Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review AVATARIUM "Hurricanes and Halos"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Avatrium, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Leif Edling, Candlemass

(9/10) One of last years newcomers is definitely Swedish rock/metal outfit Avatarium. I can remember the moment when "Moonhorse", the first song I heard from them, just blew me away. The combination of atmospheric moments in a context of doom metal and female vocals was something that worked more than well. Slowly the star of Avatarium was rising with a jaw-dropping good debut, a first show outside Sweden, which was a concert that took place in Tilburg, The Netherlands and a great sophomore release "The Girl With the Raven Mask". The band continuously increased their fan base and belongs in the meantime to the really hot bands in rock and metal.

2017 is the year of Avatarium's third strike. The album is slightly different - and not. What changed is that the band announced a while ago a new bass player, Mats Rydström. This role belonged so far to doom metal dinosaur and band founder Leif Edling, who decided to take a step back, but he will not let loose completely. Edling is still working with the band but more in the background and as a mentor, which also means that the role of guitarist Marcus Jidell and singer Jennie-Ann Smith gained in importance.

All the mentioned fortunately didn't have a bigger impact on Avatarium's sound. "Hurricanes and Halos" feel more like an organic development of the bands sound. The tendencies towards classic rock, which have been already very present on the last album, gained even more momentum. The opener "Into the Fire - Into the Storm" underlines this already from minute one onwards. The tune is an up-tempo classic rocker with a mystical expression. The organ does together with guitar and vocals a great job, making this song to a clear statement in rock. Another track that's build on a similar pattern is "The Sky at the Bottom of the Sea". It almost feels like the old Rainbow days are back. Both tracks belong to my personal faves on the album.

A song that's a bit different is "Road to Jerusalem". It's a slower paced semi acoustic song that comes with a high level of intensity, followed by a vigorous drumbeat that introduces "Medusa Child". With nine minutes playtime the track is the longest one on the album. It's an epic masterpiece that includes almost everything Avatarium stands for - heavy riffs, a precise working rhythm section, awesome vocals and some more unexpected moments like a children's choir half way down the road. "Medusa Child" is an epos that belongs to the most mature songs the band ever released.

"Hurricanes and Halos" stands for another big step forward. Over the last years, Avatarium developed towards a powerful player in the fields of classic rock and metal, a journey that has a lot of potential to go ahead for many more years.





  1. Into the Fire - Into the Storm
  2. The Starless Sleep
  3. Road to Jerusalem
  4. Medusa Child
  5. The Sky at the Bottom of the Sea
  6. When Breath Turn to Air
  7. A Kiss (From the End of the World
  8. Hurricanes and Halos


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Classic Rock/Metal

Release Date EU: May 26th, 2017


CD review AVATARIUM "Hurricanes and Halos"

CD review THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM "The Doomsday Kingdom"

Veröffentlicht am 4. April 2017 von Markus W. in The Doomsday Kingdom, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, NWoBHM, CD Review, Candlemass, Leif Edling, Avatarium, News

(9/10) It's hard to keep track of all the bands and releases being the brainchild of Swedish master of doom Leif Edling. The iconic bass player became famous with Candlemass, a band that heavily influenced doom bands all over the world. Next to this metal dinosaur, Edling started also bands like Krux and Abstract Algebra that stayed on more insider-based level while still being excellent discs many other bands could only dream of.

Since 2013 the bassist added a new member to this portfolio of bands. Avatarium appeared on the scene, celebrating huge successes from the very beginning. And now, while being in the last steps of preparing a ne Avatarium longplayer, it's another band that unveils eight songs of mighty Swedish doom metal - The Doomsday Kingdom. As with Avatarium, it's guitarist Marcus Jidell who plays, next to Edling himself, an important role when it comes to this new metal outfit. Having these two guys on board means of course some similarities with Avatarium - how could it be different. But The Doomsday Kingdom is far more to offer than just doing the same thing only different.

