Hailing from Stockholm, gloomy metal outfit AVATARIUM was founded in late 2012. Following the success of their eponymous debut, out on November 01st, 2013 and the first ever single ‘Moonhorse’, released September 20th of the same year, AVATARIUM have just announced the release of their new EP ‘All I Want’. The vinyl/digital only EP will be out November 14th, 2014 via Nuclear Blast.
Mid 2013, just eight months within the bands’ history, the word was spreading rapidly about their special blend of heavy adventurous music: Influenced by the likes of JETHRO TULL, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, adding the peaks of pop and 60’s vibes, AVATARIUM deliver some delicate moments of beauty and frailness rarely to be found in a band these days.
It all began in winter 2012, when Leif Edling (ex-CANDLEMASS) needed help to demo a couple of songs he was working on, and Marcus Jidell (ex-EVERGREY) offered to help. Weeks turned into months and a few songs became the first full length album »Avatarium«, mixed by well-known Swedish engineer Ronny Lahti.
Enter 2014, AVATARIUM feel the need to break new grounds musical wise and after listening to some old vinyl records, the desire to get closer to this kind of material was born.
While the two musicians got deeper into exploring where they want to take the music of AVATARIUM and how they can keep things interesting for themselves and for the fans, yet another song was created, and the idea to make a new EP was fully set.
The old spirit comes even more alive, with psychedelic percussionist Michael Blair, who has worked with Tom Waits and Lou Reed among others, guesting on ‘All I Want’.
Commented guitarist Marcus Jidell: “He showed up at the studio with a big ”bag of tricks” with metals, crashers, shakers and a lot of strange things which he made sound like if you throw in a punkrocker at Woodstock and feed him with psychedelic pills!” About the new songs, he adds: “We tried to keep things simple and spontaneous during the recordings, something I hope people will be able to hear. Also I think that Jennie-Ann Smith has reached new levels with the way she sings on both of the new songs!”
Track listing for ‘All I Want’ will be as follows:
The three live songs were recorded at the 2013 edition of renowned Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands, which was the second ever AVATARIUM show and the first one outside of Sweden.
Amorphis has just announced to be hitting the road in late December in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of their legendary 1994 release ”Tales From The Thousand Lakes”.Metal Hammer presents:
Amorphis – Tales From The Thousand Lakes 20th Anniversary tour
26.12. D Berlin – Huxley’s Neue Welt
Joining in the band on tour will be Swedish label mates Avatarium.
Commented guitarist Esa Holopainen: “We are really happy to have AVATARIUM as a special quest for Tales From The Thousand Lakes 20th Anniversary tour. A year ago on tour in Germany we hooked up with Nuclear Blast guys and they brought us several of their new releases. Being a huge fan of CANDLEMASS I was obviously really interested in AVATARIUM release. I guess this was one of the albums everybody enjoyed listening to and why not, the band and their music is great!”
Presented by Metal Hammer, EMP, Musix, Blast!, Legacy, Metalnews
Avatarium To Redefine Doom at The 2014 Roadburn Festival Afterburner
Our brand new self-titled album, AVATARIUM is out now in EU and will be out on Monday in North America!
Here’s where you can get it worldwide:
Avatarium Landing Page: http://bit.ly/avatarium
Swedish doom titans Avatarium are streaming their stunning self-titled debut album in its entirety, exclusively with Terrorizer.
The band’s all-star lineup (featuring legendary doom metal pioneer Leif Edling (Candlemass) on bass, Marcus Jidell (Evergrey) on guitar, Carl Westholm (Candlesmass) on keyboards, Lars Sköld (Tiamat) on drums and singer extraordinaire Jennie-Ann Smith) have struck gold with this one, a powerful and progressive doom journey that will have fans of Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth foaming at the mouth.
Guitarist Marcus Jidell had this to say about the making of ‘Avatarium’:
Check it out below…
Tell us how Avatarium came to be?
Marcus-Leif contacted me one day and asked me if I could help him to record some demos. We met a few weeks later and he played Moonhorse for me. I was totally blown away by the song and we started to record the demo. Both me and Leif are very big fans of 60’s and 70’s music and we wanted to catch that kind of vibe when we arranged and recorded it. I brought in a 12 string guitar for example and played a slide guitar solo in the end. When we listened to the final result I think we both felt that we were on to something very special and unique. When we should record demo vocals we brought in Jennie-Ann since we wanted someone to sing on it with the same approach towards music the we had. She wasn’t supposed to sing on the album but when we heard her vocals there wasn’t any question about if she should or not. I couldn’t sleep that night because I was so exited about how the music sounded with Jennie-Anns vocals on it.Leif-It was going to be a doom band first with Michael from Opeth and Nicke Andersson on drums. Then Michael started the work on the new Opeth album and I had a couple of really good songs that I wanted to do something with. I started demoing with Marcus and it all came together so well that we tried out Jennie-Ann, and AVATARIUM was born
Jennie-Ann Smith, your name is new to people in the metal world, please tell us a bit about your musical history
Jennie-Ann-I’ve been working with music since an early age and have been involved in many different musical projects as a freelance musician over the years here in Stockholm, both in studio work and in live touring. Nowadays I mainly work, part time, as a psychosocial counselor in one of the major hospitals here in Stockholm. It is a choice that gives me the opportunity to grow in many ways and that enables me to take on musical projects that I really feel for.How did you come to be involved with Avatarium?
