AVATAR – Feathers & Flesh Album Review

Let me preface this review and say there will be a lot of references to other bands. This is in no way to say these songs or this band is influenced by the bands or individuals refereed to. These references are used completely for descriptive purposes.

There is a lot to absorb in this album and every piece of this album, while a complete package that tells an incredible folk tale, each song has its own distinctive sound yet beckons back to something familiar. So with that being said let’s get to it.

Avatar has been around since 2001 and with every album they bring something new and exciting to the table especially if you are accustomed to your average Swedish metal band, which they are not.

Feathers & Flesh is their 6th album and this one is based upon a not so old Swedish folk tale which they wrote themselves to help draw inspiration and ideas. The concept album revolves around an owl that rules the night and whose world is invaded by an eagle who threatens to bring the sun and destroy the owls existence. It is a parable about humility, selfishness and humanity told through the struggles of these forest creatures.

The album opens with two songs Regret and House of Eternal Hunt each harkening back to power metal bands in the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, Savatage, Dio and Iron Maiden. Regret and House of Eternal Hunt have the power and precision of these bands with a brief ode to the classical composers of the 18th century with it’s closing harpsichords.

The next 6 songs follow suit with what one would expect from Avatar with their carnivalesque guitars and marching drum beats. Johannes Eckerström  shows his true vocal prowess throughout the bulk of this album with his unique vocal styling.  

Black Water is reminiscent of Clutch and a little bit of Alice in Chains. It’s heavy and gritty with gruff vocals that would make Tom Waits proud.

Night Never Ending is a tribute to Avatar’s Swedish Viking heritage while Pray the Sun Away actually could be a heavy version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers with it’s heavy bass lines and funky guitar riffs.

The closing songs of the album When the Snow Lies Red, Raven Wine and Sky Burial get heavy and bring the story to a close in a dramatic and powerful manner.

If you have never listened to Avatar then this is a great place to start and if you are already a fan, you will not be disappointed. The more I listened to this album the more I loved it. It is by far the bands most versatile and unique album to date.

 

Todd Adkins

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