Avenged Sevenfold
Nightmare


2.5
average

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
July 23rd, 2010 | 212 replies | 19,689 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sound of the band slowly pulling themselves together, in more ways than one.

In a write-up for Avenged Sevenfold’s 2003 Waking the Fallen, Allmusic's Robert Doerschuk stated that “there’s more to this music than generic cliché.” Indeed, in retrospect a lot of truth can be found in that statement: Despite your opinion on the quality of Avenged Sevenfold’s material, you can’t deny that Matthew Sanders (M. Shadows) and his crew have never released the same effort twice. The band have always thrived on being different in their sound, possibly not when compared to similar groups, true, but at least in the confines of their discography. This has caused Avenged Sevenfold to remain a very polarizing group throughout the whole of their career, dividing their fans and critics with each release, whilst picking up a whole new batch of followers each time around too. Their 2003 Waking the Fallen? Dark clothing-adorning metalcore groupies. 2005’s breakthrough, City of Evil? Heavy metal enthusiasts with an ear for melody. 2007’s self-titled? Well, at least they got some radio play time on that mess.

Ah, and what of this year’s Nightmare, an effort dedicated to the late drummer James Sullivan (The Rev)? Actually, this album is a surprise in terms of Avenged Sevenfold’s discography. For the first time the band are moving backwards on the diverse route that they’ve taken with their sound, while at the same time - comparatively at least - moving forward in the quality of their music. Nightmare's sound can be safely placed somewhere between that of 2005’s City of Evil and 2007’s self-titled; the band’s focus is once again on strong choruses and commercial production values like last time, but thankfully, for the most part anyway, Avenged Sevenfold keep themselves on a tighter leash. There’s only a few instances when the band step out of line and fall back into their nasty 2007 habits, such as on third cut “Danger Line”, where a marching band-esque drumming beat is abused so much to lose its effect, and then later in the dénouement of Nightmare, where “Victim” wastes the vocal aid of womanly high-pitched vocals, and in doing so loses much of their emotional appeal.

That’s not too say the rest of Nightmare’s tracks aren’t without their flaws, though, if only that most of the songs’ individual foundations are actually solid. Avenged Sevenfold really have a problem with their run times, as songs like lead-single “Nightmare”, power ballad “Buried Alive”, and of course eleven-minute epic (pseudo-tense, mind you) “Save Me” would have really benefited if a good two to three minutes were cut from their track times – or in the case of the latter, six to seven minutes. This will be a nightmare for radio stations in the coming months, obviously, but as a listening experience, you can’t help but feel that Nightmare wears out its welcome once harshly screamed seventh track “God Hates Us” rolls around. Avenged Sevenfold don’t do themselves many favors with this problem either as they then stack three tiresome ballads together once the former song closes off, after which the album them plummets into its elongated closer. It’s a real shame, as the band are arguably at their best sounding instrumentally, but they just don’t have the songwriting chemistry to effectively craft songs that know when and where to start or call it quits.

In fact the only place that Avenged Sevenfold slip up in their performance on Nightmare are when either lead guitarist Synyster Gates lets his high-lead picking become an annoying bug in your ear, like on the aforementioned “Danger Line”, or when The Rev slips up on his singing – i.e. look no further than the end of the melodramatic “Fiction”, the last song written by the late drummer for the album. Fortunately, this only happens in a few spots throughout Nightmare, though, and when you factor in the drumming of Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy, the band certainly put on a strong show for us, up to par with their City of Evil material. However, this can't hide the fact that Avenged Sevenfold’s songwriting is pretty weak for the whole of Nightmare. Problems remain from their spell of let’s-throw-whatever-we-want-together-and-call-it-an-album in 2007, and the band just don’t know when enough is enough. That said, Nightmare is surely a step up from where they left of last time with their abysmal self-titled, and though they're still not really making good music, you can at least say that the band are on the path to doing so in the future.



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user ratings (1696)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • WicKed110 (4)
    Overall a really good modern rock album with a few heavy metal tracks....

    Starblind (2)
    Enough is enough....

    Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
    After the passing of their drummer does a band still release quality or consistant music?...

    johnny21874 (5)
    Dynamic, aggressive, strong. Words cannot express the acclaim this album deserves. A great...

  • C. William Emerson (2.5)
    If you like myself was anticipating something along the lines of their self titled, you mi...

    Chob8 (4.5)
    The first album since the tragic passing of Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan expresses emotion...

    bluehaze54 (3.5)
    A step in the right direction...

    DreamScapeVirus (3)
    While A7X is not for everyone i recommend people who liked the last album and modern hard ...

  • Alexd93 (3.5)
    May not be the best album of their career but nightmare serves well in remembering The Rev...

    TheMabee (3.5)
    ...

    Kaje Watkins (4.5)
    This band's latest effort is one of their best, despite losing their drummer, the late Jim...

    Mike Stagno EMERITUS (3)
    While Avenged Sevenfold have previously been able to overcome their weaknesses, the strong...

  • Avius (4)
    It probably won't sway the dissenters, but Nightmare only improves on the classic A7X song...

    lessermaster (3.5)
    Avenged Sevenfold’s “Nightmare” exceeds all of their past efforts in terms of musica...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010



5790 Comments


it was inevitable

sorry fans :/ I tried to be fair and didn't just hate because its Avenged Sevenfold

Apollo
July 23rd 2010



10287 Comments


this review is much more accurate. Album bad.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
July 23rd 2010



7325 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Need to listen to this.

Excellent review pos'd.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010



8327 Comments


since I loved City of Evil when it came out I'm still gonna check this out. Also, Jared likes to rate things very strictly, so even if he's right I might still like it since I'm such a softy haha

PanasonicYouth
July 23rd 2010



7411 Comments


This will be a nightmare for radio stations in the coming months


lolololololol i get it
best review for this so far


also no one's said this so far i don't think, but just about all of the lyrics fucking suck

Yazz_Flute
July 23rd 2010



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I agree with most of what you wrote, but the last 5 tracks on the album I consider the strongest. The female (I think?) vocals on Victims remind me too much of Dream Theater's "Through Her Eyes" though, it's almost exactly the same actually and i'm wondering if that was done intentionally (with Through Her Eyes also being about the main character mourning a death).

Digging: The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010



5790 Comments


I can hear them coming now

Thanks btw guys

lessermaster
July 23rd 2010



85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This is a really good review. Although most of your points I disagree entirely with.

ziroth
July 23rd 2010



1252 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review, have a pos.

2007’s self-tilted : )

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Neg is unwarranted because this review is pretty much right on the money. Excellent job.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

ziroth
July 23rd 2010



1252 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

By the way, congratulations on the Contributor position, Crysis. I just now noticed.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks man, much appreciated.

fr33convict
July 23rd 2010



11687 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's a fantastic review. I strongly disagree haha but it's very well written and argued.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010



5790 Comments


Thanks Ziroth, surprised my Word process didn't catch that

I guess the negs are expected, but i did my best

tiesthatbind
July 23rd 2010



7373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

they just don’t have the songwriting chemistry to effectively craft songs that know when and where to start or call it quits.

Yep, this is my biggest problem with the band other than Shadows' vocal shortcomings. Good review.

CutMan
July 23rd 2010



1778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I obviously disagree, but, another good review. I really hoped you'd review this.

Pos to counter the unfair negs.

fr33convict
July 23rd 2010



11687 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Shadows does quite well on this album so I'm pretty happy. They've really had songwriting issues and it's always annoyed me. And I pos'd you Observer

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 23rd 2010



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Na dude this review is pretty much correct. I've only listened to the album like 3 or 4 times but I think a 2.5 may be its final resting place, so your opinion pretty much sums up mine. It's not a completely awful album but it's a long way from being anything I'll find myself wanting to listen to.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 23rd 2010



5790 Comments


yeah, I was speaking more of fan anger haha, though I do appreciate those that like the album and aren't mad at me. Thanks Cutman, I saw that you wanted me to review this, but I was pretty sure after I posted it you would change your mind.

CutMan
July 23rd 2010



1778 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hah, I'm not like that. In fact, I knew how this review would likely go. I don't get offended just because someone dislikes something, etc.



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