This clown car is a band called Avatar. Which wouldn’t be the worst name for a band if not obviously for that Jame’s Cameron Dances With Wolves Avatar movie of the same name. To their credit, this band started in 1991. Cameron didn’t even write the first treatment for his movie until 1994, and it would take another 15 years before it became a film. So this Gothenburg, Sweden band was plugging right along, making their own brand of melodic, symphonic, technical death metal (the region has produced so many bands, the ‘Gothenburg’ sound has developed its own sub-genre and cast of bands who are typically associated with creating it.) Groups like At the Gates, Dark Tranquility and In Flames are credited as the trailblazers who wove elements of death metal into the new wave of British heavy metal that preceded these bands. Avatar hasn’t achieved the visibility of some of their peers, despite their ‘Look at me! No… seriously… pay attention to me’ image. But what is respectable is their continued work ethic to write, tour and release music with only one member replacement since their inception. And with each cycle, the band emerges with a larger following. Credit goes to the bands ability to churn out some intricately complex, aggressive melodic death metal with little episodes of manic, circus-freak diversions. Their sixth full length album, “Feathers and Flesh” is set to be released in May of 2016. The album is as theatrical as the band, featuring an illustrated, 60-page hardcover book with a 109-verse poem. Because that’s what you want to do when you listen to metal… curl up by the fire and read some manic depressive Swede’s poetry. An advance video showcasing the track, ‘For the Swarm’ has been unleashed upon the public. Some more Avatar because your curiosity has been piqued… ‘Hail The Apocalypse’ “Torn Apart” – (this is interesting at the very least, from a creative standpoint. The whole video is in reverse, and still works…) “Vultures Fly” – (another tight visually ambitious video) Here you can listen to frontman Johannes Eckerström speak bout his band, influences, and the scene that gave birth to Avatar. The interview starts in English, but since the interviewer is German, and Johannes mother was German and he speaks the language fluently, most of this in German (with English subtitles so you can keep up, because I am an American and assume everybody speaks English).