Equinox - _Return to Mystery_
(Unisound Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
This Florida four-piece formed in late 1992 and rapidly garnered quite a bit of underground praise for their self-released "old style black/death" demos and EPs. Hearing the band for the first time on this CD debut, I have to conclude that all that praise was well-deserved. Equinox hammer some much-needed new energy into the classic, old-school death metal sound by freely injecting plenty of crushing doom grooves and strident black metal blast sections into the sonic mix. The result sounds like this decade's answer to Death's mighty _Leprosy_ album: an unrelentingly heavy mosaic of catchy, crunchy riffs, bruising tempos, and harsh, raspy vox. I think there's a lot here to please any listener who's into grim, powerful metal - especially on charging juggernauts like "Dreams of the Winter Solstice" and "The Mourning River". The production is a bit on the murky side, and the guitars tend to be a bit low in the mix, but the overall sound is thick and powerful, with a stern underground vibe. Definitely a worthy purchase, I'd say - especially if you're a long-time fan of the scene who's sick of the current trends.

(article published 17/7/1996)

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