Fresh Cuts: Feathers & Flesh

Hello, Brutal Disciples!

It’s no secret that the entire Honest Brutality camp has been excited for Avatar’s new album to drop. Well, on Friday, May 13th (perfect date, I might add) we finally got to satisfy our hunger. I have to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the few singles Avatar had released had me ecstatic for the full release.  As I’m typing this, I’ve gone through the entire album about 10-12 times. Which means that over the last 96 hours that the album as been released, I’ve spent roughly 10% of that listening to this album, and this album only. (As a side note, I am also loving the new Pierce the Veil album, but Feathers & Flesh has so much more to digest). Before I delve into the rest of my review of this awesome work, I’m going to tell you. LISTEN TO IT!! LISTEN TO ALL OF IT!! Once you’ve listened all the way through, DO IT AGAIN. You owe it to yourself to experience this beautiful work of art.

So, why is this album something that has me so lit up? First off, this album offers up a little bit of almost everything that exists in metal. Power metal, groove metal, thrash metal, death metal, old school metal, progressive metal and much more in the world of metal. But wait, there’s more! This album also delves into several styles that all eventually evolved into the rock and metal music we hear today. Sprinkled through this album, you will hear elements of classical, jazz, blues, rockabilly, and straight ahead rock and roll of course. All of these musical elements blended together already make this a wonderful album. The best part is, there is so much more to this album.

Those of you who are avid listeners may know, I am a huge fan of concept albums. Every album paints their own story in a way, but purposeful concept albums go that extra mile to add musical variations and themes to tie everything together. This particular concept is something unique and amazing. Inspired by the fables of John de la Fontaine, Avatar has set a high standard for what a concept album should be. The album is a fable about an owl who goes to war against the world in order to stop the sun from rising. An eagle intervenes to prevent this, and the ensuing chaos affects not only the eagle and owl, but various other forest creatures. Eventually, the owl is defeated, and realizing the impact his battles have had on his home, flies off into the sky never to return. That’s my understanding of the story at this point, taken from snippets of interviews with Johannes Eckerström and my own inferences. I’m certain I’m not 100% right about all of it, but it’s fun to try to figure it out. 

To sum things up, this is by far the best album I have heard this year. Feathers & Flesh takes you on a brilliant musical journey of epic battles, quirky characters, solemn lamentations, and all around badassery. I encourage all of you reading this to find this album. Buy it, devour it, throw it up, and slurp it down again. While you’re doing that, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to describe the concept of this particular work of art at thebutcher@honestbrutality.com. In the meantime, I’m going to sign off and listen to this album again while scouring the internet for any Avatar tour dates that come near my town. (I have a hunch they will be playing Aftershock this year, but that could also just be my own wishful thinking) Farewell, disciples!!! As always……..STAY METAL!! \m/

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