It’s time to GET IN LINE with AVATAR
I first learned about the heavy hitting band from Sweden about a year ago. I was preparing for Shiprocked 16 cruise and one of the bands on the list was Avatar. As with a lot of bands on the bill, I gave them a listen and was drawn in almost immediately. After seeing them live on the ship and in my area a few times, they have quickly climbed to the top of my favorite bands list.
1) Their live show is one of the best. The energy they display from the moment they take the stage until the strike of the last note of their final song is clearly evident. They don’t just play each song, but also interact with the crowd, which I love. They connect with the fans at every show and make you feel as if you are part of the main act. It’s also funny to watch lead singer Eckerström drink not from a water bottle but from a gas can. I also think it’s great that after the local shows they come out to meet and talk to the fans to sign autographs and, if they can, take photos. You don’t need to purchase a VIP pass or a meet and greet — they just do it.
2) When I first started listening to them Black Waltz was their latest album. They have released six albums over the last 10 years: Thoughts of No Tomorrow (2006), Schlacht (2007), Avatar (2019) Black Waltz (2012), Hail the Apocalypse (2014), and Feathers & Flesh (2016). Along with these albums they have released several singles and a few of them are “Hail the Apocalypse,” “Bloody Angel,” and from their latest album, “The Eagle has Landed.”
3) Some of my favorite songs:
“Smells Like a Freak Show”
“Hail the Apocalypse”
“Regret” and “House of Eternal Hunt”
“The Eagle Has Landed”
“Tooth, Beak & Claw”
These are just a few of my favorite songs, some with heavy riffs and some with smooth melodies. You can’t go wrong listening to these songs first if you have never heard Avatar before.
4) Prior to the album Black Waltz the band didn’t have a specific style, but during the filming for the music video for the single “Black Waltz,” the band wanted to add something. They asked their makeup artist to come up with something to make frontman Johannes Eckerström fit in with the characters. The results of this was the “Clown” face paint, which Eckerström is also seen wearing on the album cover. Eckerström has said, “… Something clicked… seeing that face, it awakened something that really wasn’t there before; or was but was well hidden… Suddenly the music got its face.” You can see this on the album artwork as well as live shows where he leads his band as a ring leader would in the circus.
5) I have seen them several times, most recently at Rock Allegiance in Chester, PA, and every time I see them, the show seems to get better and better. I have seen them on big festival tours and small venues. As much as I love to see them on big stages with huge bands, I truly love seeing them in small venues, such as the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA, a tiny venue they played las May, and probably the best show of theirs I have seen. If they come to your town be sure to take the time to check them out.
If you find yourself at Louder than Life “LTL” in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend, make sure you check out their show. They may not get a long set but it will be one of the best acts of the weekend. Get there early to get a front row seat to the circus. Avatar will give you an amazing performance, this I promise you.