Originally posted in Valkyrian Music.
Portugal’s underground scene is mostly about thrash, death, hardcore: the “noisier” the better. So it’s really refreshing listening to something like EQUALEFT: “metal full of groove, power and melody”, to quote the band itself. To achieve that mixture, they use 8-string guitars, increasing the scale range of the instruments and getting a closer approach to progressive elements. Nothing overstated, though – just the right measure. In my opinion, too much technical use and “flourishes” may sound mind-blowing to other musicians and connoisseurs, but to the simple layman (like me), it can become pretty boring. But these guys know where to draw the line in that matter, and so you have songs like “Alone In Emptiness” or “Amnesia” – the latter having Filipe Ferreira, from local veteran thrashers WEB, performing a solo.
“Cynical Plague” also gives tempo shifts a try – not as extreme as MESHUGGAH or THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, but the influence is there, on EQUALEFT’s own terms.
And “Uncover The Masks” could be easily considered an avant-garde metal song, given the crazy saxophone on it, courtesy of João Martins (LOST GORBACHEVS). Despite the vocal capacity of Miguel Inglês – who, by the way, experimented clean tones for the first time on “Suffer No More” – the band invited Paulo from metalcore band E.A.K. to contrast his higher screams with Inglês’ lower growls in “Denial”. And then, at some point, both tones meet and blend.
They could have released an album instead of this 6-track EP. But either they postponed it while took the time to write more quality songs, or they recorded a few crappy tracks just to “fill the gaps” of a full-length. So they went for the EP, where all the songs are potential killers on stage. Assuming they’ll keep this philosophy for the debut album (due in 2012, or so rumour has it), we can expect something big from these guys. I’ll make sure to let you know about it when it sees the light of day.
Producer: Bruno Silva and EQUALEFT
- Cynical Plague
- Suffer No More
- Uncover The Masks
- Alone In Emptiness