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Avatarium are taking their dramatic vintage rock into rich new pastures

Founded by two giants of Swedish metal, Avatarium are taking their deliriously dramatic rock music into whole new worlds

Although initially conceived as a collaboration between Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling and Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt, Avatarium quickly outgrew the tentative conversation between two great Swedish metal pioneers that brought the band into being. With the addition of husband-and-wife team guitarist Marcus Jidell and singer Jennie-Ann Smith, plus Tiamat drummer Lars Sköld, Avatarium repudiated its early ‘celebrity side-project’ status by the sheer magnitude of their performance and material. Mikael was always too busy to commit, and now even Leif has stepped down from full-time bassist status, relinquishing the four-string to Mats Rydström on the band’s new album, Hurricanes And Halos, which has emerged just 18 months after their highly acclaimed third LP, The Girl With The Raven Mask. Leif, however, retains a unique role as ’creative overseer’, his songwriting still a crucial cornerstone of Avatarium’s sound and style.

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