Originally written for Valkyrian Music.
EQUALEFT are labelled – even by themselves – as “groove metal”, but their sound has always been too exquisite to be defined by just two words; but since we had to go for something, given the intense throb of said sound, “groovy” is a good broad definition as any. Now “We Defy” lives up to its name and keeps pushing the envelope, but I still won’t dare coming up with a new label.
I will say, though, that the somberness has reached a new level. The very first song on the album, for instance. If prog-doom isn’t a thing yet, “Before Sunrise” could be its genesis. But then again, there’s a certain… glow in its musicality, making it sound sad but not depressing, so I guess not so doom-ish after all.
In “Once Upon A Failure” there’s this heaviness and rawness that mingle oh-so-well with the ominous echoes of its melodic chorus, while the enthralling solo, by the hands of SULLEN guitar player, André Ribeiro, gives off such a vibrant darkness. The title-track’s is even more mesmerizing, as the heaviness in “Fragments” is bolder – they all have something in common and something unique which, in the end, makes us recognize it as EQUALEFT.
There are two other guests but none of them performing vocal parts, even though in songs such as “Endless” or “Strive” you may wonder if it’s really Miguel Inglês singing. Trust me, it is. Many people don’t know, and those who do often forget, that Miguel used to sing in a gothic/doom band (MYSTERIUM) and that this lower, deeper pitch is very much his and fits perfectly in the darker direction some parts of this new album have taken.
It’s not even about maturity, as the previous “Adapt & Survive” was already a pretty seasoned work. It’s simply moving forward and achieving greatness once again.
[On an additional note, their former guitarist Nuno “Veggy” Cramês takes the lead on “Realign” while the third aforementioned guest is José Pedro Gonçalinho, who plays a killer sax on the revamped “Uncover The Masks” (originally featured on the 2010 EP “… The Truth Vnravels”).]
Label: Raising Legends
Producer: André Matos
- Before Sunrise
- Once Upon A Failure
- We Defy
- Uncover The Masks