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Leach: Swedish metal band won't disappoint - The Trail Blazer: News

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Leach: Swedish metal band won't disappoint

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Posted: Thursday, May 4, 2017 12:03 pm

The Swedish metal band, Avatar, consistently outdoes themselves in showmanship and album complexity.

“Feathers and Flesh” is a unique concept album released May 13, 2016. This concept albums tells the fable of an owl that goes to war in order to prevent night from ending. This directly conflicts with the ruler of the day, the eagle.  Several other creatures are mentioned in this album, including a swarm of bees, a grasshopper and his friend the ant, a wolf without purpose and more.

Lead singer, Johannes Eckerstrom, discussed in an interview in the February/March 2016 issue of Revolver that the album was inspired by the French writer Jean de La Fontaine. He also added that each creature represents different sides of the human psyche.

The album opens with the song “Regret” which is actually the end of the story. This song is short and offers a shredding solo at the end giving its own description of the story to come.

The song “New Land” is where I feel listeners following the story begin to feel bad for the owl because of how arrogant the eagle is. Plus giving the owl a weakness and added motivation makes the character three dimensional, this in turn making the story more complete.

Tooth, Beak and Claw acts as the war anthem. The wicked vocals at the beginning really set the tone to demonstrate the mentality of the owl and her army going into this war.

The song “Fiddlers Farewell” is a perfect example of a metal ballad that evokes not only the emotion of the characters but the listeners.  I believe this really alludes to today’s wars because it shows the listeners the tragedy that comes when fighting a war, especially a war where the perceived outcome is impossible.

Overall this album shows just how well Avatar has defined themselves as something different in the metal genre and something people should defiantly keep an eye on for future releases.

Going along with the album followed touring. Avatar headlined a show in Louisville at the Mercury Ballroom Thursday, April 27 for their tour “New Land.”

Their performance went far beyond just playing music. There set was complete with costumes, props and excellent showman ship. They dressed in traditional Swedish inspired attire to accompany the fable aspect of the album.

They performed songs from their most popular albums, “Hail the Apocalypse,” “Black Waltz” and “Feathers and Flesh.” 

Eckerstrom kept the crowd entertained by interacting with them in his loud and distinct character. His fellow band mates were silent but conveyed their interaction with exaggerated expressions and puppet like motions. This way of performing locked the audiences eyes on them and presented them with intensity and unbridled entertainment.

Avatars unique sound and stage presence really makes their show one of a kind. They are able to blend their on-stage characters and their music in a way that displays the raw talent they possess. Their show quickly made it to one of my favorite performances. I highly recommend seeing this band live and listening to the albums, they won’t disappoint.