While Avatarium is including more and more classic rock/metal elements into their songs, it's the traditional metal and doom hymns that can be explored on this debut of The Doomsday Kingdom. Even some NWoBHM comes back on the album, reflected in songs like "A Spponful of Darkness". The song revives the early days of metal and it's Wolf singer Niklas Stålvind, whose voice feels like the pepperoni on the pizza. 

This longplayer includes all shades of metal. Melancholy is the main expression in the acoustic instrument "See You Tomorrow", which is a real beauty, while tracks like the hypnotic "The Never Machine" and the filigree "The Sceptre" stand for real doom metal with mighty riffs; the latter also with an exquisite guitar solo. The longplayer is full of highlight and each song is a shiny pearl covered by grey shades of sadness and balefulness. 

Song by song the debut is slowly building up to its climax that comes at the end. A incredible riff signals the beginning of the end; at least when it comes to this record. "The God Particle" is, with its almost ten minutes, a masterpiece of metal. Expressive and varying vocals by Stålvind are one of the main pillars of this metal temple of doom. Slow riffs and a rock solid rhythm section create an atmosphere that feels like a cold shiver in a foggy autumn night. 

A very critical person could say that this all reminds of Candlemass and probably it's even right. However, The Doomsday Kingdom allows Edling to add another twist to his music and sound. It's another outlet for the seemingly endless creativity of the iconic musician from Stockholm. To stick to the metaphor of a building; this record isn't a new building, but it's a beautiful extension of this everlasting Swedish fortess of doom. 





  1. Silent Kingdom
  2. The Never Machine
  3. A Spoonful of Darkness
  4. See You Tomorrow
  5. The Sceptre
  6. Hand of Hell
  7. The Silence
  8. The God Particle


Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: April 7th, 2017

CD review THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM "The Doomsday Kingdom"


Veröffentlicht am 6. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in The Doomsday Kingdom, Candlemass, Leif Edling, Avatarium, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, News, CD Review

(8/10) Leif Edling is a phenomenon. Not only that the bass player of Candlemass belongs to the group of highly influential musicians in metal, he’s also a good example when it’s about not giving up and do what you burn for. In his case things went even that far that his fascination for music helped him to get out of one of the biggest crisis situation – a burnout. In such a serious moment in time it was his acoustic guitar that helped the iconic bass player to recover. Playing on the six string was one of the things he could find some energy for, and if it was only for some minutes each day.

Step by step some new songs came out of this ‘therapy’ and four of them ended up on the first release of The Doomsday Kingdom. The band is Edlings next outfit, running in parallel to his engagement in Candlemass and the shooting stars of Avantarium. Edling describes the purpose of The Doomsday Kingdom as an outlet for his passion for NWoBHM and Black Sabbath, as being the godfathers of doom metal.

The Doomsday Kingdom is a quartet that, next to Edling on bass, also includes Marcus Jidell on guitar, Andreas Johansson on drums and Wolf-singer Niklas Stålvind doing the vocals. It’s this four-piece that recorded “Never Machine”, an EP that hit the shelves a few days ago. In total there are four tracks on this first output and each of the tracks confirms the passion for some early 80’s metal.

The title track “Never Machine” marks a grim and cold beginning of a four-track journey that fits very well into the European winter darkness. The song is a slowly rolling track with a well-placed acoustic part in the middle. “The Sceptre” is number two on the batting order and it’s another slow-paced doom song. Stålvind enriches this track with his vocals that are intense and powerful.

“Zodiac City” is the song on the album that is the most complex, at least for my ears. It took me a while to get into this doom monster that unveils its beauty after a few rounds in the player. The beginning still sounds a bit bumpy to me but the track itself is another great musical achievement of Edling. However, I constantly have to think about how this tune would sound like with Avatarium performing it.

The end is near, at least when it comes to this EP. “The Whispering” is what’s expressed in the naming of the tune. It’s a silent acoustic number. It’s the melancholic counterpart to the first three tracks and a well-done break on this EP. “The Whispering” is built on a sphereful foundation and feels like the calm after a gloomy and stormy night.

