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iTunes Review

The modus operandi of Comets On Fire has always been the creation of volcanic energy through all-encompassing guitar combustion. Though Avatar sees the group branching out into piano-driven ballads (“Lucifer’s Memory,” “Hatched Upon the Age”), the band is still at its best when their songs are surging forth on a typhoon of overdriven guitars. Kick Out The Jams-era MC5 is the most pronounced influence on the relentless propulsion of “Jaybird” and “Holy Teeth,” though the skittering rhythms and intricate undercurrents of these songs owe as much to John McLaughlin’s playing with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Tony Williams Lifetime. For a band that has made a mission out of creating walls of sound in perpetual climax, a piece like “Dogwood Rust” still manages to up the ante. As the sound pours from the speakers in proportions that are astoundingly — even comically — huge, the music still feels like a hilarious celebration of hairy-chest rock ’n’ roll even as it threatens to incinerate itself.

Customer Reviews

The Santa Cruz Massive Deliver.

Blue Cathedral was one of the great psych-rock albums of the decade so far but Avatar is something else entirely. A startling marriage of bluesy rock, cosmic riffs and drug-trip melodies, this is music for the heart, head and soul. Absolutely beautiful in places, free form and mind bending in others; it's what the cover says it is. Music for the big open spaces of America, the campfire, teh night drive, the back porch, the sunny afternoon. One word: Astonishing.


This is one of my favorite albums of the year. I can't say Im a BIG fan of their previous work, every song on here is great, well-crafted, with a great theme of nature, which is so simple, yet so uniquely enjoyable. Lucifer's Memory and Holy Teeth arent quite as tuned to flora and fauna as the others, but I enjoy them both. Sour Smoke is reason enough to buy the album, the beat is so great and easy to zone out to. Hatched Upon the Age follows the same type of mood as Lucifer's Memory, a calm and piano-influenced tune. Dogwood Rust and The Swallow's Eye are both faster songs, yet retaining a calming sound to them. Finally, Jaybird is another tranquil song, but I must say that the end of the song is visited by blatantly fake and electronic bird calls, which i found slightly obnoxious. But overall, this album is very close to perfection, and I believe that fans of rock, alternative, pop, or other similar genres can find something to enjoy here.

Glory and Triumph

Equal to anything the Jefferson Airplane did. This music lifts and transports the listener to that "special" place. Long live Avatar ! Hope to see you in Austin , TX. soon.


Formed: 1999 in Santa Cruz, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Comets on Fire hail from Santa Cruz, CA. The band was formed in 1999 by guitarist and vocalist Ethan Miller and longtime friend bassist Ben Flashman, who were seeking to create a rhythmically and sonically intense music that paid no attention to categorizations -- all the while being suckers for anthemic rock riffs, psychedelia, and crunching crescendos. The band came together when Flashman's pal Noel von Harmonson and his Echoplex entered the picture and drummer Utrillo Kushner showed them what...
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