Avatar – “Avatar Country” Album Review

Avatar – Avatar Country – eOne Music
Release date January 12, 2018
Album review by:  Leslie Elder Rogers

 

When it comes to visual entertainment, Avatar is surely at the top of the list but they also have quite the ability to put on a show musically and lyrically.  It is without doubt that vocalist, Johannes Eckerstrom has a way vocally to intrigue and hypnotize but as you listen to the pure musicianship of the band during the lengthy guitar and drum intros, you begin to understand that they are just as much about the music as they are their costume presentation.  Their new album, Avatar Country, is set to release on January 12, 2018.  It carries with it, huge guitar riffs that taper off in a blended fashion to correspond with Johannes vocal performance.  The equally thought out drum beats rhythmically connect and intertwine as each downbeat provides a steady song stride.  The album begins with a short prologue “Glory to our King”, which seems indicative of their version of a hymn.  It is followed by the longest track on the album “Legend of the King” and so begins the story of the album.  As we get deeper in, “The King Wants You” continued to keep me entertained.  It is already getting a large amount of play time on stations like Octane. Once I got to “The King Speaks”, I immediately found myself becoming indifferent about the album.  I wasn’t looking for a book on cd, nor was I wanting to feel like I was at some dinner theater performance like Medieval Times, but sadly, that is what happened.  I rarely regret listening to an album, but I worried I was about to. Thankfully, the next two tracks were enough, melodically, to set me straight and remind me that this was Avatar, after all.  Obviously it is their intention to offer their fans a very different experience from what we consider the “norm” in rock and metal music.  They are doing just that by ending the album on much more solemn notes with two instrumental tracks.  “Silent Songs of the King Pt 1. – Winter Comes When the King Dreams of Snow” is more easy listening than not and is quite calming while “Silent Songs of the King Pt 2.- The Kings’ Palace” is intended to be the crescendo that is cliché to an album’s final track. It didn’t quite hit the crescendo level for me, but the construction of the song and instrumentation utilized were flawless.

 

The hardest part for me was getting past the fact that each song has “King” somewhere in the title.  I found this a bit uninteresting which lead me to the conclusion that there was no real creativity or challenge to give each song its’ own character or identity.  I could easily see a large part of this album being part of a video game soundtrack. Avatar is well-known for their creative oddness, and their freak-show like ways.  Their popularity is not hindered by the weird things they do.  On the contrary, their peculiar tendencies are what we love about them most.  So all in all, even in light of my distaste of certain aspects, the album is damn good and worth a listen, even if only once.

 

Track List#

  1. Glory To Our King
  2. Legend of the King
  3. The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country
  4. King’s Harvest
  5. The King Wants You
  6. The King Speaks
  7. A Statue of the King
  8. King After King
  9. Silent Songs of the King Pt. 1: Winter Comes When the King Dreams of Snow
  10. Silent Songs of the King Pt. 2: The King’s Palace

 

Avatar official website: http://avatarmetal.com/

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