Swedish metallers AVATAR have launched the first two tracks off their forthcoming concept album, "Feathers & Flesh", which is set for release on Friday, May 13 via Another Century in Europe and Entertainment One (eOne) in North America and Canada.
The songs "Regret" and "House Of Eternal Hunt" are being released in tandem. Check them out below.
"What you have is the beginning of the story and all the light and darkness of things to come!" says AVATAR frontman Johannes Eckström. "We meet our protagonist, Owl as she lies dying, looking back on the night that would be her last. Regret is about, well regret! Staring into the cold eyes of Death, she wishes to change everything, to go back, to live again. This leads us to House of Eternal Hunt. It is how things used to be; how they were supposed to be. That is how the tale starts, with a predator ruling the sky on the night that would turn out to be her last! With this concept and these tracks, we want to give you the past, present and, more than anything else, the future of metal as we see it. It is the beginning of an epic journey and we're glad to have you along for the trip."
The aim is set higher, further and deeper than ever before for AVATAR. Not only is this concept album their most extensive work to date, showing the widest range of any of their albums, it also contains a story too extensive for any booklet, so they made a book. A fully illustrated 60-page, 109-verse poem hardcover book. The physical album pre order, book, and exclusive merchandise is available now.
AVATAR's music video for the new song "For The Swarm" can be seen below. Directed by longtime collaborator Johan Carlén, the clip pegs itself firmly into the upper echelon of stunning visual masterpieces the band has grown accustomed to producing. "For The Swarm" is also available as an iTunes instant gratification track, meaning fans who pre order the album today will get the track as an instant download.
"Feathers & Flesh" was recorded in Germany, Finland and Sweden in December 2015 with producer extraordinaire Sylvia Massy (SYSTEM OF A DOWN, TOOL, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS).
"AVATAR is an amazing band," said Massy, adding, "The singer has the wild energy and charisma I love, and the players are relentless. The album we're making is an epic. Each song powerfully stands on its own, but is only a piece of a larger story. This album is the project I've been dreaming about for years!"
The music is as always, rooted in the extreme, with plenty of melodic sensibility and a lust for experimentation. There is a love for intense double bass drumming, riffing and shredding of timeless dimensions alongside rough edges, slow grooves and epic storytelling for the ages. The idea is that as the band digs deeper, the fists will be held up higher. The end result is a modern metal album with all the ruthlessness and power one could ask for handled with a loving songwriter’s hand, inspired by THE BEATLES and QUEEN.
"Feathers & Flesh" track listing:
02. House Of Eternal Hunt
03. The Eagle Has Landed
04. New Land
05. Tooth, Beak & Claw
06. For The Swarm
07. Fiddler's Farewell
08. One More Hill
09. Black Waters
10. Night Never Ending
11. Pray The Sun Away
12. When The Snow Lies Red
13. Raven Wine
14. Sky Burial