The name of the band might not ring a bell right off, but when you find out whom the guitarist of this 5 piece is you will realize we have talked about him before. Jaz Hunter is the lead guitarist and we heaped the praise on him for his creative and progressive flare. Interestingly enough one of the things we talked about during the first review was how Hunter seemed much more comfortable on his own, and how his solo projects were much more appealing than his band efforts. With that being said Hunter’s new band Equatus sent some music over to see if they could turn that trend.
The music claimed to be a theme of space exploration through metal music, which falls very much in line with the style we heard of from Jaz before. In fact Equatus’ first album is called “Humanity and Beyond,” which back in our first review was going to be the next solo project of the axe man. You can look for the release in late 2012 – early 2013.
The first song I laid ears on was “A Gleam in the Maker’s Eyes” and it stuck out right away that the song was much less atmospheric than Hunter’s solo work. The vocals were harsher then I had anticipated until the harmony in the chorus that was very well done. The upsetting part for me was the blending of the two styles of vocals took the song in a much more Metalcore direction then Progressive.
Blood Thirsty was up next and this was an all-out metal storm. The guitar work in this track is exactly what I expected and wanted. In fact this song would have been a much better instrumental because the vocals just come across as forced trying to compete with the ability of Hunter on the guitar.
You can find these two tracks and another at www.reverbnation.com/equatus. I recommend you check them out because they really took me in a strange direction. I’m normally not critical of music as I don’t feel I am an authority on something simply because I’m a fan, but in this case I need to mention that Jaz Hunter once again has created some powerful music, but to what end?
The vocals are nothing special (they are solid, but when compared to the technical instrumentals they lose any power they may have had), so what is Equatus supposed to do? My recommendations are three fold: carry on as they are and record music that is just about there; carry on as an instrumental band and show true progressive metal; or pick a style and have vocals that match it. The musicians in this band are far too technical to be a “core” band, yet the vocals take them there. They have the ability to sing clean and I personally feel that might be a viable option.
The bottom line is we all disagree on music and that is one of the most wonderful things about it, so check out the band, let them know what you think! In the meantime check out Jaz Hunter shredding that guitar and understand what ability and talent are all about.
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