Wednesday, 7 June 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Avatarium - "Hurricanes And Halos"

By Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/05/2017
Label: Nuclear Blast


This is another great record from Avatarium and one which places the band firmly in the upper echelons of doom outfits operating today. There is nothing to fault here. If you enjoyed the band's previous work, don't hesitate. If you have never heard the band, then this is as good a place as any to start. Great record.


“Hurricanes And Halos” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Into The Fire - Into The Storm (4:14)
2. The Starless Sleep (4:47)
3. Road To Jerusalem (5:48)
4. Medusa Child (9:00)
5. The Sky At The Bottom Of The Sea (5:25)
6. When Breath Turns To Air (4:46)
7. A Kiss (From The End Of The World) (7:14)
8. Hurricanes And Halos (3:22)

The Review:

Avatarium are proving to be a rather prolific band. The brainchild of Leif Edling (Candlemass) they have now put out three full lengths and an EP since 2013! After the excellent “The Girl With The Raven Mask”, I wondered where the band would go next. That particular album struck me as somewhat Dio-esque- with all the drama and storytelling of the miniature vocal maestro.

This time around, Dio still looms large in the influences I can hear; but more from his Rainbow era rather than his solo work. Uriah Heep offer a reference point here as well- with the rolling rhythms and Hammond organ work of “Demons and Wizards” being present and correct. The record offers up a couple of the epic song lengths that fans will expect and Jennie Ann Smith's vocals are as haunting as ever and are a real selling point of the band, not to mention a highlight of the album.

There is a lightness of touch to songs like “The Starless Sleep”, despite the weight of riffage, while there are more whimsical acoustic sounds in tracks like “Road To Jerusalem”. “Medusa Child” offers something of a centrepiece to the album at the half way point. It's a fantastic track, full of changes, production flourishes and a darkness and gloom that is always found in the best doom.

Elsewhere, “Easy Living” by Heep is echoed, Led Zep at their more morose is to be found and the downbeat grandeur of Sabbath can be heard in “A Kiss (From The End Of The World)” before the strange outro of a title track closes the record.

This is another great record from Avatarium and one which places the band firmly in the upper echelons of doom outfits operating today. There is nothing to fault here. If you enjoyed the band's previous work, don't hesitate. If you have never heard the band, then this is as good a place as any to start. Great record.


“Hurricanes & Halos” is available now


FFO: Candlemass, Jex Thoth, Dio, Uriah Heep

Band info: facebook

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