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Avatar – Shadow Hunters (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

 

13620072_596887580479507_7430400725441454943_nSee, never judge a book by its cover, or an album for that matter. The combination of the band name, album title and the slick, futuristic artwork had me thinking thoughts of indulgent progressive rock or cyclonic and largely unlistenable metal. Thankfully first impressions are often wrong and what lay in store was something much more palatable.

 

Shadow Hunters are a Norwegian rock two-piece but far from the gloom and fantasy medieval imagery beloved of that nations rock fraternity, this is a symphonic journey into the future. And if thoughts of a dystopian Blade Runner-esque doom come to mind, dispel them immediately, this is the sound track to a gleaming, hi-tech vision, one of science and success, vast galactic vistas and boldly going where Norman has gone before. Whoever he is.

 

They conjure these images from swaths of symphonic backdrops, stratospheric rock crescendos, charged atmospherics and, ironically, Vangelis-like chiming synth lines. But above all the feeling is one of positivity and potential, a space opera built of “turbulence and tranquillity” but with enough rock know how to keep its feet planted firmly on the ground. It is a combination of the here and now and the what might be, of modernity and futurism, of solidity and dreamscape. Their guitars may indeed be in the gutter but they are certainly looking at the stars.

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