Wave Singers (The Equilibria Collection)
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- Savages Quest;
- The A to Z Beastly Jamboree.
The keyboards seem to be more prominent than before, but also with more variation. They occasionally have that flute-like quality about them, but for the most part they sound like the more common kind that just seem to be there to add a bit of emphasis. It feels more generic than before as a result, which is kind of sad. The band just seems so much less unique on Sagas than they did on Turis Fratyr.
The guitars are still solid, maybe even a step up from on their previous record. There are times when the same note gets played for a while, but there's actually quite a decent bit of variety in there. Considering that the keyboard seems to want all the limelight, that's a bit surprising. A lot of the songs on this album are high-speed and the riffs develop and almost thrashy feel to them, but that's not really a problem. The guitars are there to deliver the power for the band and also be the backbone with the drums, that much is made fairly obvious across the record.
Something worthy of a comment is the change of drummer. While on Turis Fratyr the drumming was bland and at times a little below par not enough to detract from the record, but noticeable , the drumming here is very enthusiastic and much more varied. The guy gives the impression that he is genuinely engaged with the music and he brings something new to the table. If you like a band for their wonderful lyrics and deep meanings and are limited to only speaking English, Equilibrium is not for you.
In case you couldn't tell by the titles, this band do not write in English but rather in German. I'm quite glad they do this, because the band really sound like they're enjoying themselves as a result, which I'm sure would not be the case if it was written in English. Now, a comment about the song Mana. I know this stuff is supposed to be epic and the conclusion most of all and to be fair, Mana is definitely the most epic song on the album , but is sixteen minutes not a bit like overkill?
That's nearly twice as long as the conclusion to their last album, which still felt awesome. It is an epic song, there's no denying that fact, but does it really have to be that long? Probably just me being picky since there is a very small window of time that I like songs to fit into, but Mana just seems a tad overdone.
To conclude, I'll say what I said at the start: this album is great, no doubt about that, but it pales in comparison to the band's debut. If you want something really unique, I'd recommend listening to Turis Fratyr over Sagas. We can see that most folk metal bands today came from Scandinavia, especially Finland, but Germany is where we will find this extremely unique band.
This is the second album and probably one of the best the band has released in its career. Now the style that Equilibrium play is unique and cannot be compared to any other metal band over there, the lead singer of the band is particularly good, achieving higher or lower screams. In this album there is an evolution of the sound beginning with folkloric touches of songs. The songs are more powerful and extremely more melodic than the previous album Turis Fratyr.
The first song of the album hits you straight in the face with the heavy sound of the guitar, keyboard, and flute, then goes into the powerful sound of epic metal with violent drums, showing what is to come for the rest of the album. An excellent example of this genius is the song Blut Im Auge. We find the battery very quickly, then the layer of folk and melodic sounds blend with the keyboard and guitar, and the vocals are very aggressive, alternating between the sharp and scratchy sound of black metal.
We also have the song Mana which is completely instrumental and lasts about 16 minutes. This song is wonderful and will never cease to amaze you as speed changes and folkloric sounds make it one of the best on this album. This album is incredible and would be great to have in your collection if you like fast, melodic, and folk with medieval themes.
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This album is worth it and you will not be disappointed after hearing it. Out of all the more prominent bands in the current folk metal scene, Equilibrium have often been viewed as one of the most talented, both in terms of technical and songwriting abilities. This album is perhaps one of the greatest contributions to the folk metal scene over the past decade. The greatest merit of this album is certainly the incredibly epic melodies, which are present in just about every song on the album at various points, making bands like Ensiferum and Turisas sound conservative and dry in comparison.
The plethora of melodic lines throughout this album are for the most part original and engaging, allowing the listener to enjoy the album in its entirety, while rarely losing interest in the music. Another improvement from their previous album, 'Turis Fratyr", is that the band got a new drummer on this album; one who realizes that playing one or two different rhythms per song can get annoying and repetitive rather quickly.
The songwriting skills have also drastically improved. Sure their last album had great choruses, melodies, interludes, etc. There are no weak tracks on this album, with the exception of 'Dammerung' and parts of 'Des Sangers Fluch'. On 'Des Sangers Fluch' the band takes a bit longer than usual to get musically involved in the song as musicians, causing it to sound meandering and a little dry. They make up for this by the end of the song, however.
In 'Dammerung', the band seems to be playing a filler track, as there are few memorable melodies and the song takes forever to progress. I would also like to mention the album's epic, 'Mana', which showcases the band's incredible songwriting abilities, as well as a variety of instruments including an excellent violin solo near the end of the song. Overall a must buy for folk metal fans.
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Let me start by saying how wonderful Turis Fratyr was. It was a real original piece that was near perfect in consistency. When I first heard that Equilibrium were bringing a new album out I was so excited. I was hoping they could carry on from the last and produce something even more outstanding.
I don't think they managed to do that. The album as a whole isn't bad. It's an average folk metal album that isn't great and isn't bad. Here are the things that I think brings the album down: Recycled riffs and melodies - I hear vague keyboard and guitar melodies that I recognise from Turis Fratyr and even other songs on the album.
I don't think they are running out of ideas already but there is only so much one can do with a sound as select as this without changing the band's sound as a whole. Repetitiveness - This is a problem that brings the album down the most for me. Helge's vocals have the same rhythm and flow to them in nearly every song.
There is somewhat of a lack of diversity in the vocal sounds in this album. Don't get me wrong, Sagas is an album worth buying.
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It's a must for the folk metal fan. Now, lets get on to the good points. Equilibrium have managed to keep the sound and soul of the music that can only be described as epic. They have encorporated a brilliant power metal-esque sound into their music that really takes you on a journey. The song "Verrat" is possibly the most angry and dark song Equilibrium have produced and it is fantastic.
It's good to see that Equilibrium have the ability to create different atmospheres in their music without losing their characteristics. A 16 minute long song that is pure epic folk metal wonder. Listening to Mana is like watching Lord of the Rings on a countryside walk with faries dancing around your feet. Okay, perhaps not but it's easy to see how brilliant the song is.
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I'd say that this album could have been a lot better but it is, nontheless, a good album. Sagas has taken a giant step forward from their debut, Turis Fratyr.
The songs and melodies which appear throughout the album are so varied that the listener would always be in for a surprise, track after track, without ever dragging or becoming stale. Each song has its own character and style that really leaves no doubt about this release.
The musicianship and craftsmanship of the melodies and riffs throughout the album make for a real delicacy for the ears. There is no one song that qualifies as filler or sub-par. The album fluently and nearly flawlessly flows, with maybe one minor exception towards the end of the album. Sagas can essentially be divided up into two parts: the first half being the shorter, more listener friendly songs and I say that quite loosely , and the second half of the album contain the longer, much more complex songs and an interlude in the middle, which almost acts as an intermission. Some instrumental openers often come across as quite boring and often skipped over, but this one offers bombastic elements, epic clean choirs and catchy melodies that really catch the listener from the start.
It has quite a bit of power metal influence. It has a strong black metal influence, which gives the song a darker feel to it, but by the end of the song, it still has an unmistakable, folky vibe. It is fast and powerful, but also has one of the most catchiest breakdowns I have heard in a while, a la ZZ Top, and an ending that may make your head explode. The second half of the album, as mentioned before, is the more complex, lengthy half. It begins quietly with a folky tune which quickly builds up to a bombastic middle and fading end.
It is a hard song to describe and really should be listened to carefully to gain the full experience. It took several listens for myself to really enjoy it fully. It is the most complex song thus far and is generally mid-paced throughout most of the eight minutes until it really speeds up towards the end.