Metal With The Mikes

Avatar at the Starland Ballroom

May 12
Starland Ballroom, 570 Jernee Mill Road, Sayreville, NJ, 08872 + Google Map

Check out Avatar at the Starland Ballroom on Sunday, May 12th!

Formed in Mölndal, Gothenburg in 2001, Avatar was started by drummer John Alfredsson and guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby. The band went through some lineup changes before finalizing it with Johannes Eckerström on vocals, Henrik Sandelin on bass, and Simon Andersson on guitar, and would eventually release two EPs in 2004 titled Personal Observations and 4 Reasons to Die.

Two years later, their debut album Thoughts of No Tomorrow (2006) was released to moderate success, peaking at 47 on the Sweden Albums Top 60 chart. The following year Avatar released Schlacht, which had Björn Gelotte from In Flames do a guest solo on “Letters from Neverend”. By 2009, the band had been touring extensively, opening for bands like In Flames and Obituary, and playing the 2008 Sweeden Rock Festival. Between 2009 and 2010, the band saw their third self-titled album released internationally as they signed deals with Sony Music and Art Label, and an even more extensive touring schedule.  

At the end of 2011, Simon Andersson left Avatar, leading to Tim Öhrström joining and forming the band’s lineup as it is today. The following year the band released Black Waltz, which was the start of the band’s signature face paint and led to their first US tour in 2013. In 2014 the band released Hail the Apocalypse which could arguably be considered their major breakout album, as it was the last push before the band began to consistently tour in the US and be including on major festivals such as Rock on the Range, Louder Than Life, and Carolina Rebellion.

In 2016, the band released Feathers & Flesh followed by their signature relentless touring. Avatar’s increasing popularity combined with their constant touring did not go unnoticed, as in 2017 they were awarded the Breakthrough Band award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods. A few months later, the band announced their next album, the concept album Avatar Country, would be released in 2018, shortly followed by the band launching a Kickstarter to create the Legend of Avatar Country film featurette based on the album, which had reached more than double its $50,000 goal within two days.  

In 2020 Avatar released Hunter Gatherer which featured an odd cameo from Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, as instead of a true feature, they have him whistling throughout the song “A Secret Door”. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing the band from continuing their constant touring, the band instead opted to record and release some singles, including “Going Hunting”, to hold them over before they could tour again. Avatar’s most recent release Dance Devil Dance (2023) has continued the band’s streak of successful releases, and the band will be embarking on yet another US headlining tour titled The Great Metal Circus this spring with support from the Oxymorrons and Conquer Divide. 

Tickets on sale now at

Click HERE for a list of 14 albums turning 10 in 2024.

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