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Avatarium - Avatarium

by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 21 November 2013, 4:08 PM

Out of the light and into a sea of grey, unending fogginess, a place where one’s vision can’t get a fix on practically anything, like a lone void out there in the vacuum of space, yet without the blackness and the stars but only an overcast. Is there something out there watching maybe? Unknown. However, letting the mind work overtime might construed mystical results, several other quandaries that need to be answered. Such a feeling of mystery haven’t crossed me for some time, and I am pleased that the newfound project of traditional Doom Metal and Rock with the appellation of AVATARIUM. Essentially, this group pictures a fine unison of the Swedish starts of Doom Metal, hailing mainly from CANDLEMASS in past or present eras, along with the Gothic TIAMAT and the woeful EVERGREY. In addition, and mystifyingly, this band found its leading voice in a rather Pop / Rock singer named Jennie-Ann Smith. Now that will make you think how this merger could work, this mixture of veteran Metalheads along with this woman individual that isn’t exactly connected to Metal music in full. Through their debut “Avatarium”, via Nuclear Blast Records, this band magnificently defined the presence of Doom music and record will show that the Metal world gained a hell of singer as well.

Basically maintain the older spirits of 70’s to early 80’s gloomy BLACK SABBATH along with the bombard heaviness of the early days of CANDLEMASS, there are also intimations of classic Rock sharing a few modernizations. I might also add bits of Gothic inclinations, yet don’t expect to find these much. AVATARIUM’s perception is ruled mainly by the power old school groove riffs while the Rock embellishments were used as enriched ambience and different type of mannerism. I must say that I was caught by this hybridization of genres, especially with such a tight rhythm section standing firm with a vintage stoutness and shimmering guitaring that produced the meaty riffery with penetrating shrapnel of stylish soloing. The Bluesy and enigmatic vision behind the songs didn’t achieve memorability; however, it went down deep into the soul, seeking for a comfort zone. Honestly, the songs weren’t that easy to grasp, much as some of the titles of BLACK SABBATH back in the 70’s, and I am not referring to the hits of the era, yet there is that incredible hooking embrace that all that you need to do is to let it huddle you. My best example, and I believe that by now I became known to my deep approbation for heavier settings, “Lady In The Lamp”, the album’s finishing touch of elegance, represents that exact feeling that I described a sentence ago. Listening to this closely will reveal the power within Smith’s vocals, Marcus Jidell’s soft guitar strokes and impassioned lead fretwork, Carl Westholm’s atmospheric scenery and simplistic yet resourceful rhythm section of Leif Edling and Lars Sköld. For some reason that only word that I can conjure out of this number is plainly truthfulness.

I believe that you will find the heavier numbers striking for your taste. You don’t have to be a classic Doom Metal fan to be impressed by this album. AVATARIUM’s creation showcases enough musical angles and cryptic diversities. Sometimes it would appear as dark, but its vastness and slight melancholy made it even better than expected. Therefore, I suggest that you would add this one to your collection and also play it several times just to get in the right mood.

4 Star Rating

1. Moonhorse
2. Pandora's Egg
3. Avatarium
4. Boneflower
5. Bird of Prey
6. Tides of Telepathy
7. Lady In The Lamp
Leif Edling - Bass
Jennie-Ann Smith - Vocals
Marcus Jidell - Guitar
Lars Sköld - Drums
Carl Westholm - Keyboards
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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