Progress without estrangement is a rare craft that very few bands truly master. All too often, a band ventures so far from its roots it that loses its trademark sound. And every so often, a band’s stagnation drains all of its charm. Finding that rare balance between the two is a huge task not easily accomplished. And yet there is a band that has been coming close to that perfect balance more and more over the course of the past few years. A band that, ironically, already bears that balance in its well-known name: Equilibrium.
Born in 2001 in Southern Bavaria, the band has long become an Epic Metal powerhouse, a force to be reckoned with. Now, their latest, sixth record “Renegades” is heralding a watershed, the turn of an era for this genre. This could only happen because founder and guitar player René Berthiaume has been chasing his very own vision for 18 years now – more than half his life, actually!
I have never looked at it that way”, he marvels while he ponders this. “I always have to think of our first gig at Summer Breeze 2004. Some guy on the internet posted a comment after our show, saying that this band will disappear as quickly as it appeared. Well, what can I say? We’re still here!
Renegades will be released on August 23rd 2019 via Nuclear Blast.
There’s some experimentation going on here and it’s very welcome. At its core, Renegades is still very much a metal album but with some interesting ideas thrown into the pot to make this a much more impressive listen.
The opening track, Renegades – A Lost Generation leans towards extreme metal with some wild segments and exciting synth infusions. It’s a great setup for what follows in the utterly fist-pumping Tornado. This is an absolute banger of a track and sure to decimate crowds live.
Himmel Und Feuer’s upbeat melodies against the sound of roaring death metal vocals works far better then you might expect. It’s a maddening combination of power keys/synth and heaviness…simply spectacular.
The Butcher Sisters add some grounding to the gravity defying album in Path of Destiny. Although the rapping may not be for everyone. Moonlight brings back the sense of epic that makes this such a dominant performance by Equilibrium alongside Kawaakari – The Periphery of the Mind with its Far-Eastern influences.
The variation in tracks is so very well controlled ensuring it never comes across messy or just a bunch of songs slapped together. Their may not be much in a way of a narrative but it doesn’t stop it being an expertly woven tale.
Another guest pops up in Hype Train (Julie Elven) to lend her impressive vocal range to Equilibrium’s talents. Before that though the album takes an immensely heavy turn with Final Tear before wrapping up with Rise of the Phoenix. So very satisfying!
Equilibrium – Renegades Full Track Listing:
1. Renegades – A Lost Generation
3. Himmel Und Feuer
4. Path of Destiny (feat. The Butcher Sisters)
6. Kawaakari – The Periphery of the Mind
7. Final Tear
8. Hype Train (feat. Julie Elven)
9. Rise of the Phoenix
Equilibrium - Renegades (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 7.5/10