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DeadSet Records 12/05

[ALBUM REVIEW] AVATARIUM: Hurricanes And Halos

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Hurricanes and Halos” is the third full-length album from Avatarium in their four-year existence–quite prolific considering they have also produced two EPs also. The psychedelia and groove guitar entwined in many songs on this album is terrific, propelling the 70’s style songs.

Leif Edling of Candlemass started Avatarium in 2013. One can hear elements of his old band in Avatarium but they are bluesy and jazzier in their psychedelia/death bent here–he obviously wanted to stretch his musical muscles and do something quite different. With elements of Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult, mixed with prog-rock like Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Yes and Free, I feel “Hurricanes and Halos” come off more prog/folk sounding than metal. It’s an interesting mix which will more largely appeal to fans of prog and classic heavy rock.

Vocalist Jennie Ann Smiths voice and range is a perfect match for these songs and well suited to the notes she is reaching in the tales of fantasy mixed with metaphors of the modern world and its catastrophes.”Avatarium were compared online, which I found concisely quite apt (though not knowing the particular album referred–but aware of its controversy among Avatarium fans), to “If Adele was the vocalist on Black Sabbath’s album ’13′”.

The tracks I favoured of the eight songs on this album were ‘the title track, “Road To Jerusalem” and “Medusa Child”. “Road To Jerusalem” has a slow build up over its near six-minute length which is pretty damn cool. I imagine too that it would be a great jam live, and could be longer and even more awesome. “Medusa Child” is also great! The composition of the music and the lyrics give it great imagery and make it alive theatrically in your mind’s eye.

Personally, this reviewer is not attracted to this genre and was challenged somewhat by “Hurricanes and Halos”, preferring my doom or death metal bands to be just that – dark, gloomy and more menacing. But, for those that like it more fluffy and beautiful, then I’m certain you will love this. Especially if you enjoy new bands, great musicianship, or just Master Edling himself–evolving and maturing with him in his musical directions.

3.5/5 Stars

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