Female fronted doom bands have become quite a frenzy these days with a beautiful female voice rising amidst heavy metal. Avatarium is a 2 year old metal band which has amazed music lovers with their spectacular blend of heavy adventurous music. The band enjoys creating music which produces a perfect amalgamation of the nostalgia of the 60’s and 70’s hardrock music and a bit of pop and jazz music.
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The band is led by Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling who needed help to demo a few songs that he was working on. Guitarist Marcus Jidell offered to help and the few songs turned into a complete album which came out in Novemeber 2013 as Avatarium. With Lars Sköld on the drums and Carl Westholm on the keyboard, Jennie-Ann Smith’s vocals sounded fantastic and the album was dark and had heavy grooves. The album was received well by the community of doom band lovers.
The album had created a pathway for the formation of the band and ‘All I Want’ was released in November 2014 which displayed the band’s efforts to evolve further. The band rendered some psychedelic rock to the title track of the EP. The psychedlic break is performed by Michael Blair who guests on “All I Want” to add a refreshing psychedelic flavour to the song.
This year sees the launch of another full length album of the five-piece band. Their latest album is ‘The Girl with the Raven Mask’. The album has received acclaim from the people who find the inspirations of old school music mixed into the darkness of the band to be a creative twist.
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Leif Edling was the song-writer and bass player in Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. The band was considered to be one of the titans of doom metal community during the 1980’s and 1990’s till the band fell apart in 1994. Following the disbandment, Leif Edling started a band called Abstrakt Algebra which met with limited success. Candlemass regrouped and disbanded again but the charm of the band was lost and it was not able to build the same niche.
Marcus Jidell is one of the most popular metal guitarists of Swedish origin. He has been a member of progressive metal band Evergrey and Royal Hunt. He is influenced by players like Yngwie Malmsteen, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, Leslie West and Chuck Berry. He is the guitarist and producer for Avatrium’s latest album ‘The Girl with the Raven Mask’.
Lars Sköld is the drummer for Avatarium and Tiamat. The musician has been a part of Tiamat since 1994. He joined Avatarium when the band started and has been a part of the band since then.
Carl Westholm is an Avatarium band member since 2013 and has handled the keyboards primarily. In the band’s latest album Carl has displayed his skills on the piano, organ, theremin, mellotron, moog as well as the keyboard.
Jennie-Ann Smith is the voice behind the ethereal vocals of Avatarium. Leif Edling and Marcus were in search of a voice with a blues or a classical background. She also works as a psychosocial counsellor in one of the leading hospitals in Stockholm.
How Avatarium Works
The process of completing an album is lengthy and Avatarium works step by step to achieve the completion of the album. Leif Edling is the brains behind the songs and once he has a rough sketch of the songs a demo is performed with Marcus and once the two have created something strong enough, Jennie Ann steps in for the vocals.
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With the vocals included, the songs go through stages of perfection where the guitar keys and chords are matched to meet the emotion of the song. Then, the song is taken to the rehearsal studio where the entire band comes together to put the song together as a band. Rehearsals and recordings further perfect the song till the band decides it is ready to be recorded. Marcus Jidell who is the producer of the latest album says that he encourages the band members to add a personal touch to the songs so that the song identifies each member through the music.
Music influences of the band while creating ‘Girl with the Raven Mask’
The band focuses on blending heavy metal to folk and classical music. Some of their biggest influences are Black Sabbath and Rainbow. Avatarium also finds inspiration in Stills and Nash, Crosby and Mountain.
There is an influence of 60’s and 70’s style of music while one of the songs also has some strong jazz influences. While all of it is dominated by dark and heavy music, the perfect blend of the various types of music, give every song of the album an individualistic emotion.
While the band is still in the nascent stages, most of the band members have a popular history with music and fans around the world have appreciated their efforts so far.
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