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Avatar - Avatar Country Award winner

Avatar Country
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 15 January 2018, 9:00 AM

AVATAR is a band that has been around for a decent amount of time.  As the years go by, their sound, and imagine, become increasingly more bombastic.  There are countless arguments on both sides of the fence about if image should be important at all in music, especially for Metal.  I’m not going to debate that here, and AVATAR whole “King and Country,” theme is a bit annoying and corny, but fortunately AVATAR have always let their music speak for itself and first.  With this, their seventh full length album, “Avatar Country,” that hasn’t change.  In fact, the band has only improved and I daresay this might be the catchiest Metal album of the year.  That scary word “catchy” often times makes Metalheads shudder but AVATAR can pull it off because they are damn good song writers and great musicians.  Most of all, this album continues to uphold one, undeniable fact about the band: despite how you feel about them, AVATAR have a very unique sound that is all their own.

After the intro, “Glory to Our King,” which sounds like it could had come from a play or maybe even a medieval cabaret, this album kicks into high gear with “Legend of the King.”  This song opens with frantic and melodic guitar work from Kungen and Ohrstrom.  These guys play so tightly and with such kingly vigor, you’ll forget all about how insane this album is.  Not since BLIND GUARDIAN, has there been guitar players that make you want to sing along to their riffs and solos. This song clocks in at over 8 minutes and it’s a fun ride all the way thru.  The band incorporates an odd blend of both Power and Melodic Death metal but also throws in some classic rock and (shock!) pop music.  All these sounds are put together in such a well blended mixture that you won’t do anything but rock your ass off for the entire album’s run.  “Legend of the King,” sums up what the band wants to accomplish with this release nicely.

King’s Harvest,” displays another side of the band, one that shows they can still bring some crushing heaviness down on us.  The riffs are MESSHUGAH style in their density and dissonance and the vocals are more closely related to Death Metal than Power this time around. Eckerstorm can pretty much do anything with this voice, equally at home singing as he is screaming or growling. “A Statue of the King,” fits everything and the kitchen sink into its 3:44 time limit. It’s an energetic and myriad display of the bands talent, running the gauntlet to a “circus” style theme to the music all the way to thrash.  Much like “Legend of the King,” this song showcases the band’s ability to mix it up on the fly, albeit in a much shorter fashion.

The last two songs, “Silent Songs of the King pts. 1 and 2,” are instrumentals that end the album well.  The first part is melodic with mostly clean instrumentation and the second part is a metal instrumental that focuses more on tight playing than being overly bombastic. All in all, AVATAR continue to impress with their crazy Heavy Metal sound that incorporates such varied and insane ideas.  An early contender for one of the best albums of the year.  If you're a fan of the band, I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this. If you haven’t heard of them before, and want something refreshing yet still very much Heavy Fucking Metal, then put this on your “must have” list.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Glory To Our King
2. Legend of the King
3. The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country
4. King’s Harvest
5. The King Wants You
6. The King Speaks
7. A Statue of the King
8. King After King
9. Silent Songs of the King Pt. 1: Winter Comes When The King Dreams Of Snow.
10. Silent Songs of the King Pt. 2: The King’s Palace
Johannes Eckerstrom – Vocals
John Alfredsson – Drums
Henrik Sandelin – Bass
Kungen  – Guitars
Tim Ohrstrom - Guitars
Record Label: Century Media


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