Avatarium is Leif Edling’s latest musical project, besides Candlemass and Krux. With his main band putting out new records out no longer, it’s still exciting to hear one of doom metal’s finest composers at work. Let’s see what Avatarium’s self titled debut album has to offer.
Although the album is dominated by massive guitar riffs in the best doom metal or Candlemass tradition, it’s the more subtle folk, blues and classic rock influences that gives the music its texture and haunting charm. Marcus Jidell’s (also in Evergrey and Royal Hunt) tasteful guitar work makes tracks like ‘Moonhorse’, ‘Bird Of Prey’ and ‘Tides Of Telepathy’ such grand listening experiences.
Another stunning revelation are the powerful and diverse vocals delivered by Jennie-Ann Smith. She might not be a household name in the metal community (I’m sure she soon will), but she really gives many established names a run for their money as sheer lung power and diversity goes. She can belt it out when it needed (‘Moonhorse’, ‘Boneflower’), but she also knows how to carry more fragile parts vocal-wise like she expertly does in ‘Bird Of Prey’ for instance. The fact she comes from a more jazz/blues background injects a lot of extra life and color into the already impressive song material.
Although Avatarium doesn’t offer many new musical vantage points on the doom metal genre as a whole the album contains this evocative touch which warrants its purchase. To put it simply, Leif Edling has done it once again!