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AVATAR [Vinyl]

Comets on FireVinyl
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2006 $6.93  
Audio CD, 2006 $14.16  
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 8, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop Records
  • ASIN: B000G1TOT6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dogwood Rust
2. Jaybird
3. Lucifer's Memory
4. The Swallow's Eye
5. Holy Teeth
6. Sour Smoke
7. Hatched Upon the Age

Editorial Reviews

The follow-up to "Blue Cathedral" is an earthy, more accessible, and downright beautiful album. "Avatar" veers from swinging, bluesy explorations to piano-laced, progressive power balladry to pure tribalism, evoking everyone from the Allmans to Quicksilver to Procol Harem to some insane Fela/Sun Ra/Crazy Horse hybrid, yet remains wholly Comets On Fire. Though they play cleaner and clearer, their firepower is evident and abundant.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Throwback to early Progressive Rock August 24, 2006
By Dano
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This group has assimilated all the influences of great rock music from 1967 to 1972 and come up with a modern vision.Everyone from Frank Zappa to Quicksilver Messenger Service to Morgen to Guess Who to Procol Harum to Yes(plus hundreds of others) are touched upon by this eclectic recording then stretched to an almost Jazzlike sound.I call it pure genius and if any of the above mentioned bands are your idea of great music then I highly recommend this and all their other recordings.Too bad there's no other bands mining this territory, but I'm sure glad these guys are!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rock Gods Smile August 31, 2006
Format:Audio CD
If you play this CD in reverse it says "Jesus is Satan."

Comets on Fire are dense. Blue Cathedral was a punishing wall of noise. Listening to it I felt like one of those explorers in the black and white Tarzan movies equipped with a machete inching through the foliage. However, once you carved out your own path the album rewarded you tenfold. Comets are unapologetically classic rock, but instead of just breaking out the old Hendrix and painting by numbers they added some proto-punk and an echoplex.

Some thought Blue Cathedral was more attitude than it was songwriting, and to them Avatar is the perfect rebuttal. Here the Faces riffs and Robert Plant vocals are slowed down to further reveal the songs to the point where someone who hated Blue Cathedral might actually like Avatar. Don't worry, there's still use of the echoplex, and the songs are drawn from six to eight minutes in length (with one exception), but Comets have traded in some of their feral energy for a more dynamic sound.

Benefiting the most from the new dynamics is the bad acid sounding "Lucifer's Memory," a song that sounds like a flower wilting. There's a certain cadence that plugs along with the chugging vocals pushing the song towards its seven minute mark. It has quickly become my favorite new song of this year.

While there are still some rockers, such as the opener "Dogwood Rust" which sounds as if its beginning should be found somewhere before you pressed play, just as the closer sounds as if it ends before the song has stopped, even these rockers sound less brutal than their predecessors. Only "Holy Teeth" has the same long-haired head banging attitude as Blue Cathedral, and it only lasts three minutes (only a minute in Comets on Fire time).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avatar Review from [...] September 26, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Upon inception in 1999, Santa Cruz's Comets on Fire were wise in their choice of band name because their sound does hit first-time listeners with the force of an errant and blazing meteor falling from out of nowhere. Back with their fourth official album as well as their second with the addition of guitarist Ben Chasny, the brainchild of psych/drone rockers Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire have chosen a road less traveled in their career yet haven't lost their wavering psychedelic touch. Whereas their previous release, 2004's Blue Cathedral, was awash with raw noise and feedback and a thick dose of proto punk cut from the cloth of the Stooges and MC5, Avatar is more toned-down in terms of noise, with more of an emphasis on the always swooping guitar of front man Ethan Miller (not to mention his ashtray like voice) along with woozy psych jams sounding like they came from an old live Fillmore recording of Country Joe and the Fish or Jefferson Airplane.

