French progressive technical death metallers Pitbulls In The Nursery have been compared to Gorod and even Beyond Creation, but I sure as hell am not hearing it here. But to be honest, you can’t trust Metal Archives to focus on every new change a band makes as it would be impossible to clarify them. Perhaps the scribes over there at MA are referring to the band’s debut album Lunatic, which received an extremely high 93% on the website. There’s no doubt in my mind that Lunatic was a good album, making Equanimity something of an unexpected sophomore record. Now don’t get me wrong as we still have much of the technicality and progression that made the band noteworthy in place, and it sometimes even rolls into acoustic based portions that feel more mature, but there’s now a heavier, “technical Pantera” approach that I’m hearing throughout most of this album. I described Kaets as being a type of technical Pantera and still stand by that, but I feel that sections of Equanimity still have a very technical groove-laden feel to them. Tersim Backle also carries that Phil Anselmo-influenced bark with him, but that’s not the only thing that he does on the album as I’m also reminded a bit of Coal Chamber, Transport League and several other Nu-Metal/Modern Metal acts. But that doesn’t mean that these guys are any less entertaining and they certainly provide more bang for your buck then you’re going to get with many of the very linear structures employed in those kinds of acts. Even with a small song like “Interlude” (2:51) they prove that they can cut the mustard musically and offer up some dazzling guitar passages amidst a sea of subtle drumming and thick bass. Not bad. Not bad at all. These guys even fleshed out one of the songs to the ten minute mark, “Your Dream’s Not Mine” (10:17) and made it a closer. That isn’t to say that it’s one of those “long period of silence before a bonus track appears” manners of nonsense, either. Rather the band give us a full-on lesson in technical heavy metal, complete with an extremely tasteful set of guitar leads towards the very end, which are simply music to my ears. Pitbulls In The Nursery can be extremely heavy, and yet extremely classy at the same time. It’s not an easily accomplished thing, so please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It takes a lot of work and an ear for tone, as you’re mixing together the destruction of an earthquake with the calming sensation of a babbling brook, two sounds that just don’t meld well together. But these extremely talented Frenchmen are able to achieve such a feat of modern sound, making for a record that will speak differently to each listener. I do feel that Lunatic was a slightly more intriguing disc, but Equanimity is only a horse of a different color. It’s definitely not something that you should judge on the merits of the debut and certainly sounds a lot different. If you’ll take the time to sit down with this record, I’m sure you’ll find something to like it. There’s just too much that has been done well here, and I don’t feel anyone is going to walk away disappointed by it. Yet if for some reason they are, I would definitely remind them that there are far worse things in life to be disappointed about than the wonderful music made by a French technical/progressive death metal band.
(9 Tracks, 57:00)