Avatar are back with their newest offering “Dance Devil Dance.” From the start this album comes out swinging with energetic tempos and classic Avatar signature riffs. The full play through brings many interesting song arrangements with unexpected elements from track to track. One thing that holds true, this is Avatar!
The genre bending that Avatar does from album to album has carried over in “Dance Devil Dance.” There are moments of funk, disco laden metal, doom, and most of all heavy, angry metal. The journey throughout this album is a back and forth between tracks. One might think the next track is going to carry over from the previous track yet that is not the experience. Each track is its own little masterpiece pitted against the other. Intricate details in each track set them apart. From funky to heavy bass tracks, manic, yet almost psychotic rage filled drum tempos to dark doom guitar riffage met with gentle and vulnerable vocals that give way to the darkest of screams, this album will keep listening guessing what’s coming next.
In the way only Avatar does, this album works. The unexpected has become the expected from Avatar fans. Those who’ve been filling their ears with their music over the years, know that every album is something new and that there are no limits to what the band will experiment with in their music. This is what sets Avatar apart from most bands in the metal scene today. From their sound to their aesthetics and stage show, they are unique. “Dance Devil Dance” is further proof of that.
The album kicks off with the title track and listeners are going to have energy straight away. There is a familiar feel of past albums in this track that you will recognize and be instantly thrust back to “Hail to the Apocalypse”, “Feathers & Flesh” and “Avatar Country”, especially the vocals on “Bloody Angel.” You will get this feeling throughout the album as well, there are little pieces that intertwine the old with the new making you reminisce about past albums while you listen.
As the album progresses to the second track “Chimp Mosh Pit” listeners get their first mosh worthy track off the new album and the title itself gives this fact away. It’s laced with nice, heavy change ups and will have your body wanting to move with the music. The riffs in the midway point sound like that moment at any great live show when the band starts encouraging fans to get the pit going, only there are no vocals doing the talking. It’s the music commanding it. The second mosh inducing track on this album is “On The Beach.” Filled with heavy power, a gritty feel with and oddly fun disco metal arrangement in parts, this track dishes out great heavy bass tracks with a manic tempo that will stir up a proper circle pit many bands can only dream of. The outro has switch up with a tinkering music box sound like you are at a carnival freak show.
In between the mosh tracks, the album is packed full of tracks that will make you want to break stuff, “Do You Feel In Control?” is a great example of this. Packed with angst, this one has melodies of group screams, a balance between slow, dragging head bobbing tempos to swarms of mania. There are a few tracks that bring pure joy, “Gotta Wanna Riot” and “Clouds Dipped In Chrome.” “Gotta Wanna Riot” has the fun vocal infusions with weird lyrics that show up as deranged, over the top styled vocals that I expect to find in at least one track on an Avatar album, this meets that expectation. “Clouds Dipped In Chrome” on the other hand comes with fun arrangements. The track itself opens with heavy, dark riffs in a dragging doom style then layered with angry screaming vocals that break open into a heavy headbanging track filled with heavy drums.
Listeners are also going to get a funk metal track with this album with “The Dirt I’m Buried In.” It’s packed with funk filled bass, guitars and drum tempos met with rage filled vocals and a chorus that breaks into metal, then drops back to funk which is the give and take throughout this track.
The last tracks on this album don’t slack off either. “Hazmat Suit” is exactly what you’d expect from the title. Proceed with caution, one whiff of this track and you will lose control of your body. With the great tempos in this one, the band is squeezing in another crazy track filled with waling guitar riffs in case you still have any energy left in your body.
I’d say the most abstract track on this album comes with “Train.” For me, I was instantly thinking of being in a smokey, dark jazz club… something like the movie The Mask (with Jim Carrey) meets Jessica Rabbit (Movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit), meets metal. There is this seductive style to the vocals that range from an almost spoken word to raging vocals. The genre bending that Avatar does from album to album, is evident in this track. Fun, interesting and unexpected.
Avatar wraps the album up with a fantastic duet with Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale in “Violence No Matter What.” This is something I’d like to see happen again. These two vocalists play off each other in a great way, the rage between the two of them was cool.
All in all, this is a banger! I really enjoyed this new album. I think listeners will have a great time with this one and will be excited to catch the band out on tour to see how this one unfolds on stage and in the pits below.
Dance Devil Dance Tracklist:
Dance Devil Dance
Chimp Mosh Pit
Valley Of Disease
On The Beach
Do You Feel In Control?
Gotta Wanna Riot
The Dirt I’m Buried In
Clouds Dipped In Chrome
Violence No Matter What (Duet w/ Lzzy Hale)
Johannes Eckerström — Vocals
John Alfredsson — Drums
Jonas Jarlsby — Guitar
Henrik Sandelin — Bass
Tim Öhrström — Guitar
Titel: Dance Devil Dance
Skivbolag: Black Waltz Records
Bästa spår: Clouds Dipped In Chrome, Chimp Mosh Pit, Train