Female fronted doom bands are all the rage these days, and for good reason. The juxtaposition of down-tuned lurching metal with soaring female vocals is usually quite successful. Avatarium's take on this metal movement answers a question you didn't know you had: What would Black Sabbath's 13 sound like if Adele fronted the band?
The answer to that question is, "awesome!"
I dug the band right away, so I was surprised to learn this band is a supergroup because the band has its own clear identity. The lineup is lead by Leif Edling (Candlemass) on bass with Marcus Jidell (Evergrey) on guitar, Lars Sköld (Tiamat) on drums, and Carl Westholm (Jupiter Society) on keyboards. Sure, that's already a phenomenal lineup, but the true star of the band is the relatively unknown Jennie-Ann Smith.
It would be easy to compare her performance to Mlny Parsonz from Royal Thunder, but Smith's approach reminds more of the beloved British singer Adele, particularly on the album's oping track "Moonhorse."
The music on this record is slow, heavy, and driven by memorable riffs. It seems to be heavily influenced by early Sabbath, Edling's main band Candlemass, and recent Tony Iommi work like Heaven & Hell. I forgot just how great Jidell is on guitar. When he isn't crushing the listener with lurching guitar, he's shredding like a beast.
The record is thankfully not JUST doom. There is the melodic vocal driven "Lady In The Lamp" which starts off haunting and gorgeous then builds to the perfect crescendo for the album. Also, "Boneflower" is a great mid-tempo number that brings some upbeat vibes to the dark record.
I'd love to hear more from this band than just this stellar debut.