Equipoise – “Demiurgus” (The Artisan Era)
Equipoise’s LP Debut is a Blistering Fury of Virtuosity and Complexity
Following up to their 2016 EP Birthing Homunculi, Equipoise’s first full-length “Demiurgus” sets the bar even higher with relentless talent and in-depth compositions. An album cover that depicts a possessed, space-traveling leviathan is fitting to the intense soundscapes. The flawless musicianship on this body of work can leave even non-metal listeners speechless and humbly perplexed.
The tech-death elite band members on “Demiurgus” include guitarist and main composer Nick Padovani, vocalist Stevie Boiser (Inferi/Ashen Horde/ex-Vale of Pnath), fret less bassist Hugo Karout (Beyond Creation, Brought By Pain), guitarist Phil Tougas (Serocs/First Fragment/Chthe’ilist), keyboard/pianist Jimmy Pitts(NYN and Eternity’s End), guitarist Sanjay Kumar (Wormhole), and former Hate Eternal and former The Faceless drummer Chason Westmoreland.
The short but sweet album opener “Illborn Augury” starts off with a dark classical piano that leads to progressive drumming, boastful and unique fret less bass phrasings, and a spiraling void of melodic guitar solos. “Sovereign Sacrifices” is the next track that comes in with blast beats and a roller coaster of low and high-end guitar wizardry.
Jazz fusion vibes along with intricate syncopation’s are present in the song “A Suit of My Flesh”. A very funky and diverse fret less bass solo plays on it as well. The next track “Shrouded” calms the mood with flamenco guitar passages that make for a great intermission from the tech-death current. “Sigil Insidious” has insane fret less bass melodies and a sinister vibe from the keyboards. A track that overall resembled Spawn of Possession, one of tech-death’s forefathers.
Phenomenal guitar solos are everywhere on the LP but the most notable ones would have to be on “Dualis Flamel”. Mind blowing scale runs that are as crafted and diverse as a Shrapnel Records circa 1980’s artist. We are talking twenty-four astonishing solos on this one. There is a frenzy of shredding from the keyboards as well.
The more prog-esque song writing of “Waking Divinity” is filled with catchy guitar harmonies and breathtaking transitions into solos that progress into epic riffs. Another track that stands out from the rest is the short instrumental “Ecliptic”. It leaves you in a dream like state at the end of it. “Cast Into Exile” would probably have to be the most chaotic song on the album. The hellish deep mid-range vocals hold out for an impressive amount of time towards the end of it as well.
Not only are the physical instruments on “Demiurgus” out of this world but the orchestral/string programming composing is as well. Extremely intuitive notes weave in and out and you can tell just how many hardworking hours were put into them. I would have to give this beast of an album an 8.5 out of 10 rating. My only complaint of the album is that the fret less bass seemed louder than the other instruments, especially when the vocals were going.
Other than that, this is top-tier tech-death that goes down in the top 5 best tech-death albums of all time. Equipoise is the perfect example that tech-death is alive and well in 2019 and is here to stay.
Author: Tom Sundgren