Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The madcap brilliance of Avatar makes even the (Dance) Devil Dance

Upon hearing Dance Devil Dance for the first time one thing is first immediately clear, this album has swagger. More than any previous album, Avatar are at their most confident in their ability to bring together a wide range of influences into a coherent listen. No band has since (arguably) Faith No More have managed to create, within a cauldron of genres, music so utterly unique and accessible to the mainstream.
‘On The Beach’ could be the song that best encompasses everything that Dance Devil Dance is about. The neck-breaking groove of the main riff, flashes of technical brilliance sprinkled throughout, the quirkiness of the chorus that dips a toe into the pop world and also utterly heavy interlude/midsection. The song’s twists and turns make sense, not only that but it is damn enjoyable and unbelievably accessible.

There is a clear sense from previous albums of the band pushing ever more for a more mainstream audience and with Dance Devil Dance to push further towards the mainstream while retaining they’re ever eccentric qualities. Be it the Rammstein-inspired opening riff of ‘Dance Devil Dance’ that then dives into a southern rock blues swamp, before soaring free with a chorus that would not be out of place on a power metal album. ‘Chimp Mosh Pit’ starts off as a homage to Nu-Metal with a riff that would rock any rock club dance floor and a customary fist-pumping chorus, which retains a sense of mischief throughout. ‘The Dirt I’m Buried In’ is a song that is just made to dominate the radio waves (sorry Im old school I mean streaming services), it is near perfect commercial rock song, yet it has a hint of incongruity to still be unmistakably Avatar. Normally when a band pushes a direction like this it can be very alienating for fans. Avatar though have naturally progressed in this direction, thus never leaving any fans behind and bringing more to their cause.
It must be stated this album is at times HEAVY!! There are so many times during Dance Devil Dance where a song would not sound out of place on a Gojira record. You got the industrial pummelling of ‘Valley of Disease’, the blast beat joy with hints Pantera groove of ‘Do You Feel In Control’, the Slipknot-inspired death metal chug of ‘Clouds Dipped In Chrome’. Make no mistake about it, these songs are heavy. It shows that despite the band’s evolution and their continual quest to be more expressive they have not forgotten their melodic death/thrash metal roots.
While Avatar sounds nothing like Faith No More, Dance Devil Dance reminds me of a more metal version of ‘Angel Dust‘. Meaning, each song is unique and showcases a different dimension of the band, while also sounding like Avatar. What is also extraordinary is that this album is as lean as you can get, there is not one moment that outstays its welcome. Dance Devil Dance is a laser-focused body of work that aims to deliver maximum impact with every moment. For a mainstream metal album, you will be hard-pushed to find a more enjoyable listen than this.

Dance Devil Dance is released on 17th of February via the label Black Waltz Records.

Steve Jackson
Steve Jackson
Easy All, my life essence is fueled by music of the quality kind, be it any form of metal, pop, prog, classical even a little hippity hop. I give all music a fair listen. Outside of music my other love's are films, graphic novels, gaming, my kitties and last but not least JD!! If there is a beastly gig on you will most likely find me in the pit (my general life motto also) \m/

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Upon hearing Dance Devil Dance for the first time one thing is first immediately clear, this album has swagger. More than any previous album, Avatar are at their most confident in their ability to bring together a wide range of influences into a coherent...The madcap brilliance of Avatar makes even the (Dance) Devil Dance