Clearly continuing to develop their schtick

Starting life as a melodic death band in the early 00s and slowly progressing in sound ever since, Avatar have always been a band to keep an ear on if you consider yourself a fan of metal and not within the elitist corners of this great musical art.

Their last album seemed to be the pinnacle of the cleaner vs. heavier sound the band  produce, all while telling a traditional fable. Here the band have again taken it one step further both musically and in their story telling.

Setting the scene to a musical you might actually want to see, short but sweet opener ‘Glory to Our King’ introduces us to the people of Avatar Country via a chorus worthy of some dark, discarded Disney film. Then as the curtain draws back ‘Legend of the King’ lulls you in more early into the eight-minute running time before taking off in a far more traditional metal direction at the two minute mark and barely letting up.

As mentioned, the band have taken story telling in an even grander direction on this album. As if to show this, ‘The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country’ opens like a heavy alt country track, with vocalist Johannes Eckerstrom doing his best Brian Johnson impression at times. A very catchy riff hides the fairly naff lyrical content, something that could be said for a lot of the tracks.

‘Kings Harvest’ shows Avatar throwing out some of their heaviest riffing in a while ‘The King Wants You’ almost reverses this with a hard rock stomp and another very memorable riff bound to dig its way into your conscience.

The album is short and when it is good it is thoroughly enjoyable, although there are a few mis-steps, the biggest one being ‘The King Speaks’, a spoken piece about a morning enema and dumping ritual. This should have been left off, not just because of the odd subject matter, but it brings the album to a grinding halt for just over three minutes. I get it, the band wants to keep the mood light, but the highly imaginative story does this well enough without it.

Closing out on instrumentals is a ballsy move for a lot of bands but here ‘Silent Songs of the King Pt. 1 & 2’ seem perfectly fitting as curtain closers for the previous 40 minutes of playful madness.

Avatar are clearly continuing to push their schtick further away from where they started, but the story telling as cheesy as it can seem, is wonderful and sure to draw in more future fans.

  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