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Meet Swedish Metal band Avatar, their History and New Album

Avatar © John Swider

Avatar is a Swedish heavy metal band, formed in Gothenburg, in 2001. The band has released seven studio albums, the most recent being Avatar Country in 2018. Avatar has had some success on US rock radio as well, notably with their song “New Land“, which peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in May 2017. When they hit the shores of North America in support of their latest release, they quickly became the “Must See” band of the year.

Formed by two kindred musical souls who had realized that their band was holding them back, Avatar were born when John Alfredsson and Jonas Jarlsby decided that their then-current positions in Lost Soul were going nowhere, so they left and regrouped under their new moniker. Eventually, Alfredsson and Jarlsby would be introduced to Johannes Eckerström, and the core of Avatar would be in place. To round out the membership and roster, Henrik Sandelin and Simon Andersson joined the fold in 2003 — just in time to record the band’s debut demo, Personal Observations.While gigging like mad to promote the band’s first calling card, Avatar stepped back into the studio to record their debut EP, 2004’s 4 Reasons to Die. Following the EP’s release, Avatar were given the opportunity to take their sound outside their native Sweden for the first time since the band’s 2001 inception. They next entered the studio to work on a debut full-length, and scored a deal with Gain Records during the recording process. That album, Thoughts of No Tomorrow, was released in 2006 and followed by two European tours, one with Impaled Nazarene, the other with Evergrey. Their busy year was rounded out with two shows alongside original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno.

Avatar © John Swider

In 2007 their sound and scintillating live performances finally started to gain some traction worldwide. They started off the year as the opening act for major metal act Stone Sour, and finished it off with a brand new album. The new album Schlacht, was released in October of that year and the band was quickly rewarded with a support slot on the 2008 Obituary tour. The group’s eponymous third studio album was released in 2009, and the next two years found Avatar hitting the tour circuit hard, including their first ever U.S. jaunt. Arriving in 2012, the well-received Black Waltz peaked at the number 25 slot in their native Sweden, and 2014’s Hail the Apocalypse soon became the first Avatar outing to crack the Billboard 200. In 2016 the band issued its sixth studio long-player, Feathers & Flesh, a conceptual piece about an owl who declares war on the world. Their seventh, Avatar Country, arrived in early 2018. Produced by Jay Ruston (Stone SourAnthraxSteel Panther), the album featured the singles “A Statue of the King” and “The King Wants You,” as well as Avatar‘s spin on the Swedish royal anthem “Glory to Our King.” The following year, the band released their first live outing, The King Live in Paris.

Avatar © John Swider

Now in 2020 Avatar stands at the precipice of the release of the new album aptly titled “Hunter Gatherer” due on August 7. The band revealed the name of the new disc in in a one-and-a-half-minute video teaser which was uploaded to AVATAR‘s official YouTube channel earlier this month. (Tuesday, May 5). A quick check of the albums song titles that are set to appear on the LP include “Colossus”, “Child”, “Scream Into The Void”, “Silence In The Age Of Apes” and “Secret Door”, the latter of which featuring a whistling guest turn by SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor.

Is this the album that puts Avatar on the fast track to stardom and allots them the opportunity to be the headliner of their own tour? We are all anxiously waiting on the release of Hunter Gatherer, but if I was a betting man, I would not hesitate pushing all in on this finally being the album that puts Avatar on top.

Avatar © John Swider
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Avatar © John Swider
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