Equinox - Lux Borealis - (4/10)
Published on April 10, 2015
Out of the ashes of Beer Bear arise Equinox, a Moscovite folk metal band, proclaiming a more serious approach to the genre than its oddly named predecessor. Enter Lux Borealis, the second EP of the band, coming via Sound Age Productions, raising hopes for another Slavic highlight of the genre. Led by Beer Bear mastermind Sventoyar, Equinox came with the promise to build on the high quality of said band’s outputs and…ultimately falls pretty much flat.
None of the tracks have any glaring faults, are well arranged and well played, but especially in the folk metal genre, no matter if crossing over into symphonic metal territory as in the case of Equinox or staying pure, it is very important to have some sort of energy that will get you going, and that is exactly, where the problem with Lux Borealis lies. The songs are there, but don’t go anywhere, they don’t have that spark that incites any kind of emotion or reaction from the listener and just feel lifeless.
There is good variety within the songs, the slow to midpaced opener “Сон Вратиаса” with its nice flute and violin, the slow title track or the moody “Зов Северного Ветра”, they are technically good tracks, but once they are done, nothing really sticks and as soon as the songs are over, so is the memory of them. The second set of three songs is a slightly different stories, since it is three cover versions. The first one is a Russian version of “Solveig’s Song” from Edvard Grieg’s classic Peer Gynt, followed by the English version of the Beer Bear track “Beyond the Invisible Line”, which coincidentally is the best song on the album, with a denser atmosphere, more variety and just overall more complete sounding, and finally a very interesting symphonic metal interpretation of Iron Maiden’s “Brave New World”, where the symphonic influences and the female vocals of Alla Ravna add an interesting twist.
But despite that, their own compositions are what weigh the heaviest and here Equinox evidently still have quite some work ahead of them, to add that spark of life to the songs. Until they find out how to do that, Lux Borealis looks quite pale and other than the cover versions holds little interest to the casual listener of the genre.