|Genres||Doom Metal, Experimental|
|Years active||2013 - Present|
|Labels||Nuclear Blast Records|
|Associated acts||Candlemass, Krux, Nemesis, The Doomsday Kingdom, Abramis Brama, Backdraft, Tiamat, Jupiter Society, Evergrey, Royal Hunt, Abstrakt Algebra, Witchcraft, Trilogy|
Avatarium are an experimental doom metal band originating from Stockholm, Sweden, formed in 2013 by Leif Edling (Candlemass) in collaboration with Lars Sköld (Tiamat), Marcus Jidell and female vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith. Their music is based in doom metal but also balanced with elements of neo-classical and sixties psychedelic and prog, accentuated by Jennie-Ann Smith's wide range and surrealist lyrics. Vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith also takes a free-form approach to her vocals, avoiding the stereotype of "operatic" vocals in metal.
To date the band has released three albums and two extended plays and have toured Europe on several occasions, also performing at several marquee festivals throughout Europe.
The seeds of Avatarium were sown in 2012 when Lief Edling needed help to demo a handful of songs he had been working on, recruiting Marcus Jidell to help. Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) was considered at one point for the project but had to drop out to scheduling conflicts. However a couple songs would evolve into more material, eventually forming a full lineup including the debut of singer Jennie-Ann Smith, whom Leif had dubbed as "A female Ronnie James Dio" and "The perfect voice" for Avatarium. Two of Leif’s good friends complete the line-up: skinbeater extraordinaire Lars Sköld (Tiamat) on drums and Carl Westholm (Krux, Jupiter Society, Carp Tree) on a wide variety of keyboards and theremin wizardry. The project would be first revealed on 8 May 2013 Avatarium would sign with Nuclear Blast Records to release the Moonhorse EP on 20 September 2013, featuring two originals and an acoustic cover of "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. Further details on the debut album would be revealed before Avatarium saw it's release on 1 November 2013, a music video for "Boneflower" unveiled later that month.
Avatarium would perform live for the first time on 9 November 2013 at Blå Cupolen in Stockholm. However in 2014 Leif Edling would be unable to perform live with the band due to ongoing health issues, bringing in Anders Iwers (Tiamat) to fill in on live bass. Avatarium would perform at several festivals throughout 2014 including Roadburn Festival (The band's first show outside of Sweden), House of Metal, Sweden Rock Festival, Copenhell, Metal Méan and Hammer of Doom Festival among many others. The band would follow with touring alongside Amorphis while releasing an EP entitled All I Want on 14 November 2014.
Avatarium would largely perform at festivals through the summer, eventually announcing a second album on 10 August 2015. The Girl With The Raven Mask would be released on 23 October 2015 via Nuclear Blast to critical acclaim. Avatarium would tour in support of the record that fall alongside The Vintage Caravan, with only sporadic shows in 2016. In September 2016, Avatarium received the „Up And Coming“-award of Germany's leading music magazine Metal Hammer. Mats Rydström (Abramis Brama, Backdraft) also played live bass in 2015 and 2016 would ultimately join as the band's full-time bassist. Rickard Nilsson would also join as the band's new keyboardist/organist.
Work would begin on a third studio album as announced on 16 January 2017. That March details on this third album would be revealed with Hurricanes and Halos seeing it's release via Nuclear Blast on 26 May 2017. Notably Leif Edling contributed songwriting to six of the eight tracks though Jidell and Smith were strongly involved in the album's writing process. Following appearances at 70000 Tons of Metal (The band's first North American appearance) and Tuska Open Air, Avatarium would tour Europe in support of Huirricanes and Halos. The next two years would see the band making exclusive festival appearances at Masters of Rock, Sweden Rock Festival and Rockharz Open Air.
Following a string of shows through 2017 and 2018, Avatarium would release their fourth album The Fire I Long For on 22 November 2019, featuring Edling writing three of the nine songs.
- Avatarium (2013, Nuclear Blast Records)
- The Girl With The Raven Mask (2015, Nuclear Blast Records)
- Hurricanes and Halos (2017, Nuclear Blast Records)
- The Fire I Long For (2019, Nuclear Blast Records)
- Moonhorse (EP) (2013, Nuclear Blast Records)
- All I Want (EP) (2014, Nuclear Blast Records)
- Lars Sköld - Drums (2013 - Present)
- Marcus Jidell - Lead Guitar, Piano, Cello, Keyboards, Backing Vocals (2013 - Present)
- Jennie-Ann Smith - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar (2013 - Present)
- Mats Rydström - Bass (2015 - Present)
- Rickard Nilsson - Organ (2016 - Present)
- Leif Edling - Bass (2013 - 2017)
- Carl Westholm - Keyboards, Theremin, Grand Piano, Rhodes Piano, Mellotron, Barrel Organ, Moog (2013 - 2016)
- Anders Iwers - Bass (2014 - 2015)
- Tales From The Thousand Lakes 20th Anniversary (With Amorphis) (2014)
- The Girl With The Raven Mask European Tour (With The Vintage Caravan) (2015)
- Hurricanes and Halos European Tour (With The Slayerking) (2017)