“Never Machine” is another project/band initiated by Leif Edling. This means that the general patterns of music created that's created by the bass player are present and you could question why another outfit is needed. However, I think that this question is irrelevant since the four tracks are all great. This EP is a real appetizer for the upcoming full-length studio album.





  1. Never Machine
  2. The Sceptre
  3. Zodiac City
  4. The Whispering


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: November 25th, 2016



First news around the ROCK HARD festival 2017

Veröffentlicht am 18. November 2016 von Markus W. in Rock Hard, Festival, News, Live, Candlemass, Exodus, Blues Pills, Behemoth, Heavy Metal

Photo: Promotion

Photo: Promotion

Eventhough winter didn't even start yet, the coming summer isn't that far away, at least when it comes to the first summer festival news.

One of the earlier festivals is the tradition-rich Rock Hard festival in Germany that will take place between June 2nd and June 4th, 2017 - the Whit weekend.

As usual also the 2017 billing is quite diverse. Bands that are confirmed already are:

  • Behemoth
  • Blues Pills
  • Fates Warning
  • D-A-D
  • Exodus
  • Candlemass
  • Ross The Boss
  • Asphyx
  • Skyclad
  • Secret Of The Moon
  • Mantar
  • Night Demon



CD review CANDLEMASS "Death Thy Lover" EP

Veröffentlicht am 25. Mai 2016 von Markus W. in Candlemass, Doom Metal, News, Heavy Metal, Dark Metal, CD Review, Avatarium

(8/10) It was 30 years ago when a doom metal album had been released that set a new standard. "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus", that's the name of the record that marked the beginning of new chapter in doom metal.

Candlemass was the band that was responsible for this milestone. The band added many exciting chapters to this story and the newest one will be released end of May via Napalm Records.

Four new tracks have been recorded by the Stockholm-based quintet, music that reflects more the earlier days than the last studio output "Psalms for the Dead".

This EP starts with the title track "Death Thy Lover". The first thing that hits is the riff which kicks-off this number. What follows is a surprisingly fast Candlemass song with typical Candlemass melodies and a quite catchy chorus. The guitars and the galloping rhythm reminds partly of the NWoBHM while the middle section features some classic rock. All this is kept together by Candlemass' typical sound expression which guarantees a cool start into this release.

"Sleeping Giants" is the next hymn. Build on brutal riffs and dark vocal lines it's a slowly creeping doom giant that awakes step by step. Talking about vocals, Mats Leven was responsible for those and his voice fits perfect. As on earlier releases he again enriches Candlemass' sound, also on these four tracks.

Number three, "Sinister'n'Sweet", is a another winner. It's a track that contains some thrilling guitar solos and I haven't seen the song writing credits, but I could imagine Leif Edling being very much in charge for this track. It's a Sabbath like riff that shows some parallels with Avatarium.

The last tune is called "The Goose". It's a bit more of an extraordinary name for a metal anthem. However, the number is a real smasher that, note by note, crawls into the deepest parts of your mind. This song, that is by the way an instrumental, is a great ending of an EP that is 100% Candlemass.

This release is a MUST.





  1. Death Thy Lovers
  2. Sleeping Monster
  3. Sinister'n'Sweet
  4. The Goose


Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: June 3rd, 2016

CD review CANDLEMASS "Death Thy Lover" EP


Veröffentlicht am 26. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Candlemass, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Stockholm

Swedish masters of doom Candlemass are celebrating their 30st annivesary and they'll do it with a new EP. "Death Thy Lover" is the name of this four-tracker that comes into the shops on June 3rd.

The tracklist looks like this:

1. Death Thy Lover
2. Sleeping Giant
3. Sinister N Sweet
4. The Goose

In this context also Mats Leven is now announced as the permanent singer of the band.


CANDLEMASS work on a new EP

Veröffentlicht am 31. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Candlemass, News, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Dark Metal

Swedish doom legend Candlemass is working on a new EP to celebrate the 30st anniversary of the genre icons.

