Review Summary: After the passing of their drummer does a band still release quality or consistant music?
Avenged Sevenfold portray the mood of their current line-up and after the passing of 'The Rev' does Dream Theater extraordinaire Portnoy do the album justice?
The album 'Nightmare' tells a tale of loss from a band missing the greater part of their creative talent. The album obviously tells a tale of sorrow amongst other issues with the main theme being the loss of the drummer.
The opening title track 'Nightmare' sets the mood of the rest of the album perfectly, from the dark, melodic ringing notes added with a small orchestral section presents the listener with a very dark themed song. The lyrical context of this song is a great example of the mood of the album with ideas spreading from evil, heaven and hell, even with cautionary themes. Portnoys inclusion, whilst playing music 'The Rev' originally wrote, adds a positive light on the rest of the album on the rest of the album. Portnoy's skill can find himself playing in most drumming roles in the metal/rock genre.
The guitar work of Avenged Sevenfold has been steadily improving with each record and 'Nightmare' is no different. As typical of Avenged Sevenfold listeners can expect high levels of lead guitar work and it is not un-common to find extensive guitar solos and fills through most if not all of their songs. Both guitarists display exceptional song writing and guitar skills, if not at times the best creative taste, the production of the bass guitar remains relatively un-heard through the recording process without a quality set of speakers, and when it is noticed it hugs the rest of the rhythm section. The weakest part of Avenged Sevenfold as a whole is the vocal work of M.Shadows as they come over more often than not as testosterone fueled and overly aggressive marring an otherwise good effort for the album and while there is some talent behind his vocals it does not improve his overall feel on the album.
Standout tracks on the album include 'Natural Born Killer'. A fast-paced, heavier track using quality level of riffage, melody lines, and the vocal lines change from the normal aggressive patterns into a some-what melodic lines. The guitar solo is well thought of and tasteful to the rest of the music behind it. A quality track with a diverse song structure.
Another level of diversity is shown when the album leads into a shorter track, a country styled ballad which not unfamiliar to Avenged Sevenfold adds a nice change for listeners.
For listeners looking for something a little heavier than the rest of the album the track 'God Hates Us' with faster, heavier riffs and screamed vocals, however its not all heavy this track starts and ends with melodic tones and creates a more tasteful track.
Overall Avenged Sevenfold have released a quality record after the loss of their drummer, the album may not be the best listen for everybody, but it contains quality solos,and the added flair of Portnoy's drum-beats. From start to finish listeners are provided with an interesting listen and fans will not be dissapointed by the effort.
Welcome To The Family
God Hates Us