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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 is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.