The recordong takes place currently in the Ghost Ward studios in Stockholm and the EP will include four new tunes. Those tracks are reported to be really heavy and metal, something that sounds very promising. MHMB keeps you updated....

Photo: Napalm Records (Promotion)

Photo: Napalm Records (Promotion)


CD review LORD VIGO "Under Carpathian Sun"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Lord Vigo, Epic, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Candlemass, Manilla Road, Power Metal

(9/10) Wohoo. Where do those guys all of a sudden come from? The trio is from Landstuhl in Germany and they are playing in the current line-up since end of December last year. Lord Vigo wasn't on my list and I obviously missed their demo EP a few month ago. What a shame. But fortunately No Remorse releases this EP now with two new additional tracks as the band's debut album.

Lord Vigo, who based the band's name on the villian in Ghostbusters II, are one of the biggest surprises to me this year. This band proves that the underground is still alive and vital. The guys came out of nowhere; but with impact. The joy of this album is that it is raw, basic and without any decoration. This album isn't made to be perfect, this disc is meant to be impactful; and it is. Already the fact that the EP was published as tape says a lot.

Lord Vigo plays doom metal that has a big epical component. Sometimes you can hear that Candlemass is one of their inspirations ("Vigo von Homburg Deutschendorf") while other tunes have a Type O'Negative touch ("Ishtar - Queen of the Night"). Next to those tracks there is with "Babylon The Great" a number on the debut that reminded me in the end with the spoken words even to The Bollock Brothers. Really cool stuff.

All the songs are based on mighty doom riffs that gives you the shiver. Vinz Clorthro (Vocals, Drums, Organ), Tony Scoleri (Guitar, Bass), Volguus Zildrohar (Guitar, Bass) have found an excellent mixture of moaning vocal, heavy guitars and great melodylines. What adds to all this are the narrational parts which makes the album to a creepy storytelling experience. Lord Vigo uses this tool cautiously and they never overdo it. The trio found the right dose that strengthen their sound without becoming a 'talking book' like some of the latest Manowar releases.

"The Capathian Sun" is one of the best debuts since quite a while. I guess we will hear a lot more from those three guys in the coming years. In the meantime you should enjoy this longplayer.





  1. Vigo Von Homburg Deutschendorf
  2. Babylon The Great
  3. Ishtar – Queen Of The Night
  4. The Arrival
  5. Terror Witchtcraft
  6. The Sirens
  7. In Pago Aquilensis (Odium)


Label: No Remorse

Genre: Epic Doom

Release Date EU: November 20st, 2015

CD review LORD VIGO "Under Carpathian Sun"

CD review AVATARIUM " The Girl With the Raven Mask"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Avatarium, Candlemass, News, CD Review, Classic Rock, Rock, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

(9/10) Avatarium is finally releasing their long awaited second album. I must say that I was very curious. How will it sound? Can the guys from Stockholm, Sweden live up to the expctations that tremendously raised after the debut and the EP? Is the melancholic sphere still there or had the pressure a fatal impact on the band's sound? None of this. The second studio album is a further development of the bands trademarks. "The Girl With the Raven Mask" became a fantastic album that is kept slightly slower than the debut and that comes with more classic rock elements; something Marcus Jidell mentioned already in an interview for MHMB.  

Avatarium created an own sound that can be identified immediately as being from the five-piece. This is mainly based on Jenny's almost unique voice and her way of interpreting, actually 'living', the lyrics. It seems that the pressure pushed the band to top form and to top performance

The title track "Girl With the Raven Mask" acts as opener. It's the interaction of hard and fragile in one which makes this track so good. It's the best anthem on an album full of highlights. What a start. Wow.

A mighty doom riff a la Avatarium kicks-off "The January Sea" - a tune full of slow motion metal, down tuned riffs and clean vocals of Jenny. All this together builds a great arc of tension.

