Swedish metal circus AVATAR have made people fall in love with them all around the world with their interesting and captivating world and music. Contrasted with GHOST, who give off the impression of making heavy music by looking scary while making easily accessible radio music, AVATAR look like a silly radio rock band on the surface, but in reality, they make surprisingly heavy sounding metal. Nowhere else is that more clear than on their brand new album, “Hunter Gatherer,” set for release on 7 August 2020, via Century Media Records.
On their eight record, AVATAR have taken a new, much heavier direction for their music, which was never smooth jazz in the first place. Tracks like “Silence in the Age of Apes,” “Scream Until You Wake,” and “When All Else but Force Have Failed” are sure to turn the venues into huge moshpits, while cuts such as “Colossus” and “Child” rely more on their heavy and groove-oriented stomping.
AVATAR isn’t stuck on just doing something that’s heavier and darker than before, for the album still contains a great amount of variety in its influences, execution, and ideas. “Colossus” is a weird, haunting, and even slightly comical fusion of bands like WALTARI, ICED EARTH, and even MUSHROOMHEAD. Throw in a classic heavy metal guitar solo in the vein of JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN and you got yourself a definite fan favorite.
The Swedes are not only trying to pummel heavy riffs and pounding grooves on the album, but they are also doing their best to keep things interesting. For instance, have you ever wanted to hear a fusion of melancholic whistling and Gothenburgian melodic death metal? Yep, that’s a thing; just listen to the confusing and invigorating number, “A Secret Door.”
The fans who loved “Avatar Country” will surely feel good about the track “Child,” which is a corny yet catchy parade of unique songwriting and surprising twists and turns. Some much-needed rest can be found on the only ballad, “Gun,” which even has slight echoes of some of the more mellow PAIN OF SALVATION tracks out there, coated with beautiful string arrangements and piano lines reminiscent of delicate raindrops.
“Hunter Gatherer” is definitely an interesting release by a band that never ceases to surprise people. AVATAR has taken a turn to a more down-to-earth -type of heavy metal, which still rings true to their inherently theatrical and dramatic side. Their penchant for ambitious crossovers of prog, hard rock, and death metal have really paid off on the new album. While it will definitely fly over many heads and ears, it will surely catch the attention of those whore are looking for something fun, fresh, and batshit crazy.
1. Silence in the Age of Apes
3. A Secret Door
4. God of Sick Dreams
5. Scream Until You Wake
9. When All But Force Has Failed
Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby – guitars
John Alfredsson – drums
Johannes Eckerström – lead vocals
Henrik Sandelin – bass, backing vocals
Tim Öhrström – guitars, backing vocals
Century Media Records