Hey there tech fiends, it's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
It seems like only a short time ago that I was covering Equipoise in this column and elsewhere in 2016. Time flies, and like all good things that come to those who wait, the group’s first full-length album, Demiurgus, is out this Friday, March 8th through The Artisan Era. We’ve got the early full album stream here for you today. You can hit scroll down and hit play below now, 0r, read on for more about the band and the release first.
When the group first put out Birthing Homunculi in 2016, the line-up was already impressive as the band's guitarists Nick Padovani and Zack Hohn got a lot of killer talent on board for the release including Inferi and Ashen Horde vocalist Stevie Boiser, Beyond Creation’s phenomenal fretless bassist Hugo Doyon-Karout, and piano/keyboard genius Jimmy Pitts of Eternity’s End, Pitt’s Minneman Project, and NYN fame. For Demiurgus, the line-up has gotten even wilder with the addition of First Fragment, Chthe'ilist, and more shredder Phil Tougas plus Wormhole/Perihelion guitarist Sanjay Kumar. Rounding out the new musicians in the fold is ex-Hate Eternal and ex-The Faceless standout drummer Chason Westmoreland giving a spectacular performance that ties everything together.
The end result of such a union could have been all excess without focus, instead, it’s excess and focused, perfectly utilizing all their talents while retaining a melodic focused proggy tech-death framework that anchors this in a more “easily” digestible format overall. While I’m normally not a big fan of re-recording prior material for inclusion on new material, including new re-worked and expanded versions of Birthing Homunculi here was a great idea too.
For people just hearing it for the first time, the songs carried over from Birthing Homunculi in an expanded updated form between track three and track seven, are a nice touch since they’re somewhat different than the other seven new songs written after that period that make up the rest of the album. For people familiar with that material already, I think most fans will be on board with the move since adding real drums and expanding them really makes those songs from 2016 sound their best yet here.
To explain what the record encompasses direct from the band’s perspective, guitarist and founder Nick Padovani states that "Demiurgus is the culmination of 3 years of refinement packaged into 63 minutes of thoughtful compositions. The 14 tracks found within will take you through a journey inspired by the anime series, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, with lyrics, masterfully crafted and executed by Stevie Boiser. The material on this album is a logical progression from the band's debut release, "Birthing Homunculi", further exploring the use of nylon guitars, fretless bass, and symphonic elements. Every track was carefully crafted to maintain a cohesiveness that complements the sinister subject matter. Fans of such bands as Obscura, Necrophagist, Gorod, and Beyond Creation should find themselves captivated by this effort, while fans of unconventional elements in metal will be just as pleased.”
If we titled this as an It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia episode as an homage, it would have to be “The Gang Sells Shred Crack, Again”. There will be some who understand how that ties in, if not, maybe some schemes are best left in the trash. Some would argue in an It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia-manner, replete with vague hungry growling Danny Devito nods to the trash man, that this could have wound up a literal dumpster fire in line with its self-deprecating meme-ification manner of growing through social media like a virus. Instead, Equipoise has continued diversifying their sound in many different ways on Demiurgus, exceeding even my own expectations for what this album might have wound up having to offer. Demiurgus is the first standout tech-death record of 2019 to my ears, this is an intriguing mix of over-the-top, catchy, and forward-thinking all at once. As usual, you be the judge, so click play below and give Demiurgus a shot. If you’re digging the music, pre-orders can be placed in a variety of bundle formats and through their Bandcamp page. You can follow the band over on the Equipoise Facebook Page.