"Pearls and Coffins" is one of the numbers where classic rock shines through. It's the bluesy guitar that spreads a sad vibe, supported by Jenny's vocallines and a great organ sound. 

Slow and heavy, those attributes are coming back in "Hypnotized". Nomen et omen here, since the song is build to hypnotize. Classic rock comes back too while listening to Jidell's solo part, that brings back memories of the old Rainbow. That's music at its best.

"Ghostlights" starts with Jenny singing "When the northern winds blow..." - this descibes the song spot-on. The number has a mystic expression that's supported by  Jindell's excellent solo, not to forget the embedded hammond sound.

Compared to those songs "Run Killer Run" is an almost swinging tunes. It's a straight forward rocker without frills. Just cool and made for the stage.

"Iron mule" instead is a sentimental track that's kept more silent. It comes with a lot of feeling connected to it and shows the soulful side of Avatarium. This semi-ballad is another winner on "The Girl With the Raven Mask".

"The Master Thief" is a six minutes long composition with a dark vibe. The first half is kept more relaxed, before guitar and hammond adds harshness in the middle part. A bluesy solo takes over and the band perfoms the silent/loud interplay in perfection.

With "In My Time of Dying" is the bonus track. A down tuned crawling riff and a creepy beginning characterize this tune. It is a desperate atmosphere in this song that feels like an emotional fight between hope and despair. It's an excellent song that has far more potential than 'just' being a bonus track. It adds another aspect to Avatarium's musical spectra what makes the porfolio of songs even wider and thrilling.

To conclude: Avatarium delivered the expected strong second longplayer. What started with the fantastic debut found it's continuation in the EP from a few month ago. "The Girl With the Raven Mask" is the next climax in Avatarium's pretty young musical history. One or two more faster songs, like the title track, would have been benefitial, but who cares. The guys from Stockholm found their trademarks, that can immediately be recognised, do great songs and have extraordinary musicians on board. Best preconditions for a glorious future.





  1. Girl With the Raven Mask
  2. The January Sea
  3. Pearls and Coffins
  4. Hypnotized
  5. Ghostlight
  6. Run Killer Run
  7. Iron Mule
  8. The Master Thief
  9. In My Time of Dying (Bonus Track)


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: October 16th, 2015

CD review AVATARIUM " The Girl With the Raven Mask"

CD review FAT.MO.MAC "Fat. Mo.Mac"

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2015 von Markus W. in Fat.Mo.Mac, Candlemass, News, CD Review, Blues, Rock

(7/10) What's the link between doom monster Candlemass and blues rock? It is six stringer Lars Johansson. The Swedish guitarist has decided to live his passion for blues by realising some ideas he had in mind. The result is called Fat.Mo.Mac - the band and the debut.

And since the axeman couldn't do this album all himself he teamed-up with some Swedish friends and colleagues. Amongst others it was Mats Levén, Klas Gunnerfeld and Tobbe Moen that supported Johansson in realising his dream.

There is also a tragical side connected to Fat.Mo.Mac. It was Roger E. who cranked out three tracks before dying of a heart attack. This situation was a moment to re-think if this album should be finalized. In the end Johansson decided to finish it, also as a kind of heritage for his guitar friend.

Having said all this it's time to pay some attention to the songs. Those, nine in total, are well-crafted blues numbers. Sometimes they are kept on a slow pace like the 5 minutes long "Always like that" and "Memories is all there is". Other moment are more the grooving ones like "Gearshifter" and the quite fast "Cold woman". And with the closer "Get home" you have more the impression that 'home' is in Alabama more than in Sweden.

To sum up. Fat.Mo.Mac released a solid and well-crafted blues rock album with partly infuences from Jimi Hendrix up to Jeff Beck. It is a nice album to listen to, considering the fact that Sweden isn't the mother of blues.





