Avatar (Swedish band)
|Genres||Death metal, groove metal|
|Labels||Gain Music Entertainment, eOne Music|
|Past members||Simon Andersson|
The band was formed in 2000 by drummer John Alfredsson and singer Johannes Eckerström. After a turbulent start, the line up settled in the fall of 2003 and stayed the same for eight years. In December 2011 guitarist Simon Andersson left the band, being replaced by Tim Öhrström.
Avatar has seen several European tours as supporting act for Impaled Nazarene (May 2006), Evergrey (October - November 2006), In Flames (March 2007), Obituary (January - February 2008), Hardcore Superstar (October - November 2009), Warrior Soul (March - April 2010), Dark Tranquillity (October - November 2010), Helloween (December 2010 - January 2011) and Avenged Sevenfold/Five Finger Death Punch (November 2013) as well as an American tour with Lacuna Coil/Sevendust (February 2013). The band has performed on several of the larger music festivals in Sweden, e.g. Sweden Rock Festival, Arvikafestivalen and Storsjöyran.
Schlacht, the second album by Avatar was released in October 2007, reaching spot 27 on the Swedish album chart. Björn Gelotte from In Flames contributed a guitar solo on the track Letters From Neverend.
The band's third album, the self-titled Avatar, was released in Sweden in November 2009 reaching the 36th position on the national album chart. Most of the year up until the release of the album was spent in the studio. In January 2010 the band signed with Sony Music for the German and Swiss release of the latest album on March 26, 2010. In April of the same year a deal was signed with the Japanese label Art Union, for a May 19 launch of the album.
On January 25, 2012 the album Black Waltz was released in Europe. It reached position 25 on the album list in Avatar's native Sweden. The album was released in the US on February 14. Black Waltz marks the first appearance of the "Clown" face paint now worn regularly by Eckerström.
In August 2013, after the wife of Device singer, David Draiman, developed pregnancy complications, Avatar was picked by Avenged Sevenfold to replace Device and continue to tour with them and Five Finger Death Punch. The following fall, the band spent a month in Thailand recording for a new album, planned for release in March 2014.
On March 11, 2014 it was announced that Avatar's fifth album would be titled Hail the Apocalypse and was released May 13, 2014 via eOne Music. The album's first single, the title track, was released March 17, 2014 and was accompanied by a video. The new album is produced by Tobias Lindell and mixed by Jay Ruston. Since the release of Hail the Apocalypse, Avatar has conducted several tours of the U.S. and Europe as both a supporting and headline act, as well as performing at festivals such as Rock on the Range 2014 and the inaugural Louder Than Life. The music video for 'Vultures Fly' premiered on January 26, 2015 and earned distinction by being voted #1 for five weeks in a row in Loudwire's Battle Royal video countdown. Avatar then began a U.S. tour in April 2015 consisting of headline performances, and supporting Five Finger Death Punch and Mushroomhead.
On May 6th, 2015 it was announced that Avatar would be included in the lineup of Shiprocked 2016.
In January 2010 the music video for the song Queen of Blades was released on the band's website. Blizzard Entertainment mentioned this on their Facebook and Twitter pages, since the song is about the character Sarah Kerrigan from their game Starcraft, giving the band much attention among the game's many fans.
- Johannes Eckerström - vocals
- Jonas "Kungen" Jarlsby - guitars
- Tim Öhrström - guitars
- Henrik Sandelin - bass
- John Alfredsson - drums
- 2003 - Personal Observations
- 2004 - 4 Reasons to Die
- 2011 - Black Waltz EP
- 2006 - Thoughts of No Tomorrow
- 2007 - Schlacht
- 2009 - Avatar
- 2012 - Black Waltz
- 2014 - Hail the Apocalypse
- Schlacht reviewed by Groove (Swedish music magazine)
- Avatar reviewed by Hallandsposten (Regional Swedish newspaper)
- Avatar reviewed by Göteborgsposten (Swedish newspaper)
- Avatar reviewed by FuryRocks
- Avatar reviewed by Metal Temple
- Black Waltz reviewed by RockNytt (Swedish)
- Black Waltz reviewed:  by Metalholic
- Sverigetopplistan.se - Veckolista Album - Vecka 44, 1 November 2007 Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- Sverigetopplistan.se - Veckolista Album - Vecka 47, 20 November 2009 Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- Avatar Signs With Sony Music Germany Retrieved 2010-02-23.
- Japan here we come Retrieved 2010-04-30
- Veckolista Album - Vecka 5, 3 februari 2012 Retrieved 2012-02-08
-  Retrieved 2012-02-08
- Loudwire.com - David Draiman Cancels Device Tour Dates Due to Wife’s Pregnancy Complications, August 28, 2013 Retrieved 2015-05-21.
- AVATAR: 'Vultures Fly' Video Released - January 26, 2015 Retrieved 2015-05-21
- Avatar Fend Off RED to Enter Video Countdown Hall of Fame - March 6, 2015 Retrieved 2015-05-21
- AVATAR AT EXPO FIVE IN LOUISVILLE, KY - May 7, 2015 Retrieved 2015-05-21
- AVATAR AT PIERE’S IN FORT WAYNE May 16, 2015 Retrieved 2015-05-21
- Five Finger Death Punch hits Mobile - May 4, 2015 Retrieved 2015-05-21
- SR16 Lineup Retrieved 2015-05-21
- Avatar: ”Två av våra låtar handlar om Starcraft” Retrieved 2010-02-23.
- Official website
- Official page on MySpace
- Official page on YouTube
- Interview by Metal Experience
- Video interview by Press2play (Swedish)
- Interview by Flocked Media
- Interview by Metalholic