Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams


Sweden has produced some of the best and most creative progressive metal music in the world for a considerable amount of time.

The band Avatar are near the top of the food chain in my humble opinion. Sporting a fantastic live show and nearly limitless energy, the Swedish 5 piece also writes epic songs full of quirky diversity.

These guys aren’t afraid to experiment with their style, and with 2016’s wildly ambitious concept album, Feathers & Flesh, they raised their own bar and broke through into uncharted territory. The storyline of the record centers around an owl who goes to war with the world to keep the sun from rising.

It was inspired by a fable written by French writer Jean de La Fontaine. Although the concept is pretty intellectual ground for a metal band, Avatar manages to combine wit, finesse, raw power, catchy hooks, and choruses that stick in your head for days, not to mention glorious lead vocals and tons of shredding guitar work.

If you are looking for something that breaks the barriers and strives to lead the pack into uncharted territory instead of blindly following the stale trends of the day, then give Avatar a chance. You can thank me later!

On This Day in History

On this date in history, 5/3/2018, I witnessed AVATAR whip a capacity crowd into a frenzy at Piere’s in Ft. Wayne, IN. There is something so thrilling about seeing a band poised on the brink of massive success playing at an intimate club and generating a magical performance. This band has been active since 2001 and have only had one membership change since that time. Comprised of drummer John Alfredsson, bassist/backing vocalist Henrik Sandelin, the twin guitar arsenal of Tim Öhrström and Jonas Jarlsby, and front man extraordinaire, Johannes Eckerström, AVATAR hails from Sweden. Their show drenched perfection, from the pristine sound to the nonstop energy of the entire band, covering a wide stylistic range of original material from their excellent catalog. Eckerström is a born performer with a chameleon voice capable of deep soothing baritone croons, piercing highs a la Rob Halford in his prime, and throat shredding metal growls and screams. Add this to his face painted “clown” persona, the man never stopped moving throughout the performance, with the exception of the several times he spoke to the crowd and described the correlation of the energy give and take between a band and its audience. I feel I can speak for that audience tonight. We all felt something special was going on, and AVATAR knew it, responded to it, and were genuinely moved by it. This band is going places, and I was part of something truly remarkable tonight.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

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