'Hail The Apocalypse'
'Hail The Apocalypse' is the fifth full length studio album by Swedish band Avatar, and the first time I've come across the band if I'm honest, despite the fact they've been producing material since 2003.
After listening to this opus, however, I'm more than happy to recommend this album to you if you're looking for something a little different.
'Get In Line' is a fast paced number with vocalist Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström navigating his way through the rather wordy verses with ease while the chorus is spat out with what seems like an extra bit of venom. The guitar track drives the song onwards with drummer, John Alfredsson, playing a fairly simple but effective beat. Eckerström shows how good he really is with some sustained notes and the different vocal styles he incorporates throughout the song from (almost) spoken word to an aggressive singing style.
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'What I Don't Know' has an almost Black Sabbath feel to it (think 'Planet Caravan' and you'll get what I mean) before the main guitar riff kicks in. The track has an upbeat rhythm and with the addition of some backing vocals during the simple chorus helps to cement the song in your brain.
The slower mid section adds something extra to the song as does the well performed guitar solo. Definitely one of my favourites of this album – so much so, in fact that it's been added to my Summer 2014 playlist.
'Something In The Way' is another slower number and with the oft repeated phrase of the title Eckerström gives another great performance. This is an epic number and a highly rated track for me, with its slow, measured and incredibly heavy tone as the drums beat out a steady rhythm while the bass guitar from Henrik Sandelin joins in with some solid low chords.
The addition of keyboards in the background gives the track a gothic feel and the only negative thing is the sudden stop which completely kills the song. Unless, of course, it serves as an intro to the final number, 'Tower'.
By far and away, though, the most unusual track here is 'Puppet Show' which is really a cleverly written comedy song, but with a twisted edge. The joyful fairground opening gives way to the vocals which are joined by some heavy guitar adding a creepy undertone to the track.
The slower mid section has some piped music taking over adding an extra bit of menace to the sound and as the track begins to speed up you genuinely being to wonder where the sing is going and how the band came up with such a bizarre track. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of these people who hates clowns but thinks song is just genius!
You can see the official video for 'Bloody Angel' here:
You can see Avatar live here:
Friday 8th August – Alcatraz Metal Festival, Kortrijk, Belgium
Saturday 9th August – The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes, UK
Sunday 10th August – Bloodstock Festival, Derbyshire, UK
Sunday 5th October – Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, USA
Saturday 25th October – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
'Hail The Apocalypse' Track list:
Hail The Apocalypse
What I Don't Know
Death Of Sound
Get In Line
Something In The Way
Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström – Vocals
Kungen – Guitar
Tim Öhrstrom – Guitar
Henrik Sandelin – Bass
John Alfredsson – Drums
Official Website: http://avatarmetal.com