on 25 November 2013
The first full-length effort of Leif Edling's newest project has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2013 for this old-school psyche'n'doom fan. On the back of the Moonhorse EP from earlier this year, it became apparent that this album was going to be something of a delight for Candlemass fans, and, with textures sitting very competently astride the current predilection of the metal scene for prog and retro vibes, a whole load of others besides. Despite the popularity of such things, there is no obvious bandwagon jumping evident here, with material that is unique to itself, yet is undeniably another strong link in the heritage of Edling's musical creativity.
Thematically, Avatarium has a fragmented, dreamlike quality that the sometimes unconventional song structures emphasise, with lyrics that invoke dark, evasive fairytales, sorcerous conspiracies and the red grimness of nature. Jennie-Ann Smith's vocals add a crucial element to the realisation of these aesthetics and are one of the obvious highlights, delivering an enchantment and power that echoes the presence, phrasing and strength of Messiah Marcolin in female form.
With its higher level of experimentation, the riffs are more reminiscent of mid-era Candlemass like From The 13th Sun, Candlemass and the Abstrakt Algebra material than early albums like Tales of Creation or Nightfall. Though the doomier sections are strong and crushing and bear all the trademarks of their prodigious creator, it is the lighter interludes that carve up the boulder-heavy slabs of doom which add a subtlety and depth of interest that makes Avatarium more than the quick spin off project that Edling's doom supergroup Krux - for all of its quality material - has often felt like.
on 24 December 2013
I knew nothing of this project, but I am glad with out a shadow of doubt that I discovered this magnificent release.
Totally taken back by the vocal performance, sheer beauty contrasting with the brutal riffs that manage to meld together as if they were never meant to be apart.
There is a great sense of depth on offer through the gradual shifts from a barrage of distortion to delicately picked guitar strings, great compositions.
Overall, a great effort from every member/component, which is what a band is all about & these guys show it in abundance.
A no brainer, go buy it.
on 21 January 2014
As a big fan of female-fronted symphonic metal music, it was interesting to hear a non-symphonic album sung bu a non-soprano or mezzo-soprano female. In fact, this could be described as Black Sabbath sung by a woman. If you are into long multi-part metal tracks with Sabbath style riffs, this is a must. The album is simply immaculate and the songs contain one great riff after another. The biggest compliment I can give Avatarium is that it is comparable to the great Sabbath albums for its overall level of quality.
on 2 January 2014
New band, I heard a track played on planet rock radio and it grabbed me immediately, within the hour I had ordered the album and was not disappointed with the whole album, a great mix of rock music with the beautiful voice of Jennie-Ann Smith which creates a unique blend of hard rock and soft vocals.