Avatar are an odd, ambitious bunch. They're deeply avant-garde for Swedes who make heavy metal, but 2020's Hunter Gatherer saw them take music seriously again after the carnival antics of 2018's Avatar Country. Melodic, chug-a-lug riffs are peppered with squealing solos and gut-ripping roars that lyrically tackle anxiety, detachment and alienation with distinctly Gothenburg flair. Dystopian experimentation on tracks like "Colossus" maintains the band's stylistic signatures, and the lofty aesthetics of this cycle's videos prove they're still the weirdos fan have always loved. Kelsey Chapstick
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