Released: 2012, eOne Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The term avatar has been somewhat hijacked by those Smurf-usurping blue types from Pandora (come on now some imagination would be nice) but if I was to hazard a guess this Avatar’s world would be coloured in a far darker palette. Dancing to its own addled tune, Black Waltz teeters and turns in a way that seems only semi-aware, yet on the whole somehow finding the right places to put its feet - sometimes threatening to stumble but never quite falling on its face.
Yep, the fourth album from Swedish metallers Avatar, Black Waltz is like that odd Addams family relative your mum and dad keep quiet about. Having started out as more of your standard melodic black metal band, Avatar have cast off such a label with the birth of eleven tracks, which seem misplaced from different litters, but all have the same teeth.
Therefore industrial goth types will gyrate themselves silly over ‘Torn Apart’, groove-maestros will ride into town western-style on ‘Let It Burn’, Marilyn Manson will be ordering a paternity test for ‘Smells Like A Freakshow’, and heavy hunters will get knock their blocks off to the piling drive ‘Blod’ – all overseen by the roving eyes of macabre ringmasters Avatar. With title track ‘Black Waltz’ boasting a slick, but cringe-inducing, video with the cast of world-famous circus sideshow Hellzapoppin, its clear Avatar not only mean business, but are laughing themselves silly in the process.
It’s hard not to warm to an album that manages to weld together rock n roll grooves, deathmelo and industrial elements into a workable structure, and with such obvious musical flair. Whilst it may get some as bent out of shape as a funhouse mirror, there’s more to Black Waltz than first meets the over-painted eye once you push past the slightly wonky persona. Tapping out a merry tune on the heads of convention, Black Waltz may not wear a leotard and ballet shoes but it still offers some fancy footwork to those with the inclination to follow in its steps.
Review by: Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs