Avatar
Black Waltz


4.0
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
February 8th, 2012 | 66 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Avatar have evolved into something special

Avatar have seemingly transformed into what can only be described as a technical, melodic death 'n' roll unit. Regardless of how one wishes to classify them now, their new album is one interesting metal piece well worth anyone’s time. Starting out as a rather traditional melodic death metal band back in 2001, Avatar have worked and tweaked their sound up to quite a unique level. Welding hard rock and minor electronic influences to their melodeath base has proven to be a great idea and Black Waltz is most definitely the band's most exciting release to date. Smoothly transitioning from rockin' guitar riffs to more death metal orientated sections, all the while keeping an undercurrent of melody and maintaining a degree of technicality, Black Waltz contains something for everyone.

Technically, one could even go as far as to call this avant-garde metal, since there’s no denying that Black Waltz is special compared to its peers. It doesn’t sound like Wolverine Blues with more melody, nor does it act like Dark Tranquillity with added hard rock riffs and grooves. No, this is something entirely different. No two songs sound the same on this album and the listener is constantly greeted with engaging dynamics (whether it be on the face of unexpected guitar gears kicking in, the bass coming into play more vividly, or untraditional instruments, like flutes, popping up). Better yet, the album is incredibly cohesive, with every dynamic, part and song seamlessly flowing right into the next one, making Black Waltz an addictive listen.

The biggest strength of the album is how it is able to be experimental, yet feel perfectly designed. It already sounds challenging to mix together hard rock, melodeath and experimental metal to successful results, but Avatar have clearly mastered the technique, seeing as, for example, placing a proper stoner rock cut ("Let It Burn") right in the middle of the album proves to be of no challenge to them. Better still, they move on with chugging riffs and ferocious screams opening up the following track, "One Touch", like nothing had happened in between the aggressive "Blod" and it. Doesn’t matter whether Avatar are playing more death metal influenced tunes (the title track, "Blod"), rockers ("In Napalm", "Let It Burn") or avant-garde stuff ("Smells Like A Freak Show", "Use Your Tongue"), they are equally adept at them all. On Black Waltz, Avatar sounds like a band that is completely in peace with itself and whatever it sets out to do/try.

Black Waltz, for me, is the first really positive surprise of 2012. The songs on here are diverse, addictive, full of crafty guitar- and vocal work and defined by focused songwriting. If there is one thing that could be complained about, it’s that the production is a bit too clean (a little fuzz or grime would not have hurt), but that is a minor gripe. The band has managed to build an impressive and riveting structure of sound on top of its melodeath base. Avatar clearly decided to break the mold, refusing to merely stay as yet another melodic death metal band from Sweden, and you can tell. On Black Waltz, they manage to be experimental without sacrificing any cohesion and the result is an engaging metal album that succeeds in every field.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


8363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The three different sides of the band:

Black Waltz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqDnFUWzftk

Let it Burn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW46dJSxyXI

Use Your Tongue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu10az0apY4

CaptainDooRight
February 8th 2012


29149 Comments


I don't care for the bands these guys are related to but your review was thought provoking so I'll check this out. POS.

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

Hawks
February 8th 2012


35824 Comments


This actually sounds pretty cool. Nice review as always man. I'll check this out for sure.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


8363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CaptainDooRight - not really sure that this is your style but thanks anyway.

Hawks - I can definitely see you liking it, man.

Hawks
February 8th 2012


35824 Comments


Hawks - I can definitely see you liking it, man.

I'll definitely get on it.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


16398 Comments


The part where the guy had a condom going in his nose and out his mouth in the video for the title track was both fascinating and horrifying.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


8363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, so true Crysis.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


16398 Comments


Listening to "Let it Burn" and honestly I'm not sure whether I like this band or not.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


8363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Like I said, all the songs sound different from one another so if you're interested you could get the whole album and then make your decision ;).

Aphrodisiac
February 8th 2012


1739 Comments


a blatant pocahontas rip off

Tyrael
February 8th 2012


20879 Comments


this is pretty good

not sure if it warrants a 4.5 though

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


8363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, actually, I'm gonna bump it down to a 4. Don't want people wishing for the second coming of christ in musical form, because, well, this isn't it. Still really, really good though.

Tyrael
February 8th 2012


20879 Comments


they still look like complete morons though

but great review man

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2012


8363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Personally I don't give two shits about their appearance, as long as they keep producing material like this, they can look like reptilian clowns for all I care (and I hate clowns and am afraid of snakes).

And thanks Tyr.

CutMan
February 8th 2012


1789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, a member of this band is on the HevyDevy forums, he posted a link to their music video off here. That was really good, I should listen to the rest of this.

TheSpirit
February 8th 2012


17859 Comments


Very good review Style. The samples sound real good, I think I'll give this a full listen.

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

CutMan
February 8th 2012


1789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So much Varg on this page.

Kris.
February 8th 2012


12345 Comments


the cover looks like a psychopathic records release not sure if want

Kris.
February 8th 2012


12345 Comments


listening to the title track nvm do want

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


7391 Comments


I can't really warm up to the melodeath influence all over it, but this might be an interesting listen. As usual, great review mate.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus



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