Review Summary: This band's latest effort is one of their best, despite losing their drummer, the late Jimmy (The Rev) Sullivan.
These guys have been through a lot since the death of the dearly departed Jimmy Sullivan back in December, 2009, but they've have pulled through, and they've made an absolutely amazing album The Rev would be proud of. Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater filled in for The Rev, and he was a worthy replacement, being the idol of Jimmy (The Rev)
The opening, and their first single, 'Nightmare', is the perfect opening for this album, beginning with innocent bell chimes and then ending with Matt Shadows' signature raspy voice, "It's your f***in' nightmare!" sends chills down your spine. The guitar work, as expected, is pretty mind-blowing.
One of my favorite songs, entitled 'So Far Away', is an acoustic classic, and is depressing in a sense, but one of the best songs on the album. 'Buried Alive' reminds me of Metallica, and it's not a bad thing at all, as it should be the band's second single.
You can tell, if the band is religious, that they have hate towards God for taking away The Rev, one of the best percussionists out there, as the song title suggests. This is one of the most heavy songs on the album, bringing back Matt Shadows' 'Waking The Fallen'-esque screams, and it's probably one of the best songs on the album.
We now go to one of the songs that nearly made me cry, dedicated to The Rev, with his own drum patterns and vocals intact, is entitled 'Fiction.' This song has some of the most moving lyrics I've heard in a song. It's interesting that Jimmy (The Rev) turned this song into his bandmates 3 days before his death, and it's quite a coincidence that it seems this song was a goodbye to his family and friends - 'I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you.' This song is eerie, as there is only a piano and drumbeats throughout.
'Save Me', the last track, is an epic of a song, clocking in at ten minutes and 57 seconds. To me, this whole album was the Nightmare, and 'Save Me' is the waking from the Nightmare, a perfect ending to an absolutely amazing album.
Matt Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Guitar, Backing Vocals), Zacky Vengeance (Guitar, Backing Vocals), and Mike Portnoy (Percussion) have made The Rev Proud, and wherever he is, he's looking at them with a smile.
Overall, this album gets a 4.5/5. If you're a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, this album WON'T disappoint, and if you're not a fan, pick it up anyways, this will probably win you over.
R.I.P. Jimmy (The Rev) Sullivan.