Review Summary: Avenged Sevenfold release a b-side/live album with stronger material than self titled but still lacks what made City of Evil and Waking the Fallen so great
Let me start off by saying i have been a huge Avenged Sevenfold fan since i first heard Bat Country back in 2005, which lead me to buy City of Evil and Waking the Fallen shortly after. I loved these albums. Although both differed from City's Metal sound to Waking's Metal-core style, both albums were well crafted and stand strong in their respective genres, and my hopes were high for the follow up. Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album was a slight disappointment to me, while i enjoyed it lacked that driving duel guitars and style that previous A7X albums had before. Two years later, Diamonds in the rough, a collection of b-sides and covers from the self-titled sessions, alone with a live performance in their home town of orange county, would be released, and my expectations weren't very high.
Diamonds in the Rough:
The cd portion contains a total of 11 songs,7 b-sides,2 covers, and alternate versions of Afterlife and Almost Easy, both from self titled. From the start of Demons, it holds you through most of the song with it's hard hitting drums and roaring guitars, with excellent drum work by the late drummer The Rev. The songs "Girl I Know" and "Crossroads" follow the driving energy of "Demons" Followed by a cover of Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade" which is a good but average listen. The tempo slows down for tracks "Until The End" and "Tension" That add a more self-titled feel to the album but also is a nice placement overall and are solid tracks. Next is the cover of Pantera's "Walk" which is excellent. Shadow's voice soars through the versus and the rest of the band sound better than they usually do, making it an enjoyable listen. Following is "The Fight" and my personal favorite track, "Dancing Dead" which is the strongest track on the album. It was a strong hard rock feel in the versus and a catchy chorus that leads to Synyster Gate's most technical solo to date. The alternative versions of "Almost Easy" and "Afterlife" are nothing special but are an enjoyable listen overall. While this album may not due much for people who didn't like their self titled album, this collection of songs is stronger than self titled and some of these songs should have been on self titled and not b-sides
Live in the LBC:
Live from Long Beach Stadium, this live dvd has some definite highlights. Most notably, M. Shadows screaming in some songs, specifically Second Heartbeat and Unholy Confessions. It is an enjoyable show that ends with A Little Piece Of Heaven, but should have with Unholy Confessions, which they made it a truly epic performance
In Conclusion: This is an enjoyable listen that i recommend for any Avenged Sevenfold fan or anyone getting into this type of music
(This is my first review so please leave me positive comments to improve)