Swedish metal band Avatar has recently released their seventh studio album, “Avatar Country,” a concept album that pays tribute to the King of Avatar Country. The story begins in a barren dystopian wasteland where a man in a red cloak comes in riding on his majestic steed with a strange six-stringed axe slung across his back. The man shall make the land alive again through his guitar as metal music saves the country and the man shall be King.
The first thing we hear is an introductory track, “Glory To Our King,” with a chorus singing the praises of the King. Next is the epic “Legend of the King,” a mostly instrumental tune with minimal vocals and absolutely glorious guitars clocking in at just over eight minutes. “The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country” is a complete surprise with a solid country rock vibe that is really out of left field for Avatar but is an outstanding song with a catchy melody. Vocalist Johannes Eckstrom is in fine form especially on the heavier metal style of “King’s Harvest” which is followed by the hard rock riff of “The King Wants You.” It’s clear that the King is the theme of the album conceptually but the music is definitely all about the guitars. Guitarist Jonas “Kungden” Jarlsby is outstanding with explosive guitars and melodies defying all the boundaries of metal genres on this record. “The King Speaks” is a spoken word track with an announcer describing a king’s speech in humorous form including the king’s personal bathroom highlights, an interesting skit type inclusion. The full out metal assault of “A Statue of the King” is a highlight as are the hauntingly beautiful guitars at the beginning of “King after King.” Two instrumental tracks close out the album with the softer, barely there “Silent Songs of the King Pt.1 Winter Comes When the King Dreams of Snow” leading into the majestic “Silent Songs of the King Pt2 The King’s Palace.”
“Avatar Country” is truly a tribute to the King not only in name but in the majesty of the guitar driven melodies that encapsulate the listener. All hail the King! All hail Avatar!