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The Black Waltz

Company: Gain Entertainment
Release: 2012
Genre: Melodic death
Reviewer: ChaosLord

  • Ass kicking metal



  • Avatar is Sweden's newest export. I had never heard of this band until I caught them at a U.S. show recently. The band's sound and stage presence blew me out of the water and I bought their newest album, The Black Waltz before leaving the show. I proceeded to blast it all the way home and haven't taken it out of my rotation since. But on to the point of this rambling--the review.

    The Black Waltz is what In Flames wishes their last 3 albums could have been. It is a microcosm of Gothenburg Metal/Black and Traditional Metal all shaped into one giant ball of ass kicking metal. From the opening to the final track on the album, Avatar assaults every sense and leaves you bleeding and broken, wishing for that final blow to send you into oblivion.

    The guitar wielding duo of Jonas Jarlsby and Simon Andersson deliver a powerful 1-2 punch. They play off of each other and both are accomplished axe grinders. Capable of head splitting riffs, huge melody and enough speed to fuel the city of Gothenburg on a 2 day bender, these guys can play. Drummer John Alfredsson and bassist Henrik Sandelin bring up the rhythm section. Jazzy beats, fat bass lines and staccato paced blast beasts help pull together this musical carnival.

    And lead singer Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström, where do I begin with this guy. This dude is a giant, literally. He is the tallest man I've ever seen. Vocally, this dude is sick. He can go from death metal growls to power metal screams to metalcore vocals without missing a beat. His power metal chops are solid and he can belt out a good high with enough power to shatter glass. His growls would make Lucifer run into the darkest depths of hell and hide. His stage presence makes him even more of the total package you want in a front man. He is charismatic, engaging and well aware of how to involve a crowd.

    The album itself is phenomenal. From start to finish, there isn't a bad track on the disc. "The Black Waltz", "In Napalm" and "Ready for the Ride" are my favorite tracks off the album. Now, I'm sure that some people aren't going to like this band as much as I do or they could possibly think that I'm just totally insane, which is fine. I try to write my reviews as unbiased as possible but it's hard to keep my feelings about this one closely guarded. I believe though that metal heads will take a listen and see what I'm talking about with this album. So go out, give this a spin and get psycho!!!


    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: AVATAR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Hail the ApocalypseAvatar
    2014
    Eric Compton5/14/2014
    The Black WaltzAvatar
    2012
    Greg Watson3/15/2013


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: AVATAR

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: AVATAR
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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