Released: November 22nd 2019
Format: CD / CD Digipack / LP (various variants) / DD / DSP
Label: Nuclear Blast
Avatarium’s latest opus continues to build on the foundations that the band have prolifically built over their previous records. Again, the band fall into the doom metal genre but whilst they adhere to many of its trademarks, the band offer so much more than the orthodox approach to doom metal.
Slow, crushing riffs adorn the vast majority of The Fire I Long For. The format throughout the album is rich with hulking, Sabbath worship. Epitaph Of Heroes is the longest track and atmospherically plays into this style; however Porcelain Skull adheres to the Sabbath playbook the most. The drums are blasted with venom, and the soloing that shines through the track is absolutely glorious atop a bed of rolling rhythm guitars.
Not for the first time on the album, Porcelain Skull sees the band add organ to the layered mix. Right from the album opener, Voices, the band utilise this instrument expertly. The Great Beyond sees the band go to town on a layered mix that sounds intensely dense.
There are many highlights on the album; the Wild West feel of Lay Me Down is cinematic in its delivery and Shake That Demon is an upbeat rocker that evokes Iron Maiden at their most brief.
Rubicon is the absolute highlight of the album though. As the track unfurls, it just gets better and better; so much so you’ll be begging for it not to end, such is the grandeur of the track.
Avatarium have managed to create a short, punchy and succinct record that excites. It will appeal to traditional doom metal fans as well as fans of bands of symphonic metal. On top of that, it would certainly whet the appetite of fans of classic hard rock and metal.
The Fire I Long For is lyrically and vocally, dark and poetic. The dark lord is referenced more than once and Jennie-Ann Smith’s vocals are wonderfully evocative. This record is another stellar addition to the bands growing discography.