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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

“Dance Devil Dance”: Avatar’s new album at a glance

Dance+Devil+Dance
Photo by Ryan Pont | Contributing Writer

The band Avatar hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. The band, formed in 2001, consists of guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby, drummer John Alfredsson, bassist Henrik Sandelin, guitarist Tim Öhrström and frontman Johannes Eckerström. Originally formed in 2001, they have been an unstoppable force in the metal genre and have gained notoriety for their heavy songs and dedication to keeping fans on the edge of their seats. Despite being a metal band, their songs experiment with the genre, often pushing it further and further beyond. Their latest album, “Dance Devil Dance,” is no different.

“Dance Devil Dance” was released on Feb. 17, 2023, to overwhelming praise. From beginning to end, the album keeps listeners on their toes, unsure of what they will hear next. The title track, “Dance Devil Dance,” is a common but still innovative take on metal with growling verses and a boisterous chorus.

Two other songs worth mentioning are “The Dirt I’m Buried In” and “Train.” These two songs are the furthest out of the metal genre but still fit very nicely into the album. “The Dirt I’m Buried In” is a funk beat that even dips its toes into disco. “Train,” on the other hand, starts very familiarly with intense drum beats but suddenly stops and begins a more melodic and slow pace that feels almost folk or country in nature. The album rounds out where it started with “Violence No Matter What,” featuring Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. This marks the first collaboration Avatar has made with a separate artist and it hopefully won’t be the last as this song hits hard and leaves a mark.

What helps string the whole of the album together are their lyrics. Despite the varying genres, the lyrics are cemented in metal. The previously mentioned songs, despite sounding like other genres, are lyrically still metal. “The Dirt I’m Buried In” recounts a tale of a man taken before his time. As he is buried in the ground, he begins his journey into the afterlife. “Train” is of a similar nature, singing about an encounter with a madman who offered travelers a song in a box. The traveler reveals himself to have a hole in his back and a faded tattoo that bears a resemblance to the listener. These lyrics help keep many metal listeners that might not have been into the new experiments with genres comfortable. When asked about the album, the band confidently stated, “We are a metal circus. The road is our home.” 

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“Dance Devil Dance mirrors all the madness of this world and worlds beyond. Its a celebration of the ugly and a challenge in the face of all things deemed beautiful. Metal should make you move. Metal is music for the body,” the band said in their official press release for the album. “We don’t know when it happened, but it seems that at some point recently, most of the world decided that this music was best enjoyed sitting down. This is a great tragedy, and it must be rectified. Why have drums, why have bass, if people don’t move their feet?”

At the center, “Dance Devil Dance” is something very simple. The album is meant to make you dance. Whatever dancing looks like for you. You should dance. Dance Devil Dance. 

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