Avatar “Hunter Gatherer”
Review By: Jay Alyse
Avatar has not had a lapse in their consistent release of new content in many years. Each new album they have delivered has left their audience thinking as well as moshing, and Hunter Gatherer will certainly be no exception.
The opening track, “Silence in the Age of Apes,” is a perfect introduction to the essence of the album. Coming in strong and heavy, it immediately captures the listener’s attention. The message itself tells of humanity’s flaws, and how without decision and change, we may be our own demise. This theme is reoccurring throughout the record’s entirety. The guttural vocals and deep bass lines do not stop there. “Colossus” brings us a percussion-heavy battle anthem that Avatar is certainly no stranger to. I dare say it is reminiscent of “Hail the Apocalypse” from their album of the same name. The rhythmic sound and cryptic lyrics also serve as a message, a warning, and a call to action.
Where there are peaks, there must also be valleys. “A Secret Door” leaves something to be desired. While Johannes’s melodic vocals are always welcomed and adored, I found the transitions in this track to be abrupt and confusing. This is quickly remedied by “God of Sick Dreams,” which delivers similar change-ups with a more cohesive construction.
By the middle of the album, we begin to hear higher tones and softer verses to contrast each piece’s intense hook. This draws in the listener’s attention again just when it would typically begin to wander. I do feel the need to also make an honorable mention to “Gun,” which is the album’s only ballad. The lyrics are raw, the melody is haunting, and it does not stray from the overall theme of humanity’s faults and failures.
We close with “Wormhole.” This song also portrays the intent to invoke some type of action, bringing us full circle from “Silence in the Age of Apes.” “The wormhole is closing.” We are running out of time. The guitar in this piece is truly what makes it stand out. Whether you favor classic rhythm guitar or an intricate solo, this track contains both and they are done beautifully.
Avatar has done a breathtaking job of showcasing their range of capabilities in one cluster of songs. While not every track was my personal cup of tea, they do each bring something worth mentioning to the table. Regardless of if you’ve been a fan since their first album, or were recently roped in by the “Avatar Country” era, you can’t help but headbang to this new release.