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Avatar – DEMO
Avatar is a group of 3 university students from New Jersey, mostly from a place called Long Branch. The band do all their own production and track work, manage and promote themselves and play the odd gig in local areas.
Highlights for the band include opening a show for a gig where Motorhead and Anthrax were headlining – which is an achievement in itself.
They asked HailMetal to review a sample of 3 tracks from their unreleased demo. I thought what the hell, I’ll give it ago … so while we are here lets make the most of it and get into the music! There is nothing I can tell you about the band, that isn’t already on their website.
I guess it’s hard to classify a band after 3 songs, but from the limited amount I’ve heard, it’s a tendency towards speed metal, drawing upon power influences. There is heavy Metallica influence heard throughout, whilst at the same time hearing a lot of Mortal Sin (although I doubt MS is a direct influence). The Metallica is heard strongly in structure and I guess even riff patterns, whilst Mortal Sin is heard in the vocals.
The three tracks I listened to include ‘Power’, ‘Rampage’ and ‘Terror’.
This song is described on the website as the direction of the band in the future. This is promising in that it was the track with most potential. From the first riff of this song you can hear a very Metallica – And Justice For All/Master of Puppets influence.
My first impressions of this song were that the bass work was a little sloppy and the drumming lost its timing and place during a few of the breaks, but not all hope was lost.
The main riff the song is centred around also sounds a hell of a lot like ‘Bister Verklighet' by No Security. However, it is a simple chord based riff progression that is fairly generic, so it is perhaps just my ears picking up a few subtle other similarities.
As far as song structure goes, they have added a number of riff variations, which are at points interesting. However my main issue with this song is that there is seemingly little REAL thought put into the composition. The band has decided what they need in the song to make it ‘true speed metal’ such as things like, speedy solos, strong thundering riffs and some thrashy hooking melodies retracting from climaxes. However, what this has caused is a lack of logical progression in the song – highlighted by the lack of direction of solos. Decent riffs precede and follow uninspired ‘showing off’ solos.
The obligation to play hard and fast is causing the mis-queued playing and is detracting from the song writing rather than adding to it.
However, the song shows promise. Fine-tune the technical aspects of the music, put a little more thought into structure and you could get something decent happening.
I will say less on this song, basically because I think most of the positives are taken from the first song. There is a similar lack of cohesion and direction with playing in this song, the same Metallica influences (I heard a very ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ at one point). Similarly there is also a strong Mortal Sin sound to this song – I’m not a huge MS fan so I couldn’t tell you which song but it sounds to be a very power metal hybrid speed metal mix.
Some general thoughts on the music are that much like Arch Enemy, there is a lack of rhythmic flow at parts of the songs. See Arch Enemy’s ‘Ravenous’ for a good example of randomly introducing a solo. Further more, drum production on this track is awful. The crashing symbol in the background is grating on my nerves and really hampers the ‘listenability’ of the song.
This track was my least favourite, it obviously draws upon Anthrax and Godsmack influences. There was considerably more cohesion and timing with the song – the simple answer to this being that it was easier to play. I also think the fact that it suits the drummer’s style a lot more, it worked better for him and he was able to be more creative with what he was doing.
All I guess I can say is these guys need more practice. Better equipment would help as well I guess as far as producing the album goes. Either that or a better producer …
You show some potential, but it needs work. Have a point to the song; aesthetics will only get you so far.
Qualifying my score, you’ve been ranked based on the fact that an album like ‘Show No Mercy’ would receive a 10 …
Joe Ross: Lead guitars and vocals
Skip Byrnes: Bass and backing vocals
AJ Perri: Drums
Title: Avatar – DEMO
Category: CD Reviews
Related Link: Avatar Web Page
Added: October 24th 2004
Viewed: 1630 Times
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