Review: Avatar- Dance Devil Dance

The circus metal band from Sweden known as Avatar are back with their ninth studio album titled Dance Devil Dance out February 17 on the band’s label, Black Waltz Records. Avatar is a band that’s gotten a lot of buzz over the last five or six years with nothing but good things said about but many have never checked out. Avatar fills a unique niche in the metal genre. You hear elements of death metal, power metal, and metalcore on this album. All of it was tinged with a certain campiness that seems to be unique to this group. There were a couple missteps that you can feel don’t quite hit the mark for me, but as a whole, Dance Devil Dance delivered in spades. “Chimp Mosh Pit” is the first highlight on the album, beginning with a heavy, chunky riff that shows off the high-quality production on this release. The bass cuts through nicely, which is rare in the modern metal landscape. The bridge on this track is fast and furious, featuring double kicks and plenty of pinch harmonics. This song feels like it was made for massive European metal festivals. The same can be said of a few different songs on this album. “Do You Feel in Control” (the answer, by the way, is no) begins with blast beats and tremolo picked guitars. It features a massive verse riff that begs people to jump in sync with it and open huge mosh pits. It has some gang vocals that are built to be screamed back at the band in a live setting. The other song that needs featured in this review is the closer, “Violence No Matter What”. This track is a duet with Lzzy Hale, and she shines on this track. Her voice combined with frontman Johannes Eckerström’s is a perfect match. Hale even shows off her screaming chops, which we have not heard much of in her band Halestorm, but that could be something she’d want to show off in the future. Dance Devil Dance is by no means perfect. It has a couple tracks that didn’t click with me like the title track, “Gotta Wanna Riot”, and “Train”. These aren’t bad songs, but they weren’t quite for me. Avatar is showing no signs of slowing down, playing festivals all over the world this summer and touring the U.S. this spring with support from Veil of Maya and Orbit Culture. If they’re coming to your town, don’t miss this metal circus. Rating: 8/10 Standout Tracks: “Chimp Mosh Pit” “Do You Feel in Control” “Clouds Dipped in Chrome” “Violence No Matter What”