The first single of <Armageddon>, «Prey», was quite shocking to me – so catchy and polished, and quite dark compared to most other songs by Equilibrium. I would not have been able to guess that it was an Equilibrium song had I not been told so. So let’s see what the newest album of Equilibrium actually has to offer.
As the opening song «Sehnsucht» slowly unfurls, one might get the feeling that Equilibrium might want to get more serious and epic with their music. In that sense «Sehnsucht» succeeded in playing its role, because you can feel this ambition everywhere in the album. «Erwachen» seems quite short of charisma considering that it is the actual opening song, but the next song, «Katharsis», takes us right away to the new world of Equilibrium where light and darkness coexist, where the storming symphonic sound rules. The darkness that «Katharsis» introduces is soon met by the untamable hopefulness of «Heimat». Then «Born to be Epic» follows – people have their reasons to mourn over the silly lyrics, but with its popping electronic sound the song is quite refreshing. «Zum Horizont» and «Rise Again» then seem quite average in this album that is full of new attempts. «Prey» is, as mentioned earlier, the most catchy and polished song ever, but still powerful and dark. Through «Helden», which somehow feels like a tension reliever with its cheery mood, we reach «Koyaaniskatsi» that could have worked well as a closing song with its great spirit and a hint of hope. Finally the album is twisted again by finishing with «Eternal Destination», more ominous and darker than ever.
<Armageddon> is, just like «Prey», the most catchy and polished of all albums by Equilibrium. And more: it is the most symphonic and emotionally the most dynamic album of them all. Novel attempts and new ambitions are everywhere to be heard. Those who still miss the rawness of «Blut im Auge» might be disappointed by this new direction Equilibrium is heading for, but it seems like these folks know what they’re doing and they’re good at it.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Text: Yeonwoo Baik