Leif Edling is proving through his work in Avatarium that he belongs in a very rare category of artists: After a successful career with Candlemass, a group with a very distinct identity, he does something different and he does it well, having chosen great partners along the way. Guitarist Marcus Jidell and his wife Jennie-Ann Smith on vocals are at his side, Smith being the absolute and undeniable protagonist in Avatarium. Maybe Ritchie Blackmore should take notes on how to find a great female singer.
‘The Girl with the Raven Mask’ is the natural continuation of the debut record. It starts off with the title track, an up tempo song that has a certain melancholy to it, thanks to Smith’s performance. ‘January Sea’ is an 8-minute dark, atmospheric doom song; there’s also great riffing to be found in ‘Ghostlight’ and ‘Run Killer Run’. In comparison to the first record, the element of surprise is less powerful – other than that the two albums are equally good.
Their upcoming shows in Greece are a good chance to enjoy Avatarium up close and personal.