Feathers & Flesh; if you’re not spinning it, you’re wrong
I recently had the great pleasure of catching Avatar live at Iron City in Birmingham, AL with In This Moment, Motionless In White, and Gemini Syndrome. The experience was overwhelming. Their performance was so theatrical and unique, and their sound was so dark, raw, and original; I had completely forgotten about the other two bands who I primarily went to see. They instantly became my favorite band. Naturally, I HAD to pick up a t shirt and their latest release from 2016 “Feathers and Flesh.” Now, that’s the only album I’ve been spinning for going on six weeks. Yes. It is THAT good.
The band’s sixth studio album “Feathers and Flesh” is a concept album about an owl who goes to war with the Sun, a fable written by the band. The album’s sound does a great job at pushing the story and has a lot of diversity in it without sounding too all over the place. I swear this record covers every sub genre in rock ‘n roll and heavy metal, but it works. It makes sense. In a recent interview, Johannes said that it is a tough album to sing, which makes sense because he covers many different vocal styles and techniques on this one, usually over the course of just one or two songs. His clean vocals have a lot of classic rock influence in them and even a little grunge can be spotted here and there. His harsh vocals remind me of some Killswitch Engage material, and his screams vary in style from death metal to hardcore. All of this is achieved while still holding on to the strange signature sound of Avatar – that carnivalesque freak show music from hell.
Oh, and the music videos for Eagle Has Landed and New Land are incredible, especially Eagle Has Landed. The whole video was filmed in one single, continuous shot, which is definitely not commonplace for that industry. It resembles an early 20th century silent film, but in full color high definition. It’s a delightful watch, and even if you aren’t a fan, I would still suggest you give it a view.
Eagle Has Landed music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p6GWewmTYQ
New Land music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNYEy2qabKU
One of my favorite things about this album, and Avatar’s music in general, is that it is very theatrical. Not just visually. When you listen to the album it feels huge and eventful; it inspires its own imagery exclusively through sound. It doesn’t just sound like a few swedes with electric guitars; it sounds like a complex, well thought out composition. “Feathers and Flesh” is a work of art more than it is just some metal CD, and the songs are movements more than they are tracks on a record. The whole thing is just epic, massive, and if you’re not buying it right now, then what are you even doing with your life. 10/10 would recommend buying; it’s the most satisfying purchase I’ve made in years (and I just bought a house). Warning: Moshing while driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death. Jam responsibly.