Review by Raymond Westland
Leif Edling is first and foremost known as bassist/main composer for Swedish doom metal institute Candlemass. He’s also involved with Krux and some other projects as well. His latest musical endeavour is Avatarium, which also features members from Evergrey, Candlemass and Tiamat.
Avatarium oozes doom metal, but the music is more adventurous and atmospheric than Candlemass. In fact Krux, Leif’s more progressive outfit, would be a better reference point. That being said, the monolithic guitar riffs that form the backbone of ‘Moonhorse’, ‘Boneflower’ and ‘Bird Of Prey’ are still unmistakably from Edling’s hand. The band’s other main asset are the impressive vocal abilities of Jennie-Ann Smith. She comes from a jazz/blues background and that’s exactly what sets her apart from your average run-of-the-mill female vocalist. She knows exactly what each song needs, vocal-wise.
The album is also quite a grower. Tracks like ‘Pandoras Egg’, ‘Tides Of Telepathy’ and the aforementioned ‘Moonhorse’ are very layered. It takes some time to digest it all properly before you reach the musical core of this record. Leif Edling is also a master in using contrasts and dynamics in his music. This gives Avatarium a sense of maturity and grandeur few others can match.
With Avatarium, Leif Edling doesn’t rewrite the doom metal book as he did with Candlemass, but the album itself contains enough perks and musical twists and turns to keep it fresh and exciting. For anyone with a penchant for all things dark and heavy Avatarium is certainly worth your time and attention.
8 out of 10
- Pandoras Egg
- Bird Of Prey
- Tides Of Telepathy
- Lady In The Lamp