Emetropia – Equinox
Emetropia is a Swedish Power/Symphonic Metal band formed in 2017. With songs ranging from four to eleven minutes, you can rest assured that Progressive Metal elements are also added to the mix. The Orchestral version also brings in a lot of cinematic themes, making this sound and feel more like a movie score than just a metal album. The story is an epic tale within a fantasy setting, aimed at taking the listener on a journey through time, inspiring them to listen to this record on a whole different level. So lie back, grab your headphones, and take an epic journey with them.
- Lisa Wallenberg – Lead Vocals
- Liam Strand – Keyboards/Orchestration/Songwriting/Vocals
- Olle Renius – Lead Guitars
- Jonatan Jakobsson – Rhythm Guitars
- Oscar Heikkinen – Drums
September 23, 2022
- Seasonal Warfare
- A Summer Breeze
- That Fateful Night
- Lord Of The Blizzards
- The First Leaf Falls
- Fall’s First Storm
- The Old Gods
- Procession Of The Kings
- His Final Endeavor
The album opens with “Seasonal Warfare,” a song that lyrically sets the stage for the battle that will rage through the entire story. Seasons come and go and fight each other for dominance in this epic tale that sees the main characters take on the traits of the seasons. As a concept, this is quite interesting, especially having grown up in an area that did not have clearly defined weather quarters. Musically, the tones and interplay between the classical and modern instruments are a bit whimsical, almost playful, even though the lyrical theme is dark.
The story continues with “A Summer Breeze,” an epic tune with a bombastic sound. The shifts in tone, coupled with changes in the string phrasing, are very well done. The vocals are delivered in measured, staccato blasts in the leading section before going to a “normal” flow later. There are also growled vocals blended in for a different character, creating more of a conversation on the topic, not just a straight telling of the tale.
As the story continues, the lyrics tell the tale over music that is more cinematic than the original release. Removing the guitars, bass, and modern drums gives this a different feel than the “electrified” version of the songs. This feels much more like a movie score for a fantasy tale, which is the intention, so it’s a great success. This feels like it should be an opera, complete with different characters in costume, all running around the stage, delivering their lines, and fighting each other with their different weather elements.
With songs like “Lord Of the Blizzards,” “Fall’s First Storm,” and “Seasonal Warfare,” there is a theatrical element that cannot be denied, nor should it be. Staged live in this format, it would have to be in a theater with an orchestra pit. The production would be intense and dramatic. The original version had a lot more modern instrumentation, mainly relying on keyboards to play the parts of the strings and horns. I would prefer to see and hear a melding of the two versions for the stage. I’m sure every sound technician who has tried to stage something like this just cringed.
Many Power Metal and Symphonic Metal albums tell tales of epic journeys and treks through danger to conquer a distant land or overcome a personal challenge. This is different; this is nature at war with itself, the seasons fighting to stay a bit longer. Equinox is “the time or date (twice each year) at which the sun crosses the celestial equator when day and night are of approximately equal length.” So, in some ways, this is a battle between the seasons and day and night for dominance.
The album concludes with “His Final Endeavor,” an 11-minute song that, on the orchestral version, contains lots of Progressive Metal movements and includes a harp, among other classical instruments. The composition is, again, bombastic. Both the orchestral and electric versions are stunning pieces of songwriting. The shifts in tone and tempo are brilliantly done. I am not a big theatergoer, but I was choreographing the characters in my mind, creating a final scene, running towards the crescendo, and planning the curtain drop.
Emetropia, whether you are listening to the orchestral or electric version, has created a world within a work of music that deserves to be staged. The music and the lyrics both bring forth images in the mind that run like a movie made just for the listener. I mentally dressed the character in Victorian costumes with weather and seasonally related themes. Winter was in a white 18th-century formal like he was ready to attend the Yule Ball. It amazes me when a band creates a world this vivid within their music. It’s something that I find so well suited to Power and Symphonic Metal music. It is really like the genres have evolved just for something like this.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 10
- Production – 10
- Overall – 9.60