Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if the Predator were to be the lead singer in a metal band that took musical from inspiration travel commercials? Well, if you ever had enough time on your hands to allow that thought to sneak its way into your head, here’s the answer. It would sound Awwwsome.

Hailing from Bavaria, Equilibrium’s second full length album takes a different turn on the folk metal style in many ways. Unlike most bands in this genre which create melodies and harmonies with violins, fiddles, bagpipes, various keyboard effects, tribal sounding drums and tin whistles, Equilibrium takes it a step further and introduces the sounds of pan flutes, steel drums, and Bavarian melodies into the mix on many of the songs on this recording. The addition of these create quite a fresh, adventurous, and fun sound. From the opening track “Prolog Auf Erden” to the epic closer “Mana”, the auditory assault does not let up for one second.

The lyrics are completely in German and are sung with a mix of Predator style (high pitch screams) and guttural growls. Personally, I’m not too huge a fan of the Predator style vocal, but in some situations they work well, and this album is one of those situations. Helge Stang is able to seamlessly switch between these two styles at the perfect moments and give the songs one hell of a punch. The drummer, Manuel DiCamillo, stands out also. Unfortunately, both these members have left the group and were replaced, but how all that worked out is for another review.

“Blut im Auge”, the 3rd track, is when this album really sinks its claws into you. It starts out a feel-good Bavarian melody and progresses into a thrash happy headbang-fest and never looses that nice, happy feeling it started the song out with. The following track “Unbesiegt” is my personal favorite from this album. The instrumentation gives a South American feel. Given that I don’t speak German and don’t understand the lyrics (other than the song title, which means “unbeaten” or something along those lines), but I get the image of warrior baboons getting drunk, dancing, fighting, and all together having a good time.

“Verrat” brings out the cannons full force in a metal assault that is sure to be a mosh pit favorite. It’s f’n intense, but like this whole album, never angry. “Heimwärts” is another fun one, it will make you want to do a combination of a Bavarian dancing and headbanging. The album closer is the near 16 minute long instrumental “Mana”. All I can say about this one is pop it on, close your eyes, and be prepared to go on one hell of a journey.

All in all, I highly recommend purchasing this album, even if you aren’t into the style of vocals. The music makes up for it, and they will quickly grow on you.

Edit Feb.7, 2011-  The more I listen to this album the better it gets, and it was already amazing to begin with.  I keep finding myself constantly going back to it and listening from front to back.  “Sagas” is becoming one of those rare perfect albums in my opinion, not a bad song nor dull moment the whole way through.

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