Avatar Feathers And Flesh on 2LP
Avatar build their vast universe on a few very simple principals. All great metal is created by understanding that the riff is king and that the riff is groove. Whether it's a blast beat or a back beat, you need to understand the vessel in which your riff will be carried. Once it takes off, all you need to do is follow. Let the music play you. This is how it's supposed to be. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden the lads grew up in the eye of a storm of local musicians made up of metal greats and legends who conquered the world and redrew the map of heavy metal on a monthly basis. This was the measuring stick, and the group have proudly taken on the challenge ever since.
The band released Black Waltz in 2012 and found their voice in the madness and started to truly forge their own path in the music they were making. "Our take on playing in a band is that it's concept art," says vocalist Johannes Eckerström. "Everything has to carry the same idea and emotion. You have to be able to see what it sounds like, hear what it smells like and read how it feels." As such, it is only natural that a group creating music with such strong imagery have become so visually striking, a trait that only became stronger with their 2014 release, Hail the Apocalypse. In 2016, Avatar are releasing their latest endeavor Feathers & Flesh, and the promise that's given is that nothing will be the same ever again. "We've made a concept album," Eckerström declares. "It's a fable about an owl who goes to war to stop the sun from rising. It's a tragic story of someone ultimately being set up to fail. She will learn many lessons and encounter many other creatures with ideas of their own. In the end, however, one must ask if something was learned at all."
The album was recorded in Germany, Finland and Sweden in December 2015 with producer extraordinaire Sylvia Massy (System of a Down, Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers) at the wheel. The music is as always rooted in the extreme, with plenty of melodic sensibility and a lust for experimentation. There is a love for intense double bass drumming, riffing and shredding of timeless dimensions alongside rough edges, slow grooves and epic storytelling for the ages. The idea is that as the band digs deeper, the fists will be held up higher. The end result is a modern metal album with all the ruthlessness and power one could ask for handled with a loving songwriter's hand, inspired by The Beatles and Queen.