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Avatar: Hail The Apocalypse

Slick, strapping fifth LP from melodic industrial Swedes

Avatar have nothing to do with James Cameron’s leggy blue CGI creatures, though it wouldn’t be surprising if this crew did dwell in some otherworldly parallel. Fronted by death-roaring Johannes Eckerström (if you can picture The Joker had he become a pirate and joined Kiss, that’s him), Avatar concoct the kind of part-industrial, part-hardcore groove metal that, when it works, can satisfy melodic and brutal cravings alike.

Accordingly, the high points on Hail The Apocalypse are very high. The title track especially, sounding like a groovy, more tune-focused Slipknot, will have you half happily dancing, half violently moshing.

A sense of freakshow theatre permeates, with a macabre menace creeping into the mischievous Vultures Fly. Elsewhere, machine-gun guitar and blastbeats spear the likes of Death Of Sound straight through your face. It’s just slightly trying to find that the melancholic, clean vocals, while effective in places, can sometimes water down the overall effect.

Nevertheless, Hail The Apocalypse packs a healthy quota of heavy, groovy satisfaction.

Polly Glass

Classic Rock features editor Polly is an all-round editor, organiser and writer of regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage). Loves cooking, southern rock, Steven Wilson, and reading about unusual people.