  1. Walk alone
  2. So bad it feels
  3. Broken down
  4. Kickback
  5. Always like that
  6. Cold woman
  7. Memories is all there is
  8. Gearshifter
  9. Get home


Label: Red Tomb Records

Genre: Blues Rock

CD review FAT.MO.MAC "Fat. Mo.Mac"

CD review SORCERER "In the shadow of the inverted cross"

Veröffentlicht am 20. März 2015 von Markus W. in Sorcerer, Candlemass, Doom Metal, Solitude Aeturnus, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review

(9/10) Doom is alive. That's great news. And there is a new/old band that will bring a smile on all melancholic faces of doom fans. Sorcerer is back with a new album. 

The band from Stockholm isn't new. Let's say that they had a longer break. The year of Sorcerer's foundation was back in 1988. After a few demo releases and a compilation the band came to an end. It took till 2010 when bassplayer Johnny Hagel (ex-Tiamat, ex-Sundown) and singer Anders Engberg (220 Volt) re-vitalised the band for a show at the Hammer Of Doom festival, followed by a gig at the Up The Hammer festival in Greece. The rest of the gang was easily found and the result of their cooperation is first real debut of the band - after 27 years. 

Eight songs have been chosen to end up on the album. All of them great doom anthems that can easily live up to songs from Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. Slow riff dominate the scene, sometimes endlessly repeated. 

It's hard to pick a few songs since they are all great. Regardless if you're listening to the slow "Lake of the lost souls", the Sabbath-/Dio like "Exorcise the demon" or the mighty title track "In the shadow of the inverted cross"; each of the tunes is pure gold for metalheads.

What needs to mentioned too is the excellent vocal performance of Anders Engberg who does a really good job on the album. The range of his voice is quite big -  from silent parts like in "Prayers for the king" up to higher tones in the faster "The gates of hell".

"In the shadow of the inverted cross" is a treat for (doom-) metal fans and should get a spot in your collection. Check the album - it is worth it. I would not wonder if this album ends up in some 2015 year polls.





  1. The dark tower of the sorcerer
  2. Sumerian scirpt
  3. Lake of the lost sould
  4. Excorcise the demon
  5. In the shadow of the inverted cross
  6. Prayers for a king
  7. The gates of hell
  8. Pagans dance


Label: Metals Blade

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review SORCERER "In the shadow of the inverted cross"

CD review VISIGOTH "The revenant king"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Visigoth, Blind Guardian, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Doom Metal, Iron Maiden, Candlemass, CD Review, News

(7/10) Quite interesting stuff is coming from Salt Lake City, Utah these days. Visigoth (named after an ancient German tribe) is coming from this area with a cool debut album in their bag. The band plays classical heavy metal with some power metal influences. The lyrics are more stereotype for this kind of music by singing about battles and myths; something that is indicated already by their name.

The band was founded in 2010 and consists out of Jamison Palmer (g), Leeland Campana (g), Jake Rogers (v), Matt Bortherton on bass and Mikey T. on drums. The first three are founding members while the rhythm section joined in at a later.

The five-piece released already a demo (two of the four tracks are also on the debut) and an EP between 2010 and 2012. Now it's time for Visigoths' debut "The revenant king" that will be published as we speak. The longplayer comes via Metal Blade and like with Below in 2014 it seems that the label has the right touch to find those newcomers that show potential.

As said earlier, the music is traditional heavy metal that can be placed somewhere between Iron Maiden (listening to the twin guitars and some guitar lines), Blind Guardian and even some Candlemass that comes up to the surface from time to time.

Next to the great riffing from Palmer and Campana I would like to mention the vocals. Jake Rogers is doing a great job and he has a wide range that fits perfect into the concept of the band. He is a real metal singer that can easily combine heaviness with melody in his way of singing.

The songs, nine in total, are expect the Manilla Road cover "Necropolis" all longer then 5 minutes; most of them have even an epically length of 7-9 minutes. This means that you get a lot of metal on this album. Small point of critic is that the flow in some tunes could be better. In a few tracks I had the feeling the the different elements that give the songs the diversity aren't connected that well. But this isn't disturbing and since it is the debut it's also something that shouldn't matter too much.

