Avatar: Feathers & Flesh

Virtuoso avian antics from Sweden’s madcap metallers

Avatar cover

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

“It’s a fable about an owl who goes to war to stop the sun from rising,” says Avatar vocalist Johannes Eckerström of Feathers & Flesh, the theatrical Swedish crew’s sixth album.

As the tale unfolds, our beaky friend tries to convince a swarm of bees to help her and encounters an evil eagle who doesn’t know that he’s actually the bad guy. The music is fittingly burlesque, and after the organ-heavy intro of Regret, a confident, Dream Theater-esque riff marches in on House Of Eternal Hunt.

There’s a lot packed in here, from madcap, System Of A Down-style art metal to virtuoso riffs, circus jingles and the signature dark growls of Swedish melodic death metal. There’s even a nod to black metal on the distorted staccato picking of For The Swarm, before the mood drops with a proggy minor riff on Fiddler’s Farewell.

It’s overblown at times, but combining such a range of influences into a sharp and credible record is more than impressive.