Founded in 2013 by Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling, Sweden's Avatarium specialize in ultra-heavy and epically dark doom metal with a classic rock twist that invokes names like My Dying Bride, Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Rainbow, Entombed, and Blue Öyster Cult. Featuring the talents of Edling (bass), Marcus Jidell (guitar), Lars Sköld (drums), Carl Westholm (keyboards), and Jennie-Ann Smith (vocals), the Stockholm-based outfit issued their debut EP All I Want in early 2014, followed by their eponymous Nuclear Blast-issued debut long-player later that November. Live shows followed across Europe and the rest of the world after the release of their sophomore album, 2015's The Girl with the Raven Mask. Edling stepped away from touring with the band -- replaced by Tiamat's Anders Iwers for live shows -- yet continued as chief songwriter. 2017 saw the release of their third album Hurricanes and Halos, which featured songwriting by Smith and Jidell. By 2019, Smith and Jidell had taken the reins, joined by organist Rickard Nilsson and drummer Andreas Johansson, who became full-time members. Their fourth album, The Fire I Long For -- which featured a handful of tracks written by Edling -- was issued at the end of 2019 on Nuclear Blast. ~ James Christopher Monger & Rich Wilson
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