Avatarium’s fifth studio album, “Death, Where is Your Sting?”, asserts a departure from their traditional doom metal roots and instead delves into the atmospheric prog folk-rock aspects of their sound. The electric guitars, together with the keys and strings, are used to create a sound landscape, allowing the vocals and acoustic elements to take center stage and shine. In this way the band is creating a unique and captivating soundscape that is sure to fascinate any listener.
The album features guest appearances from Svante Henryson (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) on cello, Hanna Helgegren on violin, Daniel Karlsson (Pain Of Salvation) on keyboards (“Mother, Can You Hear Me Now”) and Stefan Nykvist (Sarayasign) on backing vocals.
The album’s songwriting includes more atmospheric, acoustic, gloomy, and psych-folk elements than ever before. In every aspect, Avatarium has become the main band of Jennie-Ann Smith (vocals) and Marcus Jidell (guitars)… and that’s not always a bad thing, because this “new music style” of theirs feels more natural and closer to their inner cosmos. It kinda allows them to express themselves in a way that is more authentic and meaningful. Needless to say, Jennie-Ann shines throughout the album.
The album offers exceptional variation across its songs, making the overall listen really interesting. The first two tracks, “A Love Like Ours” and the eponymous one, are more acoustic and explore the band’s 70s prog and folk-rock influences. “Stockholm” keeps up the pace even though it has a few heavy touches. “Psalm for the Living” is utterly atmospheric and hypnotic, “God is Silent” is a heavy/doom gem, while “Mother Can You Hear Me Now” is a somewhat melancholic. The closing track, “Transcendent”, is a mesmerizing instrumental that swings dramatically between acoustic and heavy sections. The album explores themes of death and rebirth through different facets of doom and prog rock, in a way that feels fresh and emotionally compelling.
Over the last few years, Avatarium has developed its own distinct sound and style, which is evident on the new album. “Death, Where is Your Sting?” is a fully atmospheric and esoteric album that immerses listeners in a captivating gloomy landscape. With its unique blend of musical styles, this album is sure to leave a lasting impression.