Album Review: Avatar ‘Avatar Country’

Album to release January 12, 2018 via e-One Music

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Album: Avatar Country
Label: Entertainment One
Genre: Metal
Release Date: January 12, 2018 
4.5/5.0

The Swedish metal carnival show known as Avatar is back with their new release ‘Avatar Country’‘Avatar Country’, the follow-up to their 2016 release ‘Feathers & Flesh’, is set to release on January 12th just after Avatar kicks off their North American headline tour with The Brains, Old Kerry McKee and sideshow extraordinaire Hellzapoppin.

I’ve been spinning this album for a few weeks now soaking up everything it has to offer and first of all I have to tell you, this is a great album.  It’s a bit of a change from the last album in a few different ways. The first thing you will notice is this entire album has a full theme built around “The King”. Every track has a reference of “The King” and each has their own feel.  Some heavy, some a little lighter, but most of all remind the listener that Avatar is King!

The second noticeable change is in the third track with “The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country” that infuses twangy country music and screaming vocals that sound scary close to 80’s Glam Rocker Tom Keifer of Cinderella. Then adds in some contemporary jazz toward the end of the track, all the while encompassing it all inside of a metal track. Odd and terrifying at the same time because Avatar makes it work very well in a way only they can do.

My favorite tracks on this album hit me in the first listen of the album, “King’s Harvest”, “A Statue of The King” and “King After King”. Each of these tracks contain all the aspects I’ve always enjoyed about Avatar’s music, killer bass rhythms, furious guitars, intense drums and over the top vocals that have a good mix of clean, demented tones and screaming in them.  This is a band that’s always been a hard one for me to review live because they are so infectiously intense that I always want to throw myself in the crowd and jump around with all the other fans in the audience. There’s no difference if you are listening to one of their albums or seeing them live, Avatar‘s music always makes your body move whether you want it to or not. Their music is an intoxicating experience for listeners and they managed to capture that yet again in this new album and especially well with these three tracks.  Honestly, these are the three tracks I expect to see lots of headbanging going on in during their live shows!

Another thing I noticed with ‘Avatar Country’ is that there is no Swedish bonus track with singing like with “Det Är Alldeles Försent” on ‘Feathers & Flesh’, but you do get a spoken word in the “The King Speaks” that’s rather humorous if you understand Swedish and it is translated if you don’t and still fun. I always look forward to a track or two from bands in their native language, it makes the experience more interesting to me.

The second to the last track “Silent Songs of the King Pt 1 Winter Comes When The King Dreams Of Snow” departs completely from the feel of the rest of the album with a hypnotic, trance instrumental track that seems to be placed there strategically to calm listeners the f**k down. Just as I started to feel slightly relaxed and a bit sleepy the track ended and my senses were assaulted with the last manic metal instrumental track “Silent Songs of the King Pt 2 The King’s Palace”.  My question to the band on these last two tracks is this, Avatar… what are you trying to do to the listeners emotions here? It was great, but a confusing ending.

I am fairly certain the band wants fans to get a full experience in ‘Avatar Country’.  They take the listeners on a full ride of musical emotion that will have you energized, excited, confused, hypnotic, and in complete delight. I really enjoyed this new album and am really excited for the North American tour to see them performing some of the new music!

In conclusion my final thoughts are, great job!  Fans who’ve been enjoying Avatar already, you WANT this album, no you NEED this album.  Music fans who enjoy metal that don’t know Avatar yet, meet Avatar!  Time to grab some new music and while you are at it, grab tickets to their tour that kicks off on Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.  I’ve seen Avatar many times, they are a band made for a live show!  You don’t want to miss them on their headline tour where you will get their full show, a short supporting set never does this band justice!  Dates are at the bottom of the post, I’ve also included the Europe and UK dates for our readers from around the world.

Tracklisting:
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 is:
Johannes Eckerström – Vocals
John Alfredsson – Drums
Henrik Sandelin – Bass
The King – Guitars
Tim Öhrström – Guitars

NORTH AMERICA
Jan-06 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
Jan-07 Toronto, ON The Opera House
Jan-09 Montreal, QC Astral
Jan-11 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
Jan-12 Boston, MA Brighton
Jan-13 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
Jan-14 Philadelphia, PA Theatre Of Living Arts
Jan-16 Louisville, KY Mercury Ballroom
Jan-17 Atlanta, GA The Buckhead Theatre
Jan-18 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
Jan-19 Houston, TX House of Blues
Jan-20 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Jan-21 San Antonio, TX Aztec
Jan-23 Tempe, AZ The Marquee
Jan-24 Los Angeles, CA Regent Theater
Jan-25 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
Jan-28 Seattle, WA Studio Seven
Jan-30 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
Jan-31 Denver, CO The Summit Music Hall
Feb-01 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theatre
Feb-02 Chicago, IL The Bottom Lounge
Feb-03 Green Bay, WI Sand Lot
Feb-05 Lawrence, KS Granada
Feb-07 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
Feb-08 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
Feb-09 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe
Feb-10 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II
Feb-11 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection

EUROPE / UK
3/13/18 Utrecht, Netherlands Tivoli Vredenburg
3/14/18 Paris, France Trianon
3/15/18 Lille, France Lille / Le Splendid- (Les Paradis Artificiels Festival)
3/16/18 London, UK Islington Assembly Hall
3/17/18 Sint-Niklaas, Belgium De Casino
3/18/18 Köln, Germany Luxor
3/20/18 Reims, France La Cartonnerie
3/21/18 Nîmes, France Paloma
3/22/18 Cognac, France West Rock
3/23/18 Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain Sala Sanatana 27
3/24/18 Madrid, Spain Sala Mon Live
3/25/18 Barcelona, Spain Sala Bikini
3/26/18 Villeurbanne, France Le Transbordeur
3/27/18 Genève, Switzerland L’Usine
3/28/18 Zurich, Switzerland Dynamo
3/29/18 Milan, Italy Alcatraz
4/1/18 Munich, Germany Technikum
4/2/18 Prague, Czech Republic Lucerna Music Bar
4/3/18 Berlin, Germany Bi Nuu
4/4/18 Hamburg, Germany Gruenspan
4/5/18 Copenhagen, Denmark Pumpehuset
4/6/18 Stockholm, Sen Klubben Fryshuset
4/7/18 Göteborg, Sen Trädgår’n

Follow Avatar Online: Facebook / Website

Check out coverage from the last show we caught with Avatar here.

About Diane Webb 438 Articles
I am writer, photographer & traveler with severe wanderlust. A comic nerd and rock music fanatic who's always wondered how I ended up here? I seem to have a different view on most things in life than most around me and I get carried away in thoughts of far away places quite often. Music, travel and enjoying life is key!