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Avatar at Summit Music Hall show preview

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Avatar, with The Brains and Hellzapoppin; Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m., Denver, thesummitmusichall.com. - JOHAN CARLEN
  • Johan Carlen
  • Avatar, with The Brains and Hellzapoppin; Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m., Denver, thesummitmusichall.com.
Avatar frontman Johannes Eckerström wears his influences on his sleeve, or rather his face, with garish makeup and a disturbing rictus grin that call to mind the Joker with a little too much Milk Plus in his bloodstream. His Gothenburg-based band, meanwhile, tempers its Swedish black metal urges with hefty doses of Black Sabbath and Queen. Earlier this month, Avatar released their seventh album, Avatar Country, which featured the single “The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country,” which actually does weld some Southern country-rock riffs into the carnival-rock mix, as Eckerström howls his best approximation of Axl Rose, Bon Scott and, wait for it, Nick Cave. Is that a good thing? Not necessarily, but it does ratchet up the novelty factor, something that’s served fellow caricature-driven European act Ghost well over the past several years. By all accounts, Avatar are one of those bands that needs to be seen live in order to be fully appreciated, so here’s your chance to find out.

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