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Although Avatarium might be seen as a lighter version of today's Candlemass, since the main man of both bands, Leif Edling, does all the songwriting, it naturally, all put together, differs to some extent as well. The basic groove is clearly recognizable between these 2 outfits, but the vocal efforts of Jennie-Ann Smith are of course very different to what Mats Levén brings to the table. Focusing solely on Smith's performance, her voice is old school jazz influenced and it's very much impassioned with a great deal of empathy and she is able to the adjust her mindset to what these atmospheric songs require.
This record is based on a kind of mournful, yet somehow grandiose, appearance with rather extended songs overall. It's profound and a few songs make me feel like I'm listening to someone who sees his unavoidable moment of death approaching. I think, contrary to what I commonly indicate, that the, from one time to another, pretty loud keyboard playing is very much a crucial and important factor, because it is totally in the right place in the mixing and I think that its tones contribute greatly to the material and it makes a major part of the songs come out with authority and an overwhelming sense of sadness and grief.
After a really awesome beginning, the record loses just an ounce of its engulfing attractive force and the band is a little bit unable to keep up the momentum really strongly on the second half of the album. My favorite songs are first and foremost the 3 opening tracks and even though it never gets even close to a bad effort past those initial songs, I was hoping for even more of that magnificent music.
Despite these last sentences, I think that The Girl With A Raven Mask is indeed a good album, but my point is that if the concluding songs had been equally great to the songs on the record's first half, this would have in fact been an incredibly stunning piece of music in total.
also review of: Avatarium