Even as the chill mode is the path taken on "Jaybird," drummer Utrillo Kushner keeps apace with an intensely rapid flow of a be-bop scat-shot percussion groove that also remains tepid. With plenty of half-buried and squelching organ lines and a rustic overtone, it would be a topic of great debate to say that Comets on Fire veer off into an improv mode, but their free jazz approach is undeniable. The organ and keyboard elements are more audible here than they have ever been with Comets on Fire, especially with the druggy lounge blues of "Lucifer's Memory."

Being the mélange of intoxicating mind sets that it is, Avatar is like a sponge of sorts that is absorbed in a mixture of PBR pounders, potent cannabis, and Orange Sunshine LSD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow! August 11, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Wow, just heard this for the first time and what a nice surprise. This served as my introduction to Comets on Fire so I cannot compare it to any of their previous work, but the strength of Avatar alone has made me a believer. The music on this album is a mix of classic rock, progressive, psychedelic, and a dash of the intangible, which, when added together equals something completely unique. Sounds run the gamut from terrifyingly chaotic and dissonant to meditative and sublime. Guitar is very much in the mix, along with an array of effects. The vocals are really good and soulful. This has made me want to check out their other stuff. Word is Blue Cathedral is the bomb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic January 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Very good ! A band that progress on each cd album. Imaginative, rock, psychedelic, sometimes hard, sometimes smooth. Many influences and finally a wonderful authentic sound. "Comets on Fire" please continue on that way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous, floaty, and heavy December 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD
if you review a record by complaining that it sounds like yes, don't write the review. WE KNOW that yes is prog, and a lot of people like it, so you're wasting your time. it's a difference in ideology.

that said, this album doesn't sound a bit like yes, it's heavier than it is proggy, dancier than it is jammy, and bluesier than it is pop.

and the singer CAN sing. what's wrong with his singing? it's not as histrionic as jon anderson's, or even greg lake. it's more akin to procal harum, but not as schticky.

this album rides the fence between ambition and masturbation perfectly, recognizing the benefit of both and distributing them evenly.

from the first notes of 'dogwood rust', the peaks and valleys come and go before you could ever get bored, and each song is played masterfully, but the production isn't pristine; instead it leaves all the cracks and leaks, something that goes against the progrock grain, yielding something undoubtedly human. great record.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Comets On Fire - 'Avatar' (Sub Pop)
For some strange reason{s}, this CD's cover had stuck in my mind for awhile now, as I've seen it available in stores as well as online. Read more
Published on August 25, 2007 by Mike Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best So Far
Not to take away from any of their previously tremendous albums, but I have no idea how you could be a fan of guitar based rock music and not see this album as one of the best... Read more
Published on March 6, 2007 by N. Metzger
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars. mind-blowing rock freakout.
i didn't know that stuff like this was still being made. this is a disc of acid rock freakout glory that puts one in mind of hawkwind, only comets on fire are even better at this... Read more
Published on March 5, 2007 by fluffy, the human being.
1.0 out of 5 stars Avatar! Goblins, Hobbits & mush
Whatever was truly awful about Yes, prog rock...this might be worse. Wanking guitars, no melodies, and I'm afraid someone told Miller he could sing. Read more
Published on December 11, 2006 by Tiny tunes
5.0 out of 5 stars this is their best.
To me, this is the perfect collection of neo-psychedelia rock songs the band's ever made. Wonderful hooks, great classic vocals, just amazing overall. A definite recommend.
Published on November 1, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars new, but it rocks
first, i never heard about this band.

sometimes i'm online at sub pop, so i saw the cover from the comets: wicked, this looks pretty rock'n roll. Read more
Published on October 20, 2006 by The CS & The We Are
4.0 out of 5 stars Voices from the maelstrom, a bit calmer this voyage
This Santa Cruz (Northern California) band's fourth full-length carries their overdriven faintly blues-based, amped-up psychedelic hard rock meets a lean postpunk aggressive... Read more
Published on September 5, 2006 by John L Murphy
2.0 out of 5 stars Allman Brothers
Yo. This sounds like the Allman Brothers. ?

What is up with that?

We don't need more Allmans..

Please God.

Buy their first album.
Published on August 29, 2006 by All Over the Owrld
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