It’s hard to imagine that only three years have passed since the world first heard AVATARIUM, who have since released two full-length albums and two EP’s, and made their way around Europe several times. But the band’s quick rise was not unexpected!
Word kept spreading rapidly about this unique band and its special blend of heavy adventurous music. Jethro Tull… Blue Oyster Cult… Black Sabbath… Rainbow… It’s all there together with some delicate moments of beauty and frailness – that you rarely find in a band these days – and tangents of pop and 60’s influences.
It all began in the winter of 2012 when Candlemass founder, bass player and songsmith Leif Edling needed help to demo a couple of songs he was working on, and guitarist Marcus Jidell (Soen, ex-Evergrey, ex-Royal Hunt) offered to help. Weeks turned into months and a few songs became the eponymous full length album that was then released into the world in late 2013.
This marked the international debut of singer Jennie-Ann Smith – who Leif has dubbed ”a female Ronnie James Dio” – and whose voice is perfect for AVATARIUM… deep, bluesy… and with a special timbre that will make your neckhairs stand on end. Two of Leif’s good friends complete the line-up: skinbeater extraordinarie Lars Sköld (Tiamat) on drums and Carl Westholm (Krux, Jupiter Society, Carp Tree) on a wide variety of keyboards and theremin wizardry.
That AVATARIUM had plenty of collective experience was evident as soon as the band started appearing on stages around Europe. The band’s very first show outside of Sweden took place at the prestigious Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands in April 2014 – where three tracks were recorded for the ”All I Want” EP, that was released in the fall. The new song ”Deep Well”, as well as the title track, came out of a desire to break new musical ground and the EP also featured psychedelic percussionist Michael Blair (who has worked with Tom Waits and Lou Reed), while Jennie-Ann’s singing reached yet another level.
The band has since continued to play many major festivals, such as Copenhell, Sweden Rock Festival, Summer Breeze and Rock Hard Festival, and toured Europe with bands such as Amorphis, before entering the studio to record their second album: the critically acclaimed ”The Girl With The Raven Mask”, which was released worldwide in October 2015.
On this, more collaborative effort, the band’s trademark sound was expanded upon, with both a few faster, as well as some folkier and jazzier, numbers – while not sacrificing any of the heavy doom-laden riffs. The band had just played their first show in Moscow, Russia and, following the release, AVATARIUM embarked on a three week headline tour of Europe. The album ended up at numerous ”best of 2015” charts, and was nominated for the independent music prize Manifest in Sweden.
In 2016 the band played Greece for the first time and – oddly enough – their hometown Stockholm, Sweden, as well as a handful of festival shows. AVATARIUM then received another nomination, ”best up and coming band”, for the German Metal Hammer Awards, in Berlin in September.
Moonhorse (EP, 2013)
Avatarium (album, 2013)
All I Want (EP, 2014)
The Girl With The Raven Mask (album, 2015)
TOURING LINE-UP: Jennie-Ann Smith (vocal & acoustic guitar), Marcus Jidell (electric guitar), Carl Westholm (keyboards & theremin), Lars Sköld (drums), Mats Rydström (bass).