Concert Review: Avatar, January 7, Opera House


I tend to gravitate towards bands that are a little bit over the top, even a little bit ridiculous – bands that walk that line usually end up putting on an entertaining live show. Sweden’s Avatar definitely fall into this category. After all, the band’s upcoming new album Avatar Country is a concept album centred around a fictional kingdom and its king, who has saved his people through the power of metal … or something like that. (Sample line from the press release: “In the Royal Museum of Paintings of the King, we can observe that the King seems to have been around for at least as long as we’ve been able to preserve visual art. There are sculptures depicting a bearded man, with a lion’s mane and a crown, dating back to long before the invention of the metronome and even the dropped guitar tuning.”) Not to mention the fact that their singer wears face paint that falls somewhere between Alice Cooper, The Crow, and Cesar Romero’s Joker. Yes, they certainly seemed like the type of band to hold your attention at the very least.

“Citizens of Avatar country! Welcome home!” shouted vocalist Johannes Eckerström to the gathered masses, asking at the top of their set that everyone swear allegiance to the king. The crowd at the Opera House seemed more than willing to make that pledge. While I’ve only just discovered the band on this tour, they’ve been around since the early 2000s and have definitely garnered quite the following if the packed house at The Opera House was any indication.

Much like their makeup wearing forefathers Alice Cooper, KISS, and King Diamond (and I suppose Cesar Romero too), the band has a penchant for the theatrical, which definitely made for a memorable performance from the outset. As album opener “Glory To Our King” played over the speakers, the band took to the stage with guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby (in his role as “the king”) taking his place upon a giant throne behind the drumkit and calmly shredding his way through “Legend Of The King” with all of the understated dignity that a fake monarch commands. I guess it’s good to be the king.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts