AVATARIUM — Hurricanes and Halos (review)

AVATARIUM — Hurricanes and Halos album cover Album · 2017 · Heavy Psych Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Warthur
The current "occult rock" scene is a musical subgenre based not on musical features, but on a witchy aesthetic; as such, bands working in this field can crop up in all sorts of different (but related) subgenres, such as doom metal (especially traditional doom), hard rock, and heavy psych.

Furthermore, it's not uncommon for a group to start in one part of this territory and drift to a different one over the course of their careers; Blood Ceremony did it, and now Avatarium have done it, with their latest album completing the transition from Candlemass-esque trad doom to heavy psych that was begun by the preceding Girl In the Raven Mask.

In particular, Rickard Nilsson joining on organ seems to have taken the band down a decidedly Uriah Heep-esque direction - especially audible on The Sky At the Bottom of the Sea - as well as enabling explorations of a sort of doomy proto-prog as on the extended workout Medusa Child. If you ever wanted to know what Candlemass would have sounded like if they had a top-notch female vocalist and had taken their lead from Uriah Heep instead of Black Sabbath, I guess you now have your answer: they sound damn good.
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