Album review: Avatar - Feathers & Flesh
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★★★★★ 2016 has been a year filled with heavy metal concept albums. From Dream Theater to Fleshgod Apocalypse to Holy Grail to Amon Amarth, the metal subculture seems to be quickly filling itself with thematic records. But there’s just reason for this: the year’s concept albums have each – so far – been nothing short of sublime. Avant-garde Swedish metallers Avatar have now been handed the arduous task of continuing this trend, with their upcoming sixth album Feathers & Flesh focusing upon the story of an owl going to war to prevent the sun from rising. It is a narrative reminiscent of an Aesopian fable, telling of an individual doomed to failure. Avatar has always been a group prone to haunting imagery, with vocalist Johannes Eckerström’s on-stage persona being that of an evil clown while the rest of the band don ominous circus uniforms. Feathers & Flesh’s utilisation of fairy tale elements in what is ultimately a very nihilistic story adds to the band’s dark and subversive nature, transferring from the visual to the psychological.
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