Avatar Country is one of the most unique albums I have heard in quite some time. The Swedish metal band has been known for their heavy sound and unique style. Lead singer Johannes Eckerstrom has a very unique voice that makes Avatar easily recognizable, but their overall style sets itself apart. The band is incredibly heavy yet melodic with an almost contradictory grace. In addition to the heavy melodies and unique style, the band also frequently utilizes bluesy riffs that are almost reminiscent of Johnny Cash.
Avatar Country is unique in itself as far as the band’s eclectic style goes. The album is a concept album of sorts, in which it tells the story of the King of Avatar Country. Each song is centered around the king and his apparent legacy. The music on this record speaks for itself and it is easy to see where each of the songs on the albums fits into Avatar’s catalog.
The album is highlighted by theatrics, which is a signature of Avatar. The opening track “Glory To Our King” is a singalong anthem that feels like a combination of a barbershop quartet and the Beatles’ classic, Sgt. Peppers. The album also has an interesting transition piece. In the middle of the album is the track “The King Speaks” which is a three minute spoken word of the king giving a speech about random issues such as constipation. For me, this was a slight distraction from an otherwise fluid and solid album.
The album does a great job in combining Avatar’s influences with their unique sound. “The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country” shows prevalant influences of hard rock icons AC/DC, over a bluesy chord progression. The album’s lead single “The King Wants You” may be the most true to Avatar’s signature sound, utilizing moments of silence between heavy riffs that the band has become known for. “A Statue of the King” may be the heaviest individual track on the album and is driven by fast-paced drums, melodic guitar, and heavy vocals that build to a really cool breakdown to close the song.
The story ends with two instrumental tracks, “Silent Songs of the King, Pt. 1 (Winter Comes When the King Dreams of Snow)” and “Silent Songs of the King, Pt. 2 (The King’s Palace)”. Part one is a quiet, jewelry box-esque melody while part two is built around a strong melodic riff that leaves you expecting vocals to come over the top that never come, and ends leaving you wanting more.
This album is incredibly artistic and over the top, which is something that makes Avatar special. There are several quirky moments that seem outside of the box, but the album is overall entertaining, heavy, and true to the discography of Avatar. This is a very entertaining album that will not leave you disappointed!
You can catch Avatar on their 2018 World Tour with special guests The Brains, Hellzapoppin, and Old Kerry McKee. Their North American run goes through February 11 and their European leg kicks off March 13 through April 7.
What do you think of the new album from Avatar? Are you going to be seeing them on their 2018 World Tour? Leave it in the comments down below or hit us up on Twitter: @SpinThoughts
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