AVATARIUM

(SWEDEN)

AVATARIUM

(2013)
LABEL:

NUCLEAR BLAST

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
Female vocals
"A side-project by the leader of Candlemass, "Avatarium" evokes the cross between Black Sabbath and Rainbow, the whole led by a powerful and emotional female vocals."
CHILDERIC THOR (07.07.2014)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Although he is the founder and the main - if not the only - composer, Candlemass was never really enough for Leif Edling, whose many albums outside his initial band have been part of a rich career spanning more than thirty years. For many, Avatarium, comes to concretize a wish, better a dream, to see the talent of the Swede finally mate with a female organ. Surprisingly (or not), it is towards a stranger that he has set his sights: Jennie-Ann Smith. But knowing his employer's high standards and good taste, the beautiful, also wife of guitarist Marcus Jidell (ex Evergrey and Royal Hunt), who completes with drummer Lars Sköld (Tiamat) and faithful keyboardist Carl Westholm (Jupiter Society) this unstoppable line-up, couldn't really disappoint. 

Don't believe however that because a woman is in charge of the vocal lines, this album is a sweetness. On the contrary, Edling doesn't desert ultra-heavy riffs and heavy tempi like colossal excavators drilling the earth of which it still has the secret. In this, this eponymous album, of which he composed all seven compositions, bears his undeniable signature, which is also embodied through a psychedelic if not progressive atmosphere that haunts all his creations forged outside Candlemass. Finally, Avatarium evokes another reference, that of Ritchie Blackmore and his Rainbow, whose shadow drapes the entire listening experience. The result is a clever mix of doom and progressive rock animated by a female vocal, darkly flamboyant soli worthy of a man in black and psychedelic keyboards. 

The album starts in the most grandiose way with the immense 'Moonhorse', a way to reassure those who were frightened by a feminine presence, a promise of a sweetness that knows how to marry with a telluric rhythm, propeled towards the centre of the earth by a monstrous sound recording. Imagine Black Sabbath interpreting 'The Gates Of Balylon' by Rainbow but with a feminine voice and always this arabizing guitar and you will have then a small idea of the content of this track whose last minutes give shivers. The other peak of the listening is reached with 'Lady In The Lamp', a final ballad with woody accents of a rare beauty, carried by the voice of a heart-rending accuracy of Jennie-Ann Smith. Here again, the final bars are unforgettable, enveloped by Blackmore's tutelary black shadow. Between these two sentinels, the other five compositions are of course not out of place, especially the eponymous 'Avatarium' or the short 'Boneflower', but they do not quite reach the level of these two monuments. 

This new project therefore lives up to all its promises, illustrating, if need be, what a remarkable composer Leif Edling remains, who renews himself here with intelligence while preserving his signature, recognizable among a thousand.
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
CANDLEMASS, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH

TRACK LISTING:
01. Moonhorse
02. Pandora's Egg
03. Avatarium
04. Boneflower
05. Bird Of Prey
06. Tides Of Telepathy
07. Lady In The Lamp

LINEUP:
Carl Westholm: Claviers
Jennie-ann Smith: Chant
Lars Sköld: Batterie
Leif Edling: Basse
Marcus Jidell: Guitares
   
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