Jennie-Ann- Marcus asked if I would come down to his studio in Stockholm, I met Marcus many years ago when we both worked together with a Swedish artist. I know that Leif and Marcus initially were looking for a male singer with a more bluesy kind of feeling for Avatarium and had discussed different alternatives. I was asked to sing on the demos and obviously they liked what they heard
Your voice is amazing, to my ears your voice has a very romantic, soulful quality, I could have mistaken you for an American blues or soul singer,who are your vocal influences?
Jenni-Ann- Thank you so very much! As you very well noticed I do come from a jazz/blues/soul and rock’n roll influenced background. The list of musicians that have inspired me is of course long, I grew and became a grown up listening to: Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, Robert Plant, Donny Hathaway, Tom Petty, Little Richard, Mavis Staples, Joni Mitchell, …Honestly I have never really listened to metal but I do like rock/hardrock and as a teenager, playing in my first rock band we listened a lot to bands like Rainbow and Deep Purple so I guess it also would be appropriate to also mention singers such as Joe Lynn Turner and Ronnie James Dio on this list as well.
How would you describe the sound of Avatarium?
Marcus-Heavy, Dark and Poetic
Jennie-Ann- All of the arrangements on the record have been so well worked through and I would say that it, for the genre, has a very sophisticated sound. All of our individual contributions gives this record an interesting musical level, I think that Ronni Lahti did a great job with mixing it and he really accentuated a very natural flow between and through all the mood, temperament and ”genre-crossovers” that it holds.
Marcus, were you involved in the songwriting?
Marcus-I like to put it like this: Leif brings in a painting, almost finished, in black and white. I help him to finish it and to bring in the colors.
Marcus, did you approach your guitar playing any different in Avatarium then in Evergrey?
Marcus-I play the way I play but in this process we were very concerned about not being to technical and to make it very emotional. I always try to do that but this time I think I got closer then ever before.
Jennie-Ann, How did you approach singing the different songs? Did it take you a while to get the feel of the music or did it come quickly?
Jennie-Ann- I would say that it all came very natural. Leif is such a smart composer, the melodies are great and inspiring and most of the lyrics felt quite easy to relate to for me. Marcus, Leif and I worked together with both the musical and vocal arrangements and that creative freedom makes it both inspiring and easy. The whole process of making this album was so creative and fun, stay tuned for more material!
What inspired the band to do an acoustic version of ”War Pigs”?
Leif-It was Marcus and Jennies idea…..you have to ask Marcus, but it sounds really really great I think!
Marcus- We wanted to do something special for the EP for a start and since Jennie-Ann is a new name and voice for most people I had this idea of doing an acoustic recording with a very ”tight” feeling. I wanted to record and mix it so that you really felt that you where in the same room as us playing and singing this piece of music. Jennie-Ann suggested that we should do War Pigs and me and Leif thought that it was a good idea so I started to work on an arrangement that would suit the song in this format. There is always a big challenge to do a cover of such a great song but I think that we managed to do our own version of it and I hope that others
Vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith has an amazing soulful and beautiful voice, how was it writing songs for her voice Leif?
Leif-Well…I didn’t at first. The verse to Moonhorse was written for Michael Åkerfeldt, but Jennie did a wonderful job with it. Songs like “Bird of Prey” and “Pandoras Egg” where written for Jennie-Ann. She really got an amazing voice and I think she can sing pretty much anything and do wonders with it! It’s great to play with a bunch of so talented musicians!
Marcus, your solo in ”Lady in the Lamp” is beyond amazing! definetly one of my favorite songs, the slide guitar parts reminded me of classic Ritchie Blackmore, do you have a favorite song or solo on the record?
Marcus-Thank you! I have had different favorites at different times. Every song has been a favorite at one time during the recordings but I think that maybe the ending of ”Tides of Telepathy” is one of my favorite solos anyway. ..and being mentioned in the same sentence as Blackmoore is always a great compliment..
Will Avatarium be playing live?
Marcus-Of course we will be playing live. We are talking about it at this very moment and I can’t wait to do that!!
Leif-AVATARIUM will definitely play live. When the album comes out we will play in Stockholm and other places. Hopefully some international gigs too. A bunch of summer festivals would be nice as well
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