Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Avatarium - Avatarium (2013) | 55%

Leif jumps on the Mum Doom bandwagon

After the end of Candlemass' recording life and while Krux is doing its own unoriginal doom divagations, Leif Edling decided to jump in the female fronted doom wagon with this new project. This self titled album, while inoffensive to the senses is as boring as Leif's stylish goatee.

The vocals are good. The riffs are ok and well played, the bass is as unimportant as it is in Candlemass but the songwriting is just fucking flat and mundane and that's the worst crime a doom band can do. The band is also guilty of being way too late to the mum doom party. The trendy doom style led by Blood Ceremony, Jex Thoth or Castle has already happened and Avatarium is like these dudes who knocked at the door at 4am with a pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon while everybody were already crashed on the floor with their pants down.

Mats Leven is cool and all but apparently he's not sexy enough (actually he kinda is) to front another band with the legendary bassist composer
, Leif had to follow a fashion instead of creating one. That's kind of sad for a dude who wrote “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” to be a third wheel in 2013.

The main criticism I have concerning the music itself is the fact it's so intertwined with instrumental heavy doom parts with Candlemassesque riffs and soft, lullabyesque parts with clean female vocals. It creates some sort of dichotomy, I mean, it can work for a song or two but not as a main songwriting strategy. It's predictable as fuck and it's rhythmically awkward and lazy. It doesn't feel like a complete band but two units stacked together with duck tape.

The guitarist, Marcus Jidell, formerly of The Ring and Royal Hunt, is doing what he's asked more than decently. I will not blame him for anything since Leif is probably writing everything again. Musically, it's somewhat akin to the hard hitting, epic but melodic side of Heaven and Hell's sole album, The Devil You Know mixed with acoustic guitars and keys. It's a very safe album without any monstrous and apparent flaws but don't be fooled, the quality is just not present. I guess if you like doom metal to be as insipid and easy listening as a pop album or a Michael Bay movie, go right ahead and listen to that sleek Nuclear Blast production. I'll listen to bands who still care about doom.

I want heavy doom riffs AND OH female vocals but I can't write them to fit together!”

Sure, it's not bad, Jennie-Ann Smith has a nice, lush voice reminding me of Ronnie James at times and it would had been appropriate for her to front Candlemass. There was no need to slightly change the epic doom formula by releasing yet another album under another name. At least Steve Harris had the decency to release an awful album under his own name instead of soiling the Maiden monicker, Leif is just adding more salt and pepper here and there and scream: “Voilà, something different!”. Nope, I don't care.

I made bacon and chocolate cookies the other day, they turned out better than this band because the recipe was cohesive. Also, compared to the riffs Leif is writing, bacon is and will always be tasty. This is overcooked.


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