Folk metal fans having been waiting a long time to get a club show from Equilibrium, and it seems that 2019 finally brought that dream to life. The 13th edition of Heavy Metal Heart hosted the Germans on Saturday October 12th at Virgin Oil Co, and naturally we had to be there to check it out.
We had already been at Uriah Heep earlier that night, but fortunately they finished early enough that we could make it to town for Equilibrium’s set. These guys rarely set foot in clubs in Finland, so our curiosity was strong, having never caught these guys live before.
Check out their setlist on Spotify as a playlist:
We arrived at Virgin Oil Co. in good time, and caught the stage changeover before the set. The crowd hadn’t fully shown up at this point so it was still possible to get a seat and relax a bit before the show started. The band was still fine-tuning their sound, so we caught a glimpse of them testing things out before the show actually began.
They got off to a great start with “Born to be Epic” from their 2016 release, Armaggeddon, and then went into “Prey” from the same album. It was a bit of a surprise that they started with material from their second-latest release, and more surprising that when they continued, it was with songs from their 2014 release: “Waldschrein” and “Karawane.”
The band was brimming with energy and playing very well. Vocalist Robert “Robse” Dahn was all over the stage, singing to everyone in the venue (which, incidentally, packed up quite full during the set) and occasionally dancing, but again, to our surprise, he wasn’t the only one willing to chat with the crowd. Bassist Martin “Skar” Berger and guitarist Dom R. Crey also had a few opportunities to get the audience riled up, the former usually before he would be singing. And sing he could; he had a surprisingly nice voice. They even called for a Wall of Death a handful of times through the set and, despite VOC’s small size, the crowd was nevertheless able to oblige. Virgin Oil is a nice venue in the sense that there’s also some room to escape towards the back when these things happen, if need be.
The first new song in the set was “Johnny B,” before returning to Erdentempel for “Rise Again,” “Freiflug,” and “Apokalypse.” We then had another taste of the new material with the partial title track of the new album, “Renegades – A Lost Generation.” The audience was looking pretty sweaty and happy by this point. They went back to 2016 for a few more songs before another new track, “Tornado,” and then went to their classic hit, “Blut im Auge” to wind down the main set. Fortunately they returned for one more song: “Unbesiegt.”
While it was objectively strange that Equilibrium didn’t play too much new material, it actually made a lot of sense, considering that this is one of the first (or possibly only) club shows Equilibrium has done in Finland. Word on the street from local fans has largely claimed that 2019’s Renegades wasn’t up to their usual standard, and coupled with the fact that Finns rarely get to hear the hits, it actually was a pretty good thing that the new album wasn’t as well represented as it could have been. Nevertheless, it was a truly fun, energetic night, and we hope to see these guys back in Finland sooner rather than later!
1. Born to be Epic
5. Johnny B
6. Rise Again
9. Renegades – A Lost Generation
13. Blut im Auge
Photos: Bear W.