Equinox- “Of Blade and Graal” EP

Equinox Cover Art

Equinox is a fresh black metal act that has emerged seemingly out of nowhere. While this band’s mastermind, identified only as S.L. Jarson, has indicated through our brief correspondence that he has been active in the metal community for quite some time, this act exists without context and really needs none. While Jarson writes all of the music, other members Jarnsaxa (Bass/Keys) and Lightwolf (Vocals/Narratives) assist to give the music a more fully realized sound than such a young project might have otherwise. This demo was initially sent to me toward the end of November but Equinox felt they had even more to contribute and, after a brief wait, sent me new tracks that turned this from a short demo to something resembling an actual EP.

The production on Of Blade and Graal is raw and bare, but not in the sense it might normally mean. Instead of the Bone Awl fuzz and static that people seem to equate with lo-fi music these days, this is just a straight recording with relatively little done to it. While the music itself may evoke ancient days of worshiping deities long forgotten, the production has me imagining I’m sitting in the center of the band’s rehearsal space, taking in an impassioned if not slightly sloppy practice. Obviously given the double duty many members play, this isn’t a rehearsal demo, but the spirit is the same. The word sloppy might be off-putting to some, but this isn’t foul notes and missed beat sloppy. Instead, this release’s rawness is culled from the same frenzied place as Immortal’s Battles in the North, which is notoriously off-kilter yet is hailed as a classic. The sound isn’t the same, mind you, but the sense I get is similar in that the music’s feeling is more important than any technical prowess. Whether it’s the bareness of the neofolk-inspired acoustic segments, complete with spoken word, or the stripped down aggression of the black metal segments, this EP is absolutely a demonstration of rawness and fury without needless static or any unwarranted frills.

Copies of this album are not yet available, but I will update this post as they come to light. This project seems geared to release more music through Vanguard Productions this year, so keep an eye out for more Equinox on Black Metal & Brews.

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