A heavy metal group that first got together in 2001, Avatar is a Swedish rock outfit from the city of Gothenburg. As well as hit albums in their own country, Avatar has enjoyed success in other European countries, as well as the United States. Their song “New Land”, for example, received a considerable amount of airplay in North America when it first came out in 2017. The track went on to become one the of band’s most successful, ending up in the top 20 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart. In addition to their usual style, the members of Avatar are noted for their groove metal songs, as well as playing some melodic death metal.
Avatar's career milestones
John Alfreddson formed the band when he got together with a guitarist named Jonas Jarlsby. The two had been playing on the hard rock scene in Sweden for some time but had not performed together before. For three years, the band went through a number of changes with personnel coming and going, and seemingly never-ending lineup alterations. In 2004, a four-track EP was released, made up of the band's early demos. Entitled Personal Observations, it introduced Avatar’s take on metal to the public for the first time. Later in the year, the band produced a new EP, which again had four demo tracks on it.
After the band’s first two releases, the lineup became more settled and the group started to record their debut studio album. Unleashed on the public in January 2006, Thoughts of No Tomorrow got to number 47 in the Swedish charts. As a result of the album’s moderate success, a European tour was organised to help introduce the band to other territories. Around this time, Avatar was booked to support higher profile acts, such as Impaled Nazarene, In Flames and Evergrey, a progressive rock band also from Gothenburg.
A new album was launched in October 2007, when Schlacht came out. Featuring tracks such as “All Which is Black” and “All Hail the Queen”, it marked a turn to melodic rock. The LP got to number 27 in the band's home country and led to a high profile gig at the 2008 Sweden Rock Festival. An eponymous album, which did not fare so well, came out in 2009. Nevertheless, the members of Avatar went on to sign a deal with Sony Music soon after, which allowed them greater access to the German and Swiss markets. The band put out their sixth studio album, Feathers and Flesh, in 2016 and began work in 2017 on their seventh, an LP that was given the title of Avatar Country.