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Avatarium - The Fire I Long For Award winner

Avatarium
The Fire I Long For
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 January 2020, 7:35 AM

The name of the Swedish quintet AVATARIUM is already known for many Doom Metal fans, because it had the four strings of Leif Edlig (bassist and founder of CANDLEMASS) for some albums, and the presence of the guitarist and producer Marcus Jidell (known for his works on ROYAL HUNT, EVERGREY and DOOMSDAY KINGDOM). And after the success of “Hurricane and Halos”, what can “The Fire I Long For” bring to the fans?

In the past, one could think of a Stoner Rock band with female vocals (because their Doom Metal approach was tempered with charming melodies back then), but this time, the melodies are still present, but the band’s sonority seems a bit more abrasive and bitter, as a Doom Metal monolith. But the elegant singing of Jennie-Ann is better than before (their best performance on an AVATARIUM’s album to date), the guitars are a bit cruder on sonority (but with very good solos as well), the bass guitar and drums are doing a solid and very good work, and the keyboards parts tempered the songs with melodic touches. So it can be said as a different insight on the quintet usual music.

Marcus Jidell produced the album, having Niklas Flyckt (mixing) and Svante Forsbäck (mastering) with him. All to breed a sound quality that can be defined and clean, but with tons of musical weight and an extra touch of bitterness (to explore the deeper Doom Metal side of their music), and the choice for the instrumental tunes were wise as well. And Leif made some contributions, writing “Porcelain Skull”, “Epitaph of Heroes” and “Stars They Move”.

“The Fire I Long For” isn’t a complex album, but it demands patience to be absorbed and fully understood, and the heavy and bitter “Voices” (a pure Doom Metal song, tempered by the beautiful voice of Jennie-Ann) and “Rubicon” (besides this one is a bit more elegant, showing excellent and hooking guitar riffs), the excellent bitter and lysergic ambiance of “Lay Me Down” (created by the excellent keyboards parts of Richard), the 70’s Rock ‘n’ Roll rhythm of “Shake That Demon” (that can shake every listeners, and the simple and good work from Mats on bass guitar and Andreas on the drums is very good, along with lysergic keyboards moments and excellent guitar solos), the deep and ‘noir’ feeling that flows from “The Fire I Long For”, and the heavy and oppressive load of “Epitaph of Heroes” can be pointed as the album’s finest moments.

AVATARIUM is not a promise anymore, but a band that deserves a lot of respect. And “The Fire I Long For” can take them to a higher level!

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Voices
2. Rubicon
3. Lay Me Down
4. Porcelain Skull
5. Shake That Demon
6. Great Beyond
7. The Fire I Long For
8. Epitaph of Heroes
9. Stars They Move
Lineup:
Jennie-Ann Smith - Vocals
Marcus Jidell - Guitars
Mats Rydström - Bass
Rickard Nilsson - Keyboards
Andreas Habo Johansson - Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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