Equilibrium - Turis Fratyr
Blakk Attakk
Folk / Viking Metal
12 songs (50 : 24)
Release year: 2005
Equilibrium, Blakk Attakk
Reviewed by Dylan
Archive review
It seems as if there are often two camps in the world of metal. Sure, at times, metal appears to have more sub-genres than it has bands, but there are really two main styles a band can be identified as adhering to. On one side, you have the bands that achieve heaviness through volume, speed, powerful riffage, and intimidating vocals. On the other, you have bands that achieve heaviness through inspiring and infectious melodies, upbeat rhythms, and a sense of celebrating triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. When a band like Equilibrium manages to combine both styles of metal so well and so effectively, metalheads everywhere must be made aware of how powerful this music can really get.

While short intro tracks are usually the bane of many a listener’s experience, the opening title track for Turis Fratyr sets the perfect mood, with a sense of mysticism and wonder. When the growl in the intro of Wingthor’s Hammer combines with the melodic keyboards, galloping drums, and thick guitar work, you soon get a feeling this is something special. The riffs and bass lines are simple enough to be easily memorable without getting boring. Going in with a “less is more” idea, the guitars serve the songs very well, without serving the egos of the players behind them, like so many riffs end up doing in numerous bands. The main melodies are carried out through the very effectively used keyboard, played by Armin Dörfler. They are used as the main melodic instrument for the band, and end up suiting the music perfectly. Vocalist Helge Stang is in possession of both a throaty rasp for his screams, and a low-pitched, mightily roaring growl. Alternating between both styles somewhat in the vein of The Black Dahlia Murder (with a slightly better sense of timing), the music is always kept fresh. There is even a surprisingly beautiful female vocal section at the end of Windars Hallen, pushing what is already an energetic epic to another level.

When the uplifting lead melodies of the keyboard and guitars mix with the power found in the drums and vocals, each song will demand to have repeated listens. Tracks range from 8 minute epics, such as the aforementioned Windars Hallen and Tote Heldensagen, to short slabs of metal bursting at the seams with uplifting energy, complete with an accordion, like the one found in Met. Songs shift from fast, galloping rhythms, to more mid-paced grooves, to brief, but lush acoustic interludes. Each song gives off an atmosphere as if a quest is being undertaken. Whether it is a quest for battle, like the opening track seems to be, or a quest to return to a long lost home, such as Nordheim, each song has the distinction of making the listener feel both empowered and confident to carry on whatever quest they may be undertaking in their own life.

What makes this already impressive effort even more spellbinding, is that this is the band’s debut. Most bands with 3 albums under their belt still are searching for their sound, production-wise. Equilibrium have managed to find a way to give every instrument some room to breathe, serving the music even further. Due to release their sophomore effort, Sagas in 2007 under Nuclear Blast, things can seemingly only get better for this band. Melodic without being pompous, heavy without being overbearingly brutal, Equilibrium truly live up to their name, creating a balance between melodic hook and thick heaviness that only a handful of bands have managed to achieve.
Killing Songs :
All of them really, but particular stand outs are Wingthor’s Hammer, Met, Nordheim, Windars Hallen, Tote Heldensagen
Dylan quoted 94 / 100
Chris quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Equilibrium that we have reviewed:
Equilibrium - Erdentempel reviewed by Kyle and quoted 73 / 100
Equilibrium - Rekreatur reviewed by Kyle and quoted 94 / 100
Equilibrium - Sagas reviewed by Dylan and quoted 95 / 100
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