Review by Daniel for Avatarium - Avatarium (2013) Review by Daniel for Avatarium - Avatarium (2013)

Daniel Daniel / June 06, 2019 / 0

Avatarium is a Swedish doom metal outfit featuring Candlemass bassist Leif Edling, Evergrey guitarist Marcus Jidell & Tiamat drummer Lasse Sköld alongside female vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith. The project was originally conceived by Leif Edling & Opeth vocalist/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt but Mikael ended up being unable to commit due to his ongoing commitments with Opeth so Leif approached Marcus Jidell for some session work & things worked out so nicely that they decided to continue on with the arrangement.

The basis of the Avatarium sound is built on the classic Candlemass doom model however they also incorporate quite a bit of 70's hard rock, American folk & late 60's psychedelic pop into the mix which enables Jennie-Ann to show off her versatility as a vocalist. Her background is in blues & jazz but her delivery sometimes reminds me of 70's rock icons like Robert Plant & Ian Gillen & it works very well in this context.

I think the album is a bit top heavy though. The first three tracks are the clear highlights & things start to drop off a bit at the distinctly average "Boneflower" with it's predominantly psychedelic pop sound. I don't think they ever fully rectify things after that either. The remaining tracks show promise but don't reach the heights of the earlier material. "Bird Of Prey" sounds very much like Candlemass with Jennie-Ann even sounding like she's channelling Messiah Marcolin at times. That's not such a bad thing but Avatarium are definitely at their best when they allow Jennie-Ann to fully stretch her blues rock wings out over their heavier doom material on tracks like "Avatarium" & the single "Moonhorse" (even though it includes a riff that is FAR too close to the opening riff in "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath").

There's quite a bit of promise here & "Avatarium" is definitely worth a listen but I think their best material may be ahead of them.

Comments (0)