s magnetic. Colourful yet dark, this is the most satisfying album yet from a band who have found their niche.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.