Avatar (Swedish band)
|Genres||Death metal, groove metal,industrial metal, metalcore, melodic death metal|
|Labels||Gain Music Entertainment, eOne Music|
|Past members||Simon Andersson|
The band was formed in 2001 by drummer John Alfredsson and singer Johannes Eckerström. After several lineup changes, the band released two 4 song EP demos in 2004: Personal Observations released on January 18, 2004 and 4 Reasons to Die on November 19, 2004. Avatar's first studio album, Thoughts Of No Tomorrow was released on January 25, 2006 and peaked at #47 on the Sweden Albums Top 60. Several European tours as a supporting act for Impaled Nazarene, Evergrey, and In Flames.
Their sophomore album, Schlacht, was released in October 24, 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 subsequent set of tours saw them perform at the 2008 Sweden Rock Festival as well as shows in support of Obituary (January - February 2008), and Hardcore Superstar (October - November 2009). 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. 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. They then launched into an ambitious touring schedule appearing at the 2010 Storsjöyran, and also with Warrior Soul (March - April 2010), Dark Tranquillity (October - November 2010), and Helloween (December 2010 - January 2011).
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. December 2011 saw guitarist Simon Andersson leave the band, being replaced by Tim Öhrström. 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. To support the American release of Black Waltz, Avatar embarked on its first ever U.S. tour alongside Lacuna Coil and Sevendust in February 2013.
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, as well as their 2015 Best Rock Video. Avatar then began a U.S. tour in April 2015 consisting of headline performances, and supporting Five Finger Death Punch and Mushroomhead.
On May 6, 2015 it was announced that Avatar would be included in the lineup of Shiprocked 2016. Avatar returned to the U.S. for another headline tour in August and September 2015 with Gemini Syndrome and First Decree prior to returning to Sweden to complete writing on the follow up to Hail The Apocalypse.  Sylvia Massy was announced as producer of this upcoming album, which is being recorded in three studios across Europe  . Towards the end of 2015, it was announced Avatar would be scheduled to appear at several festivals in 2016, to include Rock on the Range and Carolina Rebellion.
- Johannes Eckerström - vocals ( 2001–present)
- Jonas "Kungen" Jarlsby - guitars ( 2001–present)
- Tim Öhrström - guitars ( 2012–present)
- Henrik Sandelin - bass ( 2001–present)
- John Alfredsson - drums ( 2001–present)
- Simon Andersson - guitar (2001-2012)
- 2006 - Thoughts of No Tomorrow
- 2007 - Schlacht
- 2009 - Avatar
- 2012 - Black Waltz
- 2014 - Hail the Apocalypse
- 2004 - 4 Reasons to Die
- 2011 - Black Waltz EP
- 2003 - Personal Observations
- 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
- Hail The Apocalypse reviewed by Cryptic Rock
- 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
- Avatar: ”Två av våra låtar handlar om Starcraft” Retrieved 2010-02-23.
- 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 ENTER STUDIO WITH SYLVIA MASSY". teamrock.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
- "Avatar Begin Recording for 2016 Studio Album". Loudwwire.com. 2015-12-10. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
- 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