Friday, December 1, 2023

A Love Like Ours with Avatarium

Following the release of their chart-topping studio album Death, Where Is Your Sting, Swedish doom rock act Avatarium will not only embark on a European tour with Swallow The Sun this Spring, but has just premiered a new music video for the album opening track ‘A Love Like Ours‘. 

Band member Marcus Jidell said: “This song was created together with one of the world’s most interesting and skilled cello players, Svante Henryson. When I was a teenager I saw him play one of Bach’s cello suites on a Yngwie Malmsteen concert, all alone on the big stage. I have loved his talent ever since and it’s an honour to work with him! I also hope you’ll enjoy this video, created by Niklas Palmklint and Jennie-Ann Smith, as much as I do.” 

You can check out the video here at RAMzine.

Almost 10 years ago, Candlemass’s Leif Edling made the doom metal world a darker and more interesting place with new band, Avatarium. Over the next eight years the band released four critically acclaimed studio albums, two EPs, and a live DVD, An Evening With Avatarium – Live in Stockholm. Edling eventually left the band’s ranks due to health issues, but the band forged onward, and last year found them capping off a prolific decade with their new album and AFM Records debut, Death, Where Is Your Sting, back in October.

After the Stockholm-based collective shared previously released songs, ‘God Is Silent’ as well as the album title track, a haunting black & white lyric video was dropped for third single, aptly titled ‘Stockholm’. “This a song about hope and the courage to continue even in the darkest of hours!” said vocalist, Jennie-Ann Smith at the time.

Avatarium has always operated with the keywords “dark”, “heavy” and “poetic”. The band has evolved since their 2013 self-titled debut, and although they have introduced new elements along the way, they continue to operate within this doom-laden framework.

Yet they are somewhat unique within doom metal, fronted by Jennie-Ann, unintentionally breaking genre boundaries. She has learned a lot from working with Leif Edling, whom she affectionately refers to as “The Master Of Doom”, and Death, Where Is Your Sting, marks the first time Smith has written all the lyrics for an album. This is significant in that lyrics have always inspired the song arrangements in Avatarium.

“There’s a red thread from our debut album dealing with all sorts of existential questions,” Smith revealed. “That’s what doom is to me. I come from a different musical background, but when it comes to thinking about death, I’m a natural (laughs). Avatarium is a vehicle that soothes the seriousness and offers the sheer joy of music. There are all these layers on the new album; it is intellectual, it is existential, there are serious topics of religion, philosophy and psychology, but you can still just enjoy the music and get lost in the riffs.”

Death, Where Is Your Sting was written over a two-year period, during the global pandemic. The band was forced to adjust to the routine of band members and people around them getting covid, delaying and rescheduling writing and recording sessions as needed. Both guitarist Marcus Jidell and Smith believe that the album turned out for the better in the end, even though it was a very long process to get it done:

“We often wonder when we’re writing, ‘Is it too much of this or that?'” Jidell said. “We have the feeling that people who like Avatarium – our fans and followers – they enjoy it more when we push boundaries and step out in the deep water instead of just repeating the same stuff over and over. Every song has its own life, but it is supposed to be listened to as an album. It’s important for us to try to take the listener on a journey.
Death, Where Is Your Sting 
was produced by Marcus Jidell, mixed by Mats Valentin and Jidell, and was mastered by Svante Forsbäck. The album will be available on October 21, 2022 as Digipak, Vinyl and ltd. 2-CD Earbook (including 5-track bonus CD) via AFM Records, and can b be pre-ordered here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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