Formed by two like musical souls who had realized that their band was holding them back, Avatar was born when John Alfredsen and Jonas Jarlsby decided that their then current positions in Lost Soul were going nowhere, left and regrouped under their new moniker. Eventually, Alfredsen and Jarlsby would be introduced to Johannes Eckerström, and the core of Avatar would be in place. To round out the membership and roster, Henrik Sandelin and Simon Andersson joined the fold in 2003 -- just in time to record the band's debut demo, Personal Observations. While gigging like mad to promote the band's first calling card, Avatar stepped back into the studio to record their debut EP, 2004's 4 Reasons to Die. Following the EP's release, Avatar was given the opportunity to take their sound outside their native Sweden for the first time since the band's 2001 inception. They next entered the studio to work on a debut full-length, and, during the recording process scored a deal with Gain Records. That album, Thoughts of No Tomorrow, was released in 2006, and was followed by two European tours, one with Impaled Nazarene, the other with Evergrey. Their busy year was rounded out with two shows alongside original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno. 2007 was to be equally momentous for Avatar. They started off the year as the opening act for major metal act Stone Sour, and finished it off with a new album in the shops. Schlacht, released in October of that year, was followed by a support slot on the 2008 Obituary tour. 2009 saw the release of the group's eponymous third studio album, and the next two years found the band hitting the tour circuit hard, including their first ever US jaunt. 2012's well-received Black Waltz peaked at the number 25 slot in their native Sweden, and 2014's Hail the Apocalypse became the first Avatar outing to crack the Billboard 200. In 2016 the band issued their sixth studio long player, Feathers & Flesh, which was a conceptual piece about an owl who declares war on the world. ~ Chris True
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