Swedish death metal band, Avatar, released their fifth, and currently most recent album, Hail The Apocalypse on May 13, 2014! It reached number 97 on the Billboard 200, making it their first release to reach the charts. It actually went all the way up to number six on the Top Hard Rock Albums Chart here in the US, and peaked the top 30 on two others here in the US as well.
Despite the success, we couldn't find a lot of information regarding the album such as inspirations, backstories, ect. All we could find is that it was recorded in Thialand, and was released through Entertainment One Records. So, we went into this review more or less completely blind, and what we found wa slightly interesting.
Their genre appears to be up for some debate. We've seen groove metal, death metal, groove metal, and melodic death metal. We personally decided to go with melodic death metal because when we hear the words "Death metal", we picture extremely heavy music and gutural growls that only certain people will understand, along with dark lyrics. Over all, they fit that bill, but its a bit more muted, and not quite that heavy. We picked up on some vibes similar to Five Finger Death Punch on one track, and then Cradle of Filth or Children of Bodom on other tracks.
Any fans of dark music will probably love this, its just not quite our taste. Its a bit too heavy, and the screaming is a bit much for us, but we definitely see how fans would love it. One track we did really like was, "Death of Sound." The lyrics paint a beautiful picture right from the start, and seems to be a bit of a cry for help. It sucks you in from the very first line, "Welcome to the wasteland, the universe between. Dive into the darkness, and see the end and oblivion."
Most of the tracks are like that, telling a story all of their own. That is something we can admire, even if we're not a massive fan of what we hear. Other tracks that stood out to us, for their story more than anything, included, "Bloody Angel", and "Murderer."
What do you think of the album? Or for that matter, the genre on its own? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.
For anyone interested, you can get this album, Hail The Apocalypse wherever music is sold. You can also catch Avatar live at Fort Rock, Welcome To Rockville, or Carolina Rebellion here in the US this April / May and in Norway at Norway Rock on July 8. For more information, please visit the festival websites, and be sure to check out Avatar's website for all sorts of updates. It appears as though they are in the studio right now, and are updating fans frequently.
All reviews have the date they were written, the album title, and the band's name, with the exception of Life Starts Now by Three Days Grace and Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. Those dates were guessed at, as they were written well before the website began.