- - - - - -

Avatarium - All I Want

Avatarium – CD Review
All I Want




EP Info
Nuclear Blast
5 Tracks
English Lyrics

The music is superb, as I’d both hoped and expected it would be. The concept behind the EP, however, is less pleasing.

If you don’t know Avatarium and their unique style of doom metal, All I Want is an excellent introduction the band. It shows off their special compositional skills, top-class musicianship and the magnificent voice of Jennie-Anne Smith. On the other hand, if you bought the band’s debut full-length album, Avatarium – released late in 2013 – then you may wonder if you need to spend money on a five-song EP containing only two new songs.

The express purpose of All I Want is to showcase the two new songs. They are the opening tracks, “All I Want” and “Deep Well”. Some may wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to release the new material as a two-track single. I did. These two songs make up only ten minutes of a 32-minute EP. I would hope both new songs will be included on the next Avatarium album.

The reason for wanting to get the new songs out to the fans is that they reflect a further stage in the inspired experimentation by composer and bassist Lief Eidling. Guitarist Marcus Jidell became involved too, and in short order they had the two new songs ready to record or perform. Both tracks are a nod to the classic rock and psychedelia of decades gone by. Among the inspirations named for the new music were Black Sabbath (who pretty much invented doom metal), Blue Öyster Cult (I think I hear their influence), Rainbow (again, I think I recognize some of them in the new tracks) and folk-proggers Jethro Tull (really? Where?)

Avatarium’s line-up is the same as it was last year. In addition to Jennie-Anne Smith of the spine-tingling voice, Eidling and Jidell there are Lasse Sköld on drums and Carl Westholm on keys. Together they are, as I wrote in my review of Avatarium, spectacularly good. They have developed a sound that reinvents doom metal by incorporating so many different genres into a deep, rich and dark style the band can truly call their own.

The three tracks on All I Want that were taken from the Avatarium album repertoire are “Pandora’s Egg”, “Tides of Telepathy” and “Bird of Prey”. They’re good choices. Frankly, any three songs would have been good choices, the album is that good. “Boneflower”, my pick of the songs on the album, isn’t on the EP. There’s a good reason for that – it was released as a single.

You do get something new in the three previously released songs on the EP. They are not the original studio recordings, they were recorded live in concert. It’s a measure of how talented the band is that the live versions are as good as the studio versions (and each is slightly longer). This is both a blessing and bit of a downer. Since the band is trying new styles in the new tracks, it might have been more appropriate to jam it up with the older material.

I must repeat that if you don’t own any Avatarium, the new EP is more than worth its cost. Yet it leaves me with the feeling that it would have been better to include it as a bonus CD with the next album.

I have to give two ratings here. For the magnificence of the music, my score is 9/10. In that respect, the band most definitely doesn’t disappoint. From the view of someone who has the previous Avatarium music, though, I’d give it 7/10 for feeling like something of a gimmick.

Official website
Band’s Facebook