Avenged Sevenfold
Nightmare


3.0
good

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
July 26th, 2010 | 1272 replies | 102,311 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While Avenged Sevenfold have previously been able to overcome their weaknesses, the strongest moments on Nightmare aren't quite good enough to hide its flaws.

If there's a grey area between solid return to form and stagnant mediocrity, this is more or less where Avenged Sevenfold hits the mark with Nightmare. Given the terrible rut the band worked themselves into on their self-titled record and the less than stellar "Nightmare" and "Buried Alive", previewed in the weeks leading up to the album's release, Nightmare's prospects didn't look good. But then again, even Avenged Sevenfold's good albums have unfortunate moments (the bro-downs in Sounding the Seventh Trumpet's "Thick and Thin", the mundane pace in Waking the Fallen's "Desecrate Through Reverence", the clumsy songwriting in City of Evil's "Betrayed"). While they've previously been able to overcome their weaknesses, the strongest moments on Nightmare aren't quite good enough to hide Avenged Sevenfold's flaws.

Nightmare isn't an easy album to dive into for two major reasons, both of which hold back several otherwise decent tracks. Avenged Sevenfold have always been at their best when they focus on playing infectious melodic metal (or metalcore), particularly through their utilization of Iron Maiden inspired guitar harmonies. The results are predictably less than adept when they get heavier. It's obvious that they love Pantera and Metallica, but the chunky, down-tuned groove riffs sounded terrible in the '90s, and sound terrible in "Nightmare", "Welcome to the Family", "Buried Alive", and especially "God Hates Us". It's a problem closely related to Nightmare's other huge issue: the album is too damn long. Or it feels that way at any rate; Nightmare's sixty-six minutes run shorter than both Waking the Fallen and City of Evil, and though the majority of the record's rockers are only around five minutes long, they do not flow as fluidly as they could. With the exception of "God Hates Us" and "Buried Alive", guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance do transition back into their melodic tendencies in choruses, instrumental breaks, and the like, making for a much more engaging listen. Granted, so long as you can make it through the poor attempts at groove influenced metal, that is.

"God Hates Us" aside, the second half of Nightmare is where things get really interesting. Eschewing the sometimes noteworthy, sometimes half-baked metal sound established earlier, Avenged Sevenfold embrace both acoustic pieces and ballads alike. While the band's slower songs are usually hit or miss, ranging from great ("I Won't See You Tonight, Pt 1"), to the mediocre ("Warmness On the Soul"), to flat out awful ("Dear God"), they're excellent this time around. For an album plagued by macho metal posturing, it comes at a key moment. The Alice in Chains influenced "Tonight the World Dies" is especially notable, building its foundation on its heat-choked atmosphere rather than instrumental prowess. Between the piano heavy "Fiction", dark power-ballad "Victim", and stripped down "So Far Away", it's a much needed breath of fresh air.

Perhaps the chief reason for Avenged Sevenfold's mini-resurgence is that they're actually inspired again. The most offensive aspect of their self-titled album was that it sounded like they weren't even trying, which was reflected in the record's atrocious output. Nightmare is a completely different offering; even though it still has highly questionable moments, it's obvious that a genuine effort was put in, and that's enough reason to listen. In a way, Nightmare is Avenged Sevenfold's most important record. It's as much closure for the group's surviving members as it is a dedication to The Rev after the drummer's untimely death. In this regard, it's a very respectable record. But at the same time, it just isn't as good as Waking the Fallen, City of Evil, or even Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, and whether it'll maintain the listening power that made those albums so good remains to be seen.



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user ratings (1694)
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...

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

  • J. Ponton EMERITUS (2.5)
    The sound of the band slowly pulling themselves together, in more ways than one....

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


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
July 26th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the good parts kind of make me want to give it 3.5 but eeeeeeh

Ponton
Emeritus
July 26th 2010



5790 Comments


shoot...

had no idea, sorry for stealing a lot of the response for this

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2010



15656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

still havent heard this but prolly will dl tomorrow

Digging: Low Roar - 0

BassDemon333
July 26th 2010



3359 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

best review wirtten for this album so far.

Ire
July 26th 2010



41753 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

best review written for this album so far.

this

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2010



23804 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I love how this has 29 classic votes already. Album is probably bad but I'll dl anyway. I've got a soft spot for this band.

Romulus
July 26th 2010



8423 Comments


Honestly I think Shadows' voice will turn me off of basically anything this band does.

Yazz_Flute
July 26th 2010



18769 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

You didn't like God Hates Us?

This is the review I agree with the most though, besides that.

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

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2010



17204 Comments


mmm

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 26th 2010



7022 Comments


3 is about right

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

ZestyCactus
July 26th 2010



11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool review bro. I'm kind of stoked to hear this album, actually... been getting pretty nostalgic for a7x as of late.

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 26th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cheers guys

had no idea, sorry for stealing a lot of the response for this
??? whatchu talkin bout

I've got a soft spot for this band
yeah same. after s/t and the first two songs i didn't really want to hear it, but they were one of the first bands i started listening to heavily so I caved and listened anyway

You didn't like God Hates Us?
idk not a fan. The songwriting is pretty weak and I really don't like the way he does the screaming

JWT155
July 26th 2010



9211 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'm not a huge fan of God Hates Us as well, screaming was meh.

Puckingham
July 26th 2010



62 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If anything about this album, the weakest thing about it is it's pacing. Spread the slower songs out, and you've got an album you can listen to in it's entirety and continually be kept on your toes.

Im really suprised you didn't like welcome to the family. That lead guitar in the chorus is about as catchy and fun as I've ever heard. moreso even than anything on City of Evil, which pretty much was as catchy and fun as metal can be.

Good review though, even if i disagree with a lot of it, you're entitled to your opinions

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 26th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Im really suprised you didn't like welcome to the family. That lead guitar in the chorus is about as catchy and fun as I've ever heard. moreso even than anything on City of Evil, which pretty much was as catchy and fun as metal can be.

I said I just don't like the way it starts. Otherwise it's pretty enjoyable for the reason you mentioned.

BallsToTheWall
July 26th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's obvious that they love Pantera and Metallica, but the chunky, down-tuned groove riffs sounded terrible in the '90s, and sound terrible in "Nightmare", "Welcome to the Family", "Buried Alive", and especially "God Hates Us".


Wow, I completely disagree with that. But good review regardless. God Hates Us is one of the top 3 songs here.

blindsided21
July 26th 2010



146 Comments


"Honestly I think Shadows' voice will turn me off of basically anything this band does."

AMEN! God, I hate Shadows' voice.

Puckingham
July 26th 2010



62 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah balls, i gotta say, for some reason, i really enjoy buried alive and also god hates us. I keep picturing the skeletons head banging from their promo video when i hear it. It's silly i know, but i love it just for that reason.

TheFantasticDangler
July 27th 2010



1154 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Regardless that our ratings are similar, I disagree with most of your points. Review was well written though.

Digging: Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Spec
July 27th 2010



27107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I really liked the album though.

Digging: Rinoa - An Age Among Them



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