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 AVATARIUM - Avatarium

Celkové hodnocení alba: 83%
Rok vydání: 2013
Žánr: doom metal
Celkový čas: 49:35


Clearly Avatarium understand the meaning of "catchy doom." 

Charmingly bluesy and loaded with more doomed hooks than Captain Ahab's whaling vessel, Leif Edling has put his expertise into the new project of Avatarium, which is quick to catch the ear with the strength of his song writing. Traditional doom fans with an appreciation for folky feels would be wise to heed the call of this stunning debut. I know I am, as the voice of Jennie-Ann Smith has an unquestionably powerful tenure within these doom tunes.

Whilst being expressed with much clarity given the excellent quality of recording, every guitar note and bass line hums with a palpable reverb which gives the tunes a very full sound. The riffs really do flourish in your ears upon repeated listens and are quite impressionable with their convincingly heavy weight backed by the beat of Tiamat drummer Lars Sköld's kit. The guitarist Marcus Jidell successfully does his utmost to give the dense doom sections the psychedelic lacing which establishes the connection to the psych rock feel that seems to be prevalent beneath the weight of the traditional doom. Also aiding in this aspect are the keyboards, which are so carefully placed within the mix so as to be unobtrusive; never forming a distraction and diverting the sequence of melody or riff, but present a psychedelic backdrop which only draws the listener further and further into its lush texture. In the midsection of the rock inflected "Boneflower" or toward the end of "Bird Of Prey" we find exceptions to this, where the keys swoop down in front of the mix to latch the listener, before piano and vocals take us away.

This is an album in which I can't find a single slip-up in terms of consistency. From the mammoth yet bewilderingly graceful opener "Moonhorse" right through to the soothing and subtly trippy closer "Lady In The Lamp," there's never a noticeable decline in how catchy the album is. There's always a hook at play to keep listeners attentive and from start to finish it is exceptionally well written with the title track finding an effective position at the album's heart.

You'd think that with the immensity of the riffs bearing down on the less heavy sections in the music that it is they which must be obeyed, but no. For what would otherwise be a well written exercise in a traditional sound it is the vocal work which commands, which sets this piece apart. The lyrics are equally as catchy as the guitar work and dense rhythms here because they are delivered by a voice of charisma. Interestingly Dio-esque in style there is power in Jennie-Ann's voice that has been developed by a life outside the metal field (in jazz and blues I believe). These days it's not an unusual feature in itself to have feminine vocals in this kind of doom mixed with heavy and folksy psychedelic rock, the likes of Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth playing to a similar concept. 

The crucial difference we find here is the clearly more doom oriented sound, and no wonder, with the identifiable style and expected force of Candlemass' song writer wielding the pen. As a debut this album doesn't exhibit so much a "new sound to be reckoned with" as much as an "old sound with electric reinvigoration." Absolutely not to be missed for traditional doom and heavy psych fans alike.

Author: R'Vannith (8.2 of 10)