• JPR

Equipoise, Genuine Good Dudes


There's just enough of my parent's hippie tendencies in me to believe that most people, deep down, really do care about others and want to, in their own way, contribute positively to this world. So when I found out that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Equipoise was donating proceeds from the sale of merchandise and their EP to Jason Becker, who has been battling ALS, I thought that was a great thing for them to do. But that's really selling this short by quite a bit. Equipoise has been donating every single dollar made from the sale of their 2016 EP, 'Birthing Homunculi', as well as all of the associated merchandise, to the Jason Becker Foundation. Jason Becker is a gifted neo-classical guitarist who was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig's Disease, in 1996. Given only three to five years to live, Becker is still with us and continues to not only compose, but serve as a musical and personal inspiration to countless aspiring metalheads. With the astronomical time and financial commitment involved to create a record, I was so moved by Equipoise's selfless gesture that I bought Birthing Homunculi without first hearing a note of it. Quite honestly, I can't remember the last time that I did that. Not knowing what I'd just bought, however, I hit the play button with some trepidation, hoping that they didn't sound too much like the Jonas Brothers. Finger-picked classical guitar and a deep, ominous chant do not properly prepare the listener for the warp speed tech death assault that is 'Alchemic Web of Deceit'. A "tribute" to the Persian King Xerxes, the track is a fever-pitched ride through neo-classical fret manipulation and elegant Flamenco interludes. 'A Suit of My Flesh' abandons the acoustic guitar in favor of a full-frontal assault: complete with blackened wails, growls that may or may not have been made by a goblin, and Hugo Karout's fretless bass work which is nothing short of sublime. Given equal weight in the mix to both the lead and rhythm guitars, Karout's playing was worth the price of admission alone. Simply astounding. But as all you have to do is pop on over to Equipoise's Bandcamp page and sample 'Birthing Homunculi' for yourselves, I'll shut up now (ok, probably more like soon as opposed to RIGHT NOW) and let the music speak for itself. A donation of any kind will get you this short but oh-so-sweet tech death gem. If the music doesn't move you, perhaps the band's selflessness will inspire you to donate directly to the Jason Becker Foundation. The band included a link on their page for just this reason. If that doesn't tell you where Equipoise's heart is, I don't know what will. Rage on! JPR

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#equipoise #BirthingHomunculi #alchemicwebofdeceipt #jasonbeckerfoundation

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