It’s kind of weird to listen to Avatarium right now. What started as a band drinking heavily from the Candlemass well with Leif Edling’s leadership soon started to drift towards that occult rock and roll of the 70’s, and now that we reach “Hurricane and Halos” we are fully into witches, sorcery, devil guitars, demonic keyboards and devilish sexual vocals from Jennie-Ann Smith.
There are really no true doom moments in this record, although there are doom elements here and there. Of course it is not the doom that comes from Candlemass’s slow paced guitar strumming; it is the doom that comes forth from Black Sabbath and the likes. There is even some elements of Deep Purple groove and Dio’s rock and roll. This is an album that touches too many bases at once, a thrill ride from the first moment.
“Into the fire/Into the Storm” has kickass organs that bring back the previously mentioned Deep Purple to mind, “Road to Jerusalem” has great guitar solos, almost improvised in nature and will be great to hear in a live setting. “Medusa Child” is so amazingly cool, as soon as Jennie breaks the flow of the song when she sings “my spells will leave you petrified…” and then screams “Medusa…” we know there is something different here and we cannot get away from it, we stay enthralled throughout all the 9 minutes.
The highlight for me is “A kiss (from the end of the world”, it starts so gently with an acoustic guitar, only to go ahead and crush us with the most Sabbath riffs of the record, it’s just a great track, simply well written.
This is the same old thing with Avatarium, a great record that is elevated to spectacular heights with Jennie’s voice giving it that extra kick. Of course we cannot forget the guitars, always providing that devilish groove. There is no way to ignore this record, it will surely be in the top 20’s of 2017.
01. Into The Fire/ Into The Storm
02. The Starless Sleep
03. Road To Jerusalem
04. Medusa Child
05. The Sky At The Bottom Of The Sea
06. When Breath Turns To Air
07. A Kiss (From The End Of The World)
08. Hurricanes And Halos
May 26th 2017