When you start talking about Doom Metal, it’s impossible that Leif Edling doesn’t come into your mind. Candlemass‘ bass player, founder and songwritter , it’s to highlight his most recent project that I introduce you to The Girl With The Raven Mask, Avatarium‘s sophomore. Behind this cryptic name, we will hear slow and torturated riffs, but also an unique voice.
Jennie-Ann Smith was choose by the band to front Avatarium. Her style is more rock orientated, but she knows how to use her voice for the Doom style. She is surrounded by Lars Sköld (drums), Carl Westholm (keyboards), her husband Marcus Jidell (guitar) and Leif Edling (bass). Full of folk accents, don’t be daunt by the singular sound. Just sit and enjoy.
The record starts with the eponymous song, The Girl With The Raven Mask. Very catchy, but also very dark, Jennie-Ann‘s crystalline voice would gave it an unhealthy sound. It’s in my opinon the best track. The January Sea, way more heavy, will draw your attention because of the obvious similarity between its sound and Candlemass‘ sound.
Pearls and Coffins is the moment to include some Blues roots for a semi-accoustic heady rest, before the next step of the song. Hypnotized head back on the unhealthy riffs that helped to create Leif‘s renown, to calm down on verses. Ghostlight‘s atmospheric notes (especially on the beginning) quickly call for a heavy rythm part, but still fluent, and that perfectly fits in the record.
Run Killer Run is a dynamic track. High tempo, saturated riffs near from Stoner sound which fills up our hears with joy. Iron Mule didnt’ draw my attention, it’s a mix between all the previous tracks. Notice that the choirs are made by Marcus Jidell, whose voice perfectly melts with her wife’s.
The last track, The Master Thief, benefits of a gloomy riff to create a particular universe, a bit different from the other tracks. The tempo is still low, but distored sound will take over clean sound. The listenner can wonder if what he hears is still real, thought the keyboards effect are perfect fpr the universe.
Even if we thought that Leif was out of the game (he had health problems that don’t allow him to go on stage with any band), he proves us that he’s still able to create awesome stuff. Eight different tracks, but still very interesting, even if you listen to them for the thirtieth time.