Equipoise - Demiurgus review




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Band: Equipoise
Album: Demiurgus
Release date: March 2019


01. Illborn Augury
02. Sovereign Sacrifices
03. Alchemic Web Of Deceit
04. A Suit Of My Flesh
05. Shrouded
06. Sigil Insidious
07. Reincarnated
08. Dualis Flamel
09. Eve Of The Promised Day
10. Waking Divinity
11. Ecliptic
12. Squall Of Souls
13. Cast Into Exile
14. Ouroboric


I could just go on and on about how star spangled the lineup on this tech death album is. What is most mind boggling is that it's a debut album.

First showing up with an EP in 2016, one that we covered in our Clandestine Cuts series, the lineup has shifted slightly since then, but also some of the founding (and still current) members joined bigger bands, so the star element of the lineup goes both ways. Now finally with a debut album, a guest list to leave mouths watering and technicality galore, here we have Demiurge.

I could tell you about how technical and intricate the album is, but I'll just let this excerpt from the lyric sheet speak for me:

"[Solo - Jimmy Pitts]
[Solo -Malcolm Pugh]
[Solo - Colin Butler]
[Solo - Nick Padovani]
[Solo - Phil Tougas]
[Solo - Sanjay Kumar]
[Solo - Malcolm Pugh]
[Solo - Colin Butler]
[Solo - Nick Padovani]
[Solo - Hugo Doyon-Karout]
[Solo - Jimmy Pitts]
[Solo - Phil Tougas]
[Solo - Malcolm Pugh]
[Solo - Colin Butler]
[Solo - Nick Padovani]
[Solo - Sanjay Kumar]
[Solo - Phil Tougas]
[Solo - Malcolm Pugh]
[Solo - Colin Butler]"


Yeah. That's not the only moment like that, but definitely the most eye catching of the bunch, and that's just what I could find in the songs that do have lyrics. Half of the tracklist is made of instrumental songs, who knows how many solos get intertwined there. Now sure, most of the instrumental songs are vastly shorter than the other ones, but closer "Ouroboric" is instrumental and longer than 5 minutes. So, in the span of the slightly over one hour that this album has, you should know what to expect.

A lot of criticism is raised about tech and prog bands like this that they value technical prowess (also known colloquially as "technical wankery") over proper songwriting. Now I don't want to claim that there isn't any great songwriting skill on display on Demiurge, but if a band is going to dabble in technical wankery, I'd rather they go big or go home. If the above lyric sheet extract is of any indication, Equipoise went big. Fretless bass, syncopations, counterpoints and whatever magic tech words you wanna hear; what matters is they deliver both what I would want from a tech death album with such a lineup, and they actually managed to write more than just a journey through endless flashy intricacies.

Demiurgus actually feels like they took tech death to its apex, not only perfecting the core tech death part, the one with the light speed intricacies and the tasty fretless bass and yada yada, but the part where there's a lot of dynamism to the sound as well even if they don't really take the foot of the throttle completely, but adding some well-deserved rhythmic diversity. The interludes are fun, often dabbling in acoustic flamenco, that sometimes seeps into the main songs as well; and one other instrument I was surprised to see so well integrated into the mix was the piano. The hour-long runtime may be a bit fatiguing, but no part of it feels really unnecessary, and honestly for a flashy tech death record of one hour, I've heard a lot worse in terms of fatigue.

Equipoise didn't need to go so hard here, but they did. Tech death is over guys, go home.






 



Written on 25.12.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 8 users
04.04.2021 - 19:03
Callisto

I just discovered this band and went straight for the review, I'm shocked to see no comments here, this album is amazing!
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05.04.2021 - 00:47
nikarg
Mod
Written by Callisto on 04.04.2021 at 19:03

I'm shocked to see no comments here

Back on Christmas day of 2019, Radu decided to grace us with 10 reviews - all at once - of albums that he hadn't found the time to review earlier that year but were good enough to deserve a review. He started with Black Sites (review here) and then posted 9 more reviews on the same day. As a result, some of them were probably overlooked and this may be the reason why there are no comments here.

Indeed, this is very good for tech death standards. And, as the review mentions, we covered the band's EP in the Clandestine Cuts series back in 2016 and this is why you shouldn't overlook the CCs; the bands we'll be talking about tomorrow are featured there today.
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05.04.2021 - 11:31
Callisto

Ok, that makes sense now, still a pity though this guys deserve attention!

Totally agree with the Clandestine cuts, I first visited the CC almost for coincidence and I've been regularly checking it. Great discoveries to be found there...
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05.04.2021 - 13:41
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by nikarg on 05.04.2021 at 00:47

Back on Christmas day of 2019, Radu decided to grace us with 10 reviews - all at once - of albums that he hadn't found the time to review earlier that year but were good enough to deserve a review. He started with Black Sites (review here) and then posted 9 more reviews on the same day. As a result, some of them were probably overlooked and this may be the reason why there are no comments here.

Thanks for bringing this up again, Nik.
I still remember how much I loved Radu's idea and I always wanted to comment on his series of linked reviews, but, you know, December 25, holiday preparations, visiting relatives and dragging full bellies down the cellar stairs in order to seek for a replacement of the burnt christmas lighting's wiring...
This kind of stuff has kept me from praising Radu's largely ignored Christmas present and then I simply forgot.
Which is a real pity, because it contained lots of rewarding stuff like Hath's Of Rot And Ruin, Seer's - Vol. 6, Wormwitch's - Heaven That Dwells Within...

Radu, please accept my severely delayed "Thank you!", will ya?
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