All in all I can say that Visigoth's debut is a record that should be checked by all fans of traditional metal and NWoBHM. You will get pure and raw metal.





  1. The revenant king
  2. Dungeon master
  3. Mammoth rider
  4. Blood sacrifice
  5. Iron brotherhood
  6. Necropolis
  7. Vengeance
  8. Creature of desire
  9. From the arcane mists of prophecy


Label: Metal Balde

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review VISIGOTH "The revenant king"

Interview with Marcus Jidell from AVATARIUM

Veröffentlicht am 21. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in Avatarium, Candlemass, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Classic Rock, Interview, News, Amorphis

Swedish 'newcomers' Avatarium had a great year 2014. Their debut album was received very well by the metal community. Also the EP, that was released a few weeks ago, got a lot of positive feedback. And last but not least Avatarium played also quite some enthusiastic shows in 2014. That included their first gigs in Sweden as well as in Europe.

Since Avatarium had published the new EP and due to the fact that they will be on the road together with Amorphis between Christams and New Year it was the right moment for getting some further insights from Marcus Jidell, guitarist of the band. Enjoy reading.


MHMB: Hi Marcus. Great to have you on the phone. How are you?

Marcus: Thanks. Good to be here. I’m fine, eventhough it’s pretty dark and rainy here in Stockholm.

MHMB: End of the year Avatarium is coming back to Tilburg - the city where you have played the first show outside of Scandinavia. I guess coming back is something special for you.

Marcus: Indeed. It is a nice thing coming back to Tilburg. We all, except Jennie-Ann, have played there many times before and the 013 is a very nice venue. Therefore it’s a great thing to come back. And since last time it was one of our first shows we ever played, I hope that we will do an even better one this time.

MHMB: I think it was already a pretty good concert that you guys played as part of the Roadburn. I enjoyed it a lot.

Marcus: Yes, that’s right. It was quite OK, but we can do better. We always try to improve ourselves. We are still a new band and every show helps us to get better. We can see already at that stage a bigger improvement comparing the latest shows we did with the one in Tilburg from spring this year. For Avatarium it was on the one hand something very exciting to play already quite big shows in the beginning. But there is also the flipside of being new and maybe not having all the details perfectly in place.

MHMB: And it was a nice extra to find three songs from the mentioned Roadburn show on the EP.

Marcus: It was done by purpose. We wanted to show that Avatarium is not only in the studio – we are a live act. For us it is important to perform the songs and they are always a bit different when we play them live. Doubtless, we are playing our songs, but there are constantly some details here and there that make them sound slightly different. We don’t want to play them exactly the way they are on the album. It is fun for us to ‘experiment’ a little bit around with the music and we hope that it is entertaining for the audience too. We are a real live band that enjoys being on stage. We always try to give our best and if we get the energy back from the fans we become even more enthusiastic.

MHMB: Avatarium was very well received by metal fans from all over the world. I guess you guys have been really overwhelmed by this feedback.

Marcus: Yes, right. With both, the album and the EP, we did what we enjoyed and what we liked. Of course we have been thinking about how fans will receive it. That’s why we have been very happy; but also surprised by the huge amount of positive reaction from people. Almost every review I read was a positive one and that was something very unexpected. Then we worked on the EP and we have been curious what the fans will think about the two new songs, since we tried a few things that are a bit different. And again we got a great feedback.

Interview with Marcus Jidell from AVATARIUM

MHMB: You mentioned that a few things are slightly different on the EP. When I heard the new songs the first time I had the feeling that they are more classic rock, while the debut went more towards doom metal with mighty riffs. The new songs are for me more inspired by bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow. A scream from Jennie-Ann on “All I want” reminds me to Ian Gillan and some parts of “Deep well” sound like from the early Rainbow times.

