Review: Avatar - Hunter Gatherer
I have never written a public review of anything, except for a few short recommendations on Steam. But, the new album Hunter Gatherer by Avatar is so good, I feel compelled to tell the world about it. While I am a musician and consider myself relatively knowledgeable on all things Metal, I haven’t got any experience writing reviews or expressing my thoughts about music in a way that makes sense to other people and is enjoyable to read. Just … consider yourself warned, this is an experiment.
Well then, I will go through each song and give my thoughts on it.
Silence In The Age Of Apes
The opener of the album is a jolt of energy, presumably to make sure you’re listening. The guitars are just riffing away, the drums are on point as always and the harsh vocals sound excellently pissed off.
The intro to Colossus hypes me up so much. The siren, the bouncy synth, followed by the main riff, I already know I’ll be headbanging my head off to this song once I get to see Avatar live again.
Next to the main riff, most of the song is relatively calm. But since this is Avatar, the atmosphere and the vocals completely grab your attention and the bendy guitars in the pre-chorus are right up my alley.
And after that colossal atmosphere building, the incredibly tasty lead work is just stunning.
A Secret Door
While starting out with soothing whistling (performed by Corey Taylor, which gave me a good chuckle), the rest of A Secret Door is kinda similar to Colossus. Calm parts and banging metal riffing alternate between each other for a great contrast.
The almost dream-like bridge with the vocal layering somehow messes with my head, but that makes it more interesting to me.
God of Sick Dreams
This is pretty much the only song I don’t really feel. I like the intro, I like the outro, but somehow the meat of the song between those doesn’t do it for me.
Scream Until You Wake
While listening to the pre-release stream with my brother I called this chorus “Anime Intro by Avatar”. I stand by that, and I love it. Scream Until You Wake just pumps me up, even if the lyrics are quite a bit darker than the song makes me feel.
Also, did I tell you that I adore Avatar’s lead guitars already? Awesome.
Amazingly dark subject matter has always fit Avatar very well, and Child is no exception. The mother of a child being buried alive is an excellent backdrop for something that I’d describe as a oddly triumphant funeral march.
Maaan, that opening riff! Another amazing headbanger with the soaring vocals in the chorus providing great variation to the heavy parts. Once again, loving the leads, probably my favorites from all the songs.
Piano ballad, out of nowhere. Soulful piano playing and very vulnerable vocals.
From what I’ve read on the internet, I think there are exactly two reactions to Gun. Either you don’t feel anything, or it makes you weirdly emotional. So if you don’t care about it, this will mean nothing to you. I’m in the second group, and this is probably my favorite song from the album, just from the emotions it made me feel alone.
And honestly, I don’t even quite know why. The lyrics are not super obvious what they’re about and don’t really relate to anything in my life. But the atmosphere, the hauntingly beautiful piano, the vulnerability of it all, the sense of tragedy and finality in the lyrics, it makes me think about … everything, really. I’ve got painful conversations from the past swirling through my head. I think about the future and what it holds. I am sad for the horrendous injustices in our world. And I don’t even know why.
I’ve listened to Gun on repeat for quite a while today, and I suspect I will do so many more times. Outstanding song.
When All But Force Has Failed
Alright, stow those sad feelings away for later, back to the headbanging! High-speed and pissed off screaming, what a ride! And not to forget, leads.
It’s short, but When All But Force Has Failed packs a punch.
The closer of this excellent album is worthy of its place. The shifting guitars sound heavy and just a bit demented. Not as fast as other songs, Wormhole is a groovy song that does not fail to make me move and the proggy bridge shows off Avatar’s atmosphere building one last time.
Overall a fitting send off.
Hunter Gatherer is an incredible album in my opinion. I will not be giving out points or anything, but it gets all the recommendations from me. Go listen to it, buy it, and support a great band that consistently puts out awesome music.
- A Secret Door