AVATARIUM, the new project led by Leif Edling, founding bassist and main songwriter of Swedish doom metal legends CANDLEMASS, will release its self-titled debut album on November 1 via Nuclear Blast.
In addition to Edling, AVATARIUM features Marcus Jidell (ROYAL HUNT, EVERGREY) on guitar, Lars Sköld (TIAMAT) on drums, Carl Westholm on keyboards and Jennie-Ann Smith on vocals.
AVATARIUM's first release was a 12-inch mini-LP, "Moonhorse", featuring the title track, the B-side "Boneflower" as well as an acoustic cover version of BLACK SABBATH's "War Pigs". It arrived on September 20.
The official lyric video for the song "Moonhorse" can be seen below.
The cover artwork for "Avatarium" was created by Swedish artist Erik Rovamperä, who has previously worked with CANDLEMASS.
Edling describes the tracks on "Avatarium" in his own words:
Edling: "The first song I wrote. It's about a little sick kid lying in bed daydreaming, and wanting to be out playing with his friends. Lots of dynamics and contrast in this song. Light and shade. One of the best songs I have written, I think."
Edling: "About the sickness in the world. Collected by the gods and locked in, but now in free flow. Jennie-Ann sings it like a female Ronnie James Dio. Great!"
Edling: "Very twisted and a bit proggy. To me, anyway. Mainly describes what an 'avatarium' is: a place anywhere, of any size, where you can worship your demi-gods. Could be that singer, a politian, Tony Iommi, an actor, a historical figure, porn actress, etc."
Edling: "THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS meets BLUE ÖYSTER CULT. '60s pop vs heavy rock… melody contra prog in the mid part. Cool song describing the beauty in suicide. A forest where lovers go to commit unified suicide when the world denies them their love."
"Bird Of Prey":
Edling: "I took the London Ripper out of context here and put him in modern day Berlin. I've been to Berlin every summer for a number of years now, and I really like the old 'east' Berlin. It's like what the London Soho was in 1980. Fantastic place with lots of bars, culture, food, cool people and music. Thought it was a nice idea to put the Berlin Ripper there. Yes… before you say anything…. I'm aware of the fact that there actullay was a real Berlin Ripper in the '20s or something like that. A guy having a butcher shop where he made sausage of his victims and sold it to his customers… hu…. Lovely song, though…"
"Tides Of Telepathy":
Edling: "Nice semi-progressive track about a guy in a tower with an iron helmet on, enhancing his telepathic waves, sending them like tsunamis of fire to a parallel world they are at war with. Of course he puts his own world into ruins except his own tower. Leaving him totally alone there."
"Lady In The Lamp":
Edling: "The beautiful ballad! A girl is trapped by a wizard and is forced to sing for him. If she stops, she dies. Fantastic end solo by Marcus!"
Commented Erik Rovamperä: "As opposed to many contemporary artists eager to express their inner emotional turmoil, my ambitions as a painter stand first and foremost from a lifelong love of hard-rockin' music and the inherently darker iconography of that genre.
"I'm seldom one to channel personal experiences in my art but rather view my work as part of the heavy metal tradition forged by likes of Derek Riggs, Ken Kelly and many more.
"In the specific chase of AVATARIUM, my sources of inspiration have come to include the heretical idolatry of the pre-Christianized cults throughout ancient Europe and esoteric allegories of the late medieval secret societies."
Jidell had the following to say about the birth of "Avatarium": "We are very proud to present the first, but not the last, AVATARIUM album to you.
"When we started to demo the songs on this album, we had one thing that we thought was extremely important: we wanted to make music that was heavy, dark and poetic. Also, we had an urge to make an album with a very organic sound and no fixing and trixing in computers but just try to make great emotional music.
"During the whole process, we have been looking for feeling rather than trying to make everything technically perfect.
"I think that everything really came together the first day Jennie-Ann came in the studio and sung 'Moonhorse'. She had everything we looked for in a singer: rock 'n' roll attitude, jazz and blues feel, a big and powerful voice and yet so able to be fragile and extremely tender in her interpretation of the songs.
"If you like heavy, dark riffs and big guitars, emotional, raw and bluesy vocals, thunderous and groovy drums, I am quite sure that you'll like AVATARIUM."
"Avatarium" track listing:
02. Pandora's Egg
05. Bird Of Prey
06. Tides Of Telepathy
07. Lady In The Lamp
02. Pandora's Egg
01. Bird Of Prey
02. Tides Of Telepathy
01. Lady In The Lamp
Leif Edling: Bass
Jennie-Ann Smith: Vocals
Marcus Jidell: Guitar
Lars Sköld: Drums
Carl Westholm: Keyboards