Avatarium – Death, Where Is Your Sting

Avatarium
Death, Where Is Your Sting
AFM Records
Out: October 21st, 2022
Playing time: 45:31

Ten years ago, Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling founded the band Avatarium. And just like Candlemass, Avatarium are deeply rooted in Doom Metal. However, not as a simple copy. From the beginning, Avatarium went their own way. The band’s figurehead is singer Jennie-Ann Smith. Since then, two EPs, four albums and one live DVD have been released. A few years ago, Leif Edling had to leave Avatarium for health reasons. However, the band continued. With “Death, Where Is Your Sting”, the fifth album is now available, the debut on the German label AFM.

“A Love Like Ours” begins with strings and acoustic guitars. This gives the song a melancholic atmosphere. This continues, strings can be heard again and again. And singer Jennie-Ann Smith lives this atmosphere with her voice. A perfect introduction. The following song is named after her hometown, “Stockholm”. Here you can hear classic Doom with lower tuned guitars. During the vocals, the power is partly taken back a bit. Vocalises as a chorus, there are also not too often. Later, there is a solo where the guitar seems to literally sing. In the title song “Death, Where Is Your Sting”, the Swedes process all the experiences they made during the Covid Pandemic. Surprisingly, the song doesn’t sound as gloomy as one might expect from the title. On the contrary, many positive-sounding phases build up the listener morally. I always find it impressive when you can hear ballads on Doom albums, although the music is already strongly slowed down. Such a ballad is “Psalm For The Living”. Jennie-Ann’s fragile vocals are accompanied by minimal instrumentation, mostly just acoustic guitars. Only towards the end are these distorted electronically. For me, this song is the absolute highlight of the album. But then the whole force of the rhythm section kicks in with “God Is Silent”. The vocals also sound more powerful again. Instead, “Mother Can You Hear Me Now” is a bit more contemplative. “Nocturne” breaks the narrow boundaries of Doom a little. The song is clearly more rocking. Here the Swedes move in the border area between Epic Doom and classic Heavy Metal. “Transcendent” starts with acoustic guitars that create a dark and contemplative atmosphere. Later, doom-typical heavy riffs follow, which strengthen the impression gained so far, especially because the “lament” of the strings can be heard here for the last time. The acoustic guitars, which can be heard again, bring this instrumental to an end.

Avatarium create sound giants in Doom Metal on “Death, Where Is Your Sting”. Highlights are, besides the already mentioned ballad “Psalm For The Living”, the instrumental “Transcendent”, the rocking “Nocturne” and also the title track. This is an album for Doom lovers, but also for all Metal fans. Simply outstanding.

Avatarium – Death, Where Is Your Sting: https://youtu.be/u-IGNzCsUx8

Lineup:

Jennie-Ann Smith – Vocals
Marcus Jidell – Guitars
Andreas Habo Johansson – Drums, Percussion
Mats Rydström – Bass
Daniel Karlsson – Keyboards

Track list:

  • A Love Like Ours
  • Stockholm
  • Death, Where Is Your Sting?
  • Psalm For The Living
  • God Is Silent
  • Mother Can You Hear Me Now
  • Nocturne
  • Transcendent
  • 10/10
    Album - 10/10
  • 8/10
    Cover Art - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Songwriting - 9/10
9/10
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