During the last decade, there has been a rising force in extreme metal, unknown to many. Tapping influences from ancient heritage, mythology and folklore, and combining them with symphonic elements, galloping rhythms and a wide spectrum of musical instruments, a newer crop of bands such as Primordial (Ireland, 1993), Ensiferum (Finland, 1995), Finntroll (Finland, 1997), Turisas (Finland, 1997), Eluveitie (Switzerland, 2002) and Korpiklaani (Finland, 2003) have blazed a fiery trail for the future of extreme metal. The sub-genre has been dubbed pagan or Viking metal by it’s loyal followers, and has even led to the successful Paganfest tour and Pagan Fire, a CD compilation from Nuclear Blast showcasing the strongest of these pagan-warriors.
Enter Equilibrium. Hailing from Bavaria, Germany, the band was put together to play only one show at a church in 2001 (How ironic is that?), but after a great response and a grassroots campaign led by their fans, the band marched on and has released their second album and first for Nuclear Blast, Sagas (review). Though there are many parts of the disc that will have the listener imagining a Viking longship crashing through icy waters on its way to pillage and conquer a foreign land, the epic metal of Equilibrium goes deeper than that. As he explains in this interview with Live-Metal.net’s Jeff Maki, lead vocalist Helge Stang prefers the term “world metal” over Viking, folk, pagan or anything else. Stang gives us in-depth background on the new album, the formation of the band, and above all else, why Equilibrium is about to party down Bavarian style. So raise your drinking horns along with ’em! What else would you expect from a band that hails from the land of Oktoberfest? (more…)