Avatar is a melodic death metal band from Göteborg, Sweden that formed in 2011. The band went through a few lineup changes in their early days, but all of it was before the release of their first demos were ever released.
The band was formed by the drummer, John Alfredsson and the singer, Johannes Eckerström, who are still in the band today. In the band with them are Jonas "Kungen" Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström on guitars, and Henrik Sandelin on bass.
The band's first full length album came out on January 25, 2006, and was called Thoughts Of Now Tomorrow. The album peaked at number 47 on Sweden Albums Top 60, and their success only rose from that.
Their second album, Schlacht came on October 24, 2007, and reached number 27 on the charts! After tour with In Flames wihtin that year, they got Björn Gelotte, who is In Flames guitarist to contribute a guitar solo on "Letters To Nevernd." This set them up for quite a bit of consistent touring, and festival performances around Sweden.
Their third album is what really got them more attention. The self titled album was released in November 2009 in Sweden only. It reached number 36 on their charts, and Avatar set out to take it further. They signed with Sony Music in January 2010 to release the album in Germany and Switzerland. The album was released in those two places on March 26, 2010, and the band just kept going. In April, they signed with the Japanese label Art Union and released the album over in Japan on May 19. After spreading their album to two continents, they set out to tour with Warrior Soul, Dark Tranquility and Helloween at different times over the course of 2010, and into early 2011.
Something else that really helped them was the music video they made for "Queen Of Blades", which is the opening track on their self titled album. The song is about a fictional character named Sarah Kerrigan from the Starcraft game, which is through Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertaiment heard about this and mentioned it on their social media websites, which caused Avatar to get a lot of attention among the fans of the game.
Given the fact that Blizzard Entertainment is based out of Irvine, California, and the band had yet to release an album in the US, it seems fair to say they were a big help in getting Avatar attention in the US. Their fourth studio album, Black Waltz was the first album to be released in the US, and it came out on February 14. The following February, they embarked on their first tour ever in the US, with Lacuna Coil and Sevendust.
They then got to tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch, after Device had to drop off the tour, before flying over to Thialand to record their fifth, and currently most recent studio album, Hail The Apocalypse. The album was released through eOne Music on March 17, 2014 and sparked a lot of attention. They have gone on to play several tours both here in the US, and Europe as headliners, and supporting acts, and have performed at several festivals such as Rock On The Range, and Louder Than Life.
We're not going to say you absolutely have to listen to this band, because they're most definitely not for everyone. If you're into borderline death metal, and extremely heavy music, chances are you're going to absolutely LOVE Avatar. If that's not quite your cup of tea, you're not going to be impressed. We're not exactly a fan, but can see how others would be. They're rather dark, lyrically, and are heavy in their own manner that's slightly difficult to explain.
Their success is continuing to grow, and you can catch them live at many festivals this year as well! In this order, they will be performing at Fort Rock, Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, and Norway Rock, later in the summer. For further information, head over to the respective festival websites. Also be sure to check out Avatar's website because they are currently in the studio working on a new album! We have no information on when the album may be complete or when it will be released, but stay tuned! Maybe they will have information soon.
What do you think of Avatar? Do you love them, or are they not quite your taste? Let us know in the comments below, over on Facebook, or Tweet us @Musicvamp527.
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