Friday, October 5, 2007

Equinox - Labyrinth (1994)

And here's Equinox' fourth and final studio album!
"Equinox's fourth and last disc is a bit more experimental than any of their other discs, although no less heavy and menacing. To label this disc is almost criminal, but if I had to I would say it was progressive thrash metal. Because of this fact, and the fact that I enjoyed this disc so much on the very first listen, I thought I'd do one of those track by track descriptions. "Sandlove" starts things off in traditional Equinox fashion; a fast and brutally heavy thrash song. "Time Again" slows things down a bit, but only the tempo, not the intensity level. This song is a slow, heavy, doom metal track with a ton of muscle and bite! "But" picks things back up with yet another fast and heavy thrash track. "Angst" begins the more experimental tracks. This song experiments with mixing some smooth jazz like guitar playing with some heavier grooves. This track reminds me a bit of something Voivod might have written. A bizarre but cool song. The title track continues in the Voivod, experimental mode. 'Labyrinth' is dynamic and super technical with tons of rhythm changes. The intro to the song features some smokin' bass work from founder Skule Stene. The majority of this song is heavy but right in the middle of the song there is this cool flamenco-like acoustic guitar solo. "Lies" slows things down again, with some more experimentation with some mellower, clean guitar parts, some heavier mid-paced guitar riffing and an occasional fast mosh rhythm. "Hope Is Green" returns back to the more traditional Euquinox thrash-groove mode. This song has a killer riff that once again reminds me of something Voivod might do. "Poor Kelly" is a clean, almost ballad like song; although ballad is really the wrong word to describe this song as thoughts of Winger and Warrant may pop up. This song, however, has more of an atmospheric, jazzy quality with the vocals almost coming across as a tribal chant, rather than some sugary ballad. The lyrical theme on this song borders Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" which is a pretty bizarre theme for a ballad. "Catharsis" is a speed metal instrumental that sounds a bit more like other Equinox discs. "Dedicated" is freaky! This song starts off as an acoustic song, yet it's a thrash song at the same time. Picture a Ventures riff played at full speed on an acoustic guitar and this will give you an idea of the opening few measures of this song. The song picks up into a full throttle metal number but returns to the acoustic part in some other parts. This song rules! Can't say that I have ever heard an acoustic guitar come across so heavy. "Millennium" resumes the roller coaster ride and returns to the heavier mid-to-fast paced groove, once again retaining a sort of Voivod-Dimension Hatross/Nothingface vibe. This song also features some fast double bass work by drummer Jorn Wangsholm. Lastly we are given an acoustic version of the first song off the band's debut 'Auf Weidershehen', which serves as sort of an album outro and a fitting end to the band's four album career. Overall, while this album is not the pure thrash assault that was "Auf Wiedersehen" or even "Xerox Success ," it's still an excellent CD, especially for those who enjoy more experimental metal bands like Voivod".
Source: No Life 'til Metal

Tracklist: 1. Sandlove, 2. Time Again, 3. But, 4. Angst, 5. Lies, 6. Labyrinth, 7. Hope Is Green, 8. Poor Kelly, 9. Catharsis, 10. Dedicated, 11. Millennium, 12. Stop!
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