Avatarium – Hurricanes And Halos (Review)

Avatarium – Hurricanes And Halos (2017)

Avatarium were originally devised as a combination of crushing doom and 70s prog. But on their third album Hurricanes and Halos there’s very little doom left at all; the focus is now firmly on retro rock stylings of swirling Hammond organ and sultry psychedelia.

Into The Fire/Into The Storm is a bold opener that makes full use of Jennie-Ann Smith’s forceful, dramatic lung power and The Starless Sleep is a wonderful mix of dark fable and summery 60s pop. But there’s a sense of diminishing returns on album number three. Although it’s one of the doomier tracks, Medusa Child is overlong with cheesy child vocals. And the breezy, bluesy When Breath Turns To Air and the closing instrumental parp of the title track barely register. The album’s uneven second half is saved by the stomping Uriah Heep worship of The Sky At The Bottom Of The Sea and the ominous beauty of A Kiss (From The End Of The World), one of the band’s best tunes to date.

It’s another strong effort from the Swedes but it finds them veering away from my own taste. As the band dial down the doom I find myself less engaged. But the band’s charismatic and summery take on classic 70s rock will win them more fans and appreciation than they lose. And those listeners may well find this the band’s most accessible and enjoyable album so far.

35 thoughts on “Avatarium – Hurricanes And Halos (Review)”

  1. I do like their earlier offerings, but don’t have this yet. I don’t like that they are moving away from the doom, but perhaps they will surprise me.
    For some strange reason my mind went to what it would sound like if Dio was singing that video clip for Starless Sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Her way of holding onto the note and stretching the words out is very Dio-esque.
        I like Uriah Heap, but more so if I know that going in. If I want doom, and get Heart sings Uriah Heap instead, it’s a bit of a let down.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. None, I’m embrrassed to say. Apart from ‘Easy Livin’ on about 17 different compilations. I’ve wanted a good quality copy of ‘Look At Yourself’ for about 25 years now.

        Do you have much?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Argh. Really like the artwork, but that track is a bit dull. Shame, cause they sound like they used to be really interesting… They should bring back the doom.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear. I can imagine them on the phone just now: “hello, Doom? I know, I know, but let me just have 5 minutes… please… 2 minutes… 2… we’re sorry… we miss you… please…”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. HMO – you keep having really intriguing math problems in your posts!
    How much should the ‘doom’ be dialed back, in order to increase the accessibility, yet keep existing listeners engaged?
    Sounds like the dial got turned too far this time!

    Liked by 1 person

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