It’s been a hell of a ride these past few weeks. And in the misery and monotony that we call life at the minute, Avatar’s weekly shows have been that little something to look forward to. So this, the final livestream, featuring songs from debut album ‘Thoughts Of No Tomorrow’ (2006), ‘Schlacht’ (2007) and ‘Avatar’ (2009) is a thrash-tastic, sonic shredding, riot of riffery.
This is the Avatar of old. Tearing and screeching through tunes. No face paint, no costumes, just forceful, fierce tracks written when Avatar were a little younger but no less visionary, heavy, or hectic. Billed as ‘Avatar supported by Avatar’, the show starts with live footage recorded at early Avatar gigs. The sound quality is, of course, not great. This is not important. We may not be able to hear what was going on back then, but we can see the fervour they stirred in their crowd – an absolute fury of headbanging, moshing and getting lost in the music.
When Avatar of 2021 take to their online stage, they show no weariness from playing all-out shows for the past three Saturdays. They actually look like men who could play three more shows straight tonight. The audience want it. The band want it. But all good things must come to an end. And so through their early work they rip. ‘Stranger’, ‘War Song’, ‘Deeper Down’, ‘The Great Pretender’. They’re all here. The songs from this set are flat out and unforgiving. Especially on Johannes’ voice. The seeds of the dressed up, heads down Avatar we know and love today were sown in the songs they play in Age Of Memories. Their beginnings were loud and proud, and sound just as good now as they did back then. The band bring the show to a close. Johannes strides triumphantly out of the studio and into the night air, taking a bow to the still city scape. Devo is now sobbing. Big tears that necessitate a cup of tea. Not only is it the fact that the final show is now finished – it’s also the thought of those who have enjoyed this unique live experience alone.
At the start of January, Devo’s husband (bringer of aforementioned tea) asked her how she was going to find enough material to fill four weeks of reviews. ‘No problem,’ she replied. ‘I could write an entire book.’ And this prediction remains entirely accurate. After the ending to this astonishing quadruple metal attack, Devo is still conscience of the word count looming. Of readers’ attentions waning as the paragraphs of praise continue to pour forth.
These four live streams have been uncompromising in every single aspect. Who knows when we will meet again, friends? But one thing is for sure – it will happen. As their show credits close, Avatar tell us this. Our hearts know this. And until then, we have our (Age of) memories of some fantastic live shows to pull us through.