Review Summary: A7X's Warner Bros. label debut appears to attract a huge audience to their talent...
This album departs from the weak metalcore style used in the last two albums and gives Avenged Sevenfold a stronger, more unique sound that will give them more mainstream attention which, I infer, would have been what they wanted; The fact that they still have many haters is irrelevant. Synyster can still shred and the Rev can still play drums accurately and impressively. M Shadows has stopped performing harsh vocals and then depended on a vocal couch who had previously trained vocalists from rock groups, such as Soundgarden and Guns & Roses; But you will hear him scream on "Blinded In Chains", but it doesn't sound like anything you'd hear on "Sounding The Seventh Trumpet". Now, there is no way to describe A7X apart from labelling them as just "Metal" or "Hard Rock". Guitar leads are very common on the songs on the album which sound very melodeath-influenced (Reminds me a bit of 90's Carcass), and They have also got into the habit of putting some orchestration into songs, like in moments of "Strength of the World" and "The Wicked End".
From what I can see, this album has songs with good choices of lyrical themes, which other A7X records arguably don't have (with the exception of "Nightmare"), like "Betrayed" or "MIA". "Betrayed" is written under tribute to Dimebag Darrel; guitarist of successful groove metal band, Pantera. In case you don't know, he was shot on stage when performing with Damageplan live, in the year before this album was released. Another thing that I have easily noticed is Avenged Sevenfold's influence on legendary progressive metallers, known as "Dream Theater" (Their former drummer, Mike Portnoy has named this album one of his favourite albums of 2005*. He would then later, in 2010, perform with A7X to record "Nightmare".) When you listen to "Blinded In Chains", you can hear that Honor Thy Father riff in the first 2 verses of the song. In conclusion of the review, I don't find anything in this album too bad, but this album was a very successful one (followed by their self-titled in 2007).
Strength Of The World
Blinded By Chains
The Wicked End