Marcus: As said already, we wanted to try something that is a bit different. But it wasn’t that we said like ‘hey, let’s write a Rainbow song’. It was more that when I heard the last guitar solo on “Deep well” with Jennie-Ann singing I had all of a sudden the feeling of ‘wow, this sounds like Rainbow’. So it was something totally unplanned - and I like it, esp. since I love Rainbow. It was in the end a good thing that we experimented a bit, because it gave us the chance to see how much we like these little twists and also see how the fans will perceive it.

MHMB: You guys have a very special sound. Avatarium can be easily recognized and I was thinking about where it comes from. Is it the very diverse influences each of you brings into the band? Leif coming with the Candlemass experience, you having played in bands like Evergrey and Jennie-Ann has a total different musical background. Is this the secret of the band’s sound?

Marcus: Right. I think it is like that. We all have a few bands in common that we like. But we also want to bring in our personalities into the music. The songs need to be ‘us’. But it’s also the way Leif writes the songs. He’s thinking about my way of playing guitar and also about Jennie-Ann’s vocals. He is thinking about how I could continue working on the songs and how Jennie-Ann could. Leif is a very clever songwriter. Another thing is the fact that Jennie-Ann puts so much effort and energy into the vocals. She wants those to become her own. She tries to put all the feelings and emotions into the songs.

MHMB: How did the success story with Avatarium actually start?

Marcus: I was jumping in for Lars Johansson in Candlemass and also played with Krux for a few times. That’s how Leif and I found out that we have a lot in common when it comes to music and personality. Leif contacted me at a certain moment in time to work on a few song ideas. That was the start of Avatarium. The next step was that I asked Jennie-Ann if she could give it a try to do the vocals for Avatarium. We actually contacted also few other singers like for example Doogie White before we asked Jennie-Ann. No one had time at that moment and when we tried out with Jennie-Ann we had the feeling of listening to something we have never heard before. Her voice opened the door for us to write new music since she is very different from other singers. As said, she adds a lot of emotions and feeling to the music of Avatarium. You can feel the music.

MHMB: Is it also Jennie-Ann who is writing the lyrics of the songs?

Marcus: No, it actually is Leif that writes most of the lyrics. Jennie-Ann just did some of them like for e.g. “Deep well”.

MHMB: The songs and the lyrics have that kind of melancholic vibe. Where does this come from?

Marcus: Honestly, I don’t really know. Some people say that if you live up North with the all the darkness during winter time you get into this melancholic mood. You will also feel this special atmosphere by listening to Swedish folk music. However, we are happy people and what might help us is to put all the melancholy into the music.

Photo: Steff Granström (Promo)

Photo: Steff Granström (Promo)

MHMB: We mentioned Leif a few times. How is he doing right now?

Marcus: He is getting better. He is not 100% back yet, but we are working on new songs already. Live we still have Anders Iwers supporting us and that works very good.

MHMB: Looking on the success you have as a band, do you feel an extra pressure put on the band when it comes to the next album?

Marcus: I don’t think like that. Of course there is a certain pressure if you get such a great response, but we try to focus in what we want to do. We try to be as good as we can while staying honest to ourselves and our music. Our aim is to do another great album followed by another great album and to be able to tour in between.

MHMB: While you mention a new record from Avatarium – can you tell us already a bit on what to expect?

Marcus: We are right now in the beginning phase for the new album. We recorded two tracks that are in an early demo level. It’s basically that we have the foundation for the tracks done. So I can’t tell a lot about it at that stage. I guess it will be kind of mix between the debut and the EP when it comes to the sound. But it’s too early to say more about it.

MHMB: That sounds already very positive. Good to hear that there is a new album in the pipeline. I’m very much looking forward to it. I would like to say thank you for your time and I’m looking forward to see you on tour end of December together with Amorphis.

Marcus: Thanks for having me and thanks for supporting us.

Photo: Steff Granström (Promo)

Photo: Steff Granström (Promo)

Interview with Marcus Jidell from AVATARIUM


Veröffentlicht am 1. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Avatarium, Rock, Classic Rock, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Candlemass

Here comes an official teaser from Avatariums new EP "All I want" which will be released mid November.

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