Avatar has to maintain numerous plates spinning on Dance Satan Dance. Frontman Johannes Eckerström and his band of clown-painted misfits have gained a worldwide following within the final ten years for his or her modernized tackle the nü-metal components. The novelty clearly hasn’t worn off, and album quantity 9 arrives simply as Avatar is due for a mode change. They’ve thrown every little thing however the kitchen sink into this one, mixing sounds from throughout the metallic spectrum together with King Diamond, Rammstein, Mushroomhead, and In Flames. It is loud, it is baffling, it is often catchy and it is all the time unmistakably Avatar. Say what you’ll, they do not lack inspiration.
There’s much more freedom within the songwriting then there’s been for some time with these guys. For a bunch as outlandish as Avatar, the final report got here dangerously near predictable. No such issues right here. Dance Satan Dance is filled with surprises, switching up subgenres a number of instances in the identical songs, ensuring the listener by no means is aware of what’s coming subsequent.
“Gotta Wanna Riot” feels like Melvins with an intro vocal hook straight out of “Surfing Bird” by The Trashmen. There’s some old-school thrash metallic vibes on “Clouds Dipped In Chrome”. “The Dirt I’m Buried In” channels My Chemical Romance to inform a narrative about being buried within the desert. “Valley of Disease” is a metalcore banger, apart from the dungeon synth part on the finish, which sounds just like the final stage of an indie sport on Steam.
There is not any finish to the curveballs the album is throwing, as “Train” tosses the entire strategy out the window to ship a sultry Nick Cave style-waltz. If that wasn’t sufficient, Avatar spherical issues off by going again to their Disturbed-style roots on “Violence No Matter What”. That is the observe followers of the earlier albums will acknowledge essentially the most. After messing round with 5 or 6 completely different kinds, they arrive again the place they began with a model new basic track.
If this sounds complicated, that is as a result of it completely is. Numerous bands have taken the “toss everything at the wall and see what sticks” tactic with various levels of success. Avatar aren’t fairly on the extent of Slipknot, however they’re an entire lot extra fascinating than the oldsters who keep on with just one sound. For a band that made their mark whereas sporting clown make-up, that is the primary time they’ve sounded as bonkers as their picture all the time made them out to be.
Quite the opposite, there’s such an unlimited swath of sounds on this album that it could actually positively turn out to be overwhelming in locations. Simply as quickly because the viewers is settling in to Avatar as a thrash band, they resolve to fiddle with 4 different kinds. It will be exhausting to maintain up if it wasn’t for the fixed movement of decently catchy riffs.
Lyrically, issues are nonetheless within the nü-metal camp. There’s so much speaking about how harmful Johannes Eckerström is, with a couple of detours into bizarro world. The opening lyrics to “Valley of Disease” are “I am projectile vomit, you’re the recipient.” Good. “Violence No Matter What” is the place the band aren’t afraid to get political, delivering a fist-in-the-air antifascist anthem that is solely improved by the addition of a duet model that includes Halestorm vocalist Lzzy Hale.
Dance Satan Dance is a daring experiment that comes again with combined outcomes. When it really works, like on thrashy elements, it is nice. Johannes Eckerström nonetheless bridges the road between Nightmare-era Avenged Sevenfold and Mike Patton with ease. It is merely unimaginable to think about Avatar with out him. He is truly restrained himself from the trouser-tightening AC/DC highs he did on 2018’s Avatar Nation. In the event that they maintain going this route, Avatar might be taking part in offered out stadium headline excursions earlier than too lengthy.