Today’s Band of the day for our Devil’s Due segment is Equipoise, with their E.P. “Birthing Homunculi” released August 5th 2016 and we couldn’t let this one not make the list.
Released August 5th 2016
Stevie Boiser- Lyrics, Vocals
Nick Padovani- Song composition, Rhythm/lead guitars, drum programming, Keyboard/piano, Lyrical concept, percussion
Zach Hohn- Song composition, Rhythm/lead guitars
Hugo Karout- Fretless bass
Jimmy Pitts- Keyboard arrangements, Keyboards/synths
- Alchemic Web of Deceit
This track begins with acoustic guitars playing a cool melody for just shy of thirty seconds until drums and guitar distortion joins in. and then right at the :45 mark the song picks up in tempo and power. I really enjoy being able to hear the bass being played, when you have a talented bassist it is really rewarding for the listener to be able to hear that talent. I really dig Steve’s vocals on this one. At a few moments in the song it maintained a solid tech death feel to it, but bring sounds reminiscent of old man’s child. The 1:25 mark is an example of this, it totally reminded me of a section you would get from pagan prosperity. The fact that the beginning of this track has acoustic guitars with a specific feel to them, and then this section. There are so many aspects of this song that display a great foundation of influences. Now add in the lyrical content and you have something more than just a song off an E.P. I’d say the only downside is the production sound seems a bit fuzzy. But music wise this song is a killer track to kick off the e.p. with.
- A Suit Of My Flesh
This song has a slowed down tempo, and that bass is still very pleasing to hear. The song maintains the beginning melody and tempo for about fifty seconds before going through its first tempo change. Which is also the same time when vocals kick in, and they are more ferocious on this track than the previous one. Steve, expands on his range for this song. Not to mention the fact that around the 1:38 mark besides Steve there are guest vocals that add to the uniqueness of this track. While I do love the bass lines I will say, drum programming is a bit of a turnoff for me. The guitar work is great, but having programmed drums has an element that a human drummer has. And for that I have a hard time with the drums. On the other hand the drums programmed for this song sounds solid.
- Birthing Homunculi Part 1: Shrouded
This song begins with acoustic guitars playing and fading in, with the rhythm being tapped on the side of the guitar like a drum. It’s a nice little filler/ instrumental track.
- Birthing Homunculi Part 2: Sigil Insidious
This track is a faster track certainly heavier than the previous song. It basically grabs you right from the get go. It has a groove about it that you can adhere to. This is hands down my favorite track on this E.P. as it satisfies my need for songs that are rapidly fast, soul crushingly heavy, and has ample amounts of technicality and groove. The very beginning reminds me of Anticosmic Overload, by Obscura. I love it, it’s fast, its heavy, it pulls you in. Right around the :33 second mark, Steve hits us with that classic, guttural, blurted vocalization. I just want to go on record by saying I love it when a vocalist does this, (just as long as it is at the right moment in the song) he pulls it off perfect here. For me that just makes a song more enjoyable, call me crazy but when I am rocking out to a song, I am going along with the words, and then they drop a “blech” before a section change to me it sounds badass. I love it, it makes the song fun to listen to. It’s a signal that lets the listener know something is about to change, maybe shit is about to get fucked up, and most importantly it’s fun to make noises, especially an offensive sounding noise. So, Steve ups the points for bringing that bad ass split second blurt to the table. Now let’s talk about the solos, yes the two solos on this track. Both are awesome, and both come at a great point in the song. The first happens right around the 1:55 mark in the song and playing till the 2:26 mark. Coming out of that is a hell of a sinister section where Steve is laying down some evil vocals, and the rest of the band are whipping us with the precision technicality and high tempo. The second guitar solo comes at the 3:44 mark and is straight up shredding for fifteen seconds roughly. They come out of that solo and really give us everything they have got left in them for this song.
- Birthing Homunculi Part 3: Reincarnation
This track is like an instrumental outro track. It does progress a bit more than Shrouded, however it is still really an instrumental track. I dig the guitars and the rhythm being played on what sounds like hand drums and also the side of an acoustic guitar.
All in all this was a pleasantly surprising E.P. it came out back on and slipped right below the radar. It’s a solid effort, and while the sounds quality isn’t the best, the musicianship is what I am focusing on most. The bass is awesome, the fact that you can hear the bass gets points, because they have a talented bassist on this, and it’s good to be able to hear that talent. Often times I find that the bass is masked by all the other instruments and vocals, but with Equipoise, Hugo shines. I do have to point out the programmed drums. While I get it, its flawless, as you can “program” them, it lacks a human element. Drummers that have tech death talent are, hard to find. However, there are still a handful of drummers out there that are session drummers. Drummers for hire if you will, like Kevin Talley, pretty sure you can throw any tech death sounding project at him, and he can pull it off. That’s what Equipoise needs, either a drummer, or to get someone like Kevin Talley or Hannes Grossman to do the drums. You will get the quality of programmed drums, but it adds the human element, and that gives the music more power. The E.P. has a few instrumental tracks and while they are enjoyable, I’d prefer there was more tech death to go along in this E.P. Maybe the next release will have more, I will certainly be looking forward to any other music coming from Equipoise, and I also would like to point out that Equipoise has been donating all proceeds to Jason Becker’s Foundation. Not sure who Jason Becker is, google him. If you are a guitarist and don’t know him, you should do some homework, but for all others if you don’t know him, check him out. He has influenced many guitarists you are a fan of. So all in all I have to give this E.P. a 7/10 \m/ it’s an E.P. which don’t get me wrong I love E.P.’s but there was a lot of instrumental. The sound quality could have been better, but this is the first release by Equipoise. Nick is a killer guitarist and we feel they will hit us with something far heavier, far more complex, and raise the bar in the process in the near future. Not to mention the rest of the talent in the band/ on this E.P. you can tell when their is a lot of talent and the members have a strong appreciation for the music. Also its worth mentioning that they recently joined the Artisan Era family. So yeah shits going to get real soon.
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