Review Summary: Great album, defines the old A7X. The singing in spots is a bit iffy, but overall a very successful record.
Avenged Sevenfold’s second studio album Waking the Fallen
was released as the successor of a rather unavailing attempt to burst into the new wave of metal that was rocking the world. At times Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
was painful to the eardrums, with the mixing and recording unable to hit the sweet spot that all bands aim to do when they venture into the studio. With Avenged Sevenfold’s new record label, Hopeless, and the recruitment of two studio producers A7X were quickly wound in with a tighter leash on their ‘creativity’ that sometimes made SStST painful. However, this did not halt the flow of innovative genius that is Waking the Fallen
. Like a correctly baked Pavlova sprinkled with Toblerone and peppermint, this album had the right amount of variation to make it close to the LeBron James of new age metal.
As soon as the first track Waking the Fallen
kicks in, the listener can easily feel the dark, deranged atmosphere that is spread throughout the entirety of the album. Matt Shadows singing is infectious and sung with obvious emotion and feeling, something he lacks to do in some of A7X’s recent albums. The voice is a lot less sloppy and clearly better managed than in Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
and the backing vocals of Zacky Vengeance actually sound close to being in tune. Waking the Fallen
is half sung, half screamed and Matt pulls of the frequent clean vocals with success.
The song I Won’t See You Tonight Pt 1
leaves a chill running down your spine after listening to it. Shadows pulls of the line No more breath inside. Essence left my heart tonight
to near perfection with the lyrics bursting with pain and sentiment. His vocal range used in Waking the Fallen
is extraordinary, as Matt hits the lows in Unholy Confessions
along with those hard-to-reach highs in I Won’t See You Tonight
. Shadows’ screaming leaves a lot to desire and is often as unsavoury as a broken garden gnome. His growled vocals didn’t add much to the drawing board and on some occasions withdrew from the original quality of the song.
Desecrate Through Reverance
is a perfect example of his singing gone astray. When he bursts out with Learn from years gone by, no-one will care, what happens to me…
Shadows is singing at his best. Besides the clean vocals that are used varyingly throughout the song, Matts singing has a lot in common with the noise a cat makes when it’s dying a slow and painful death. The one place where it all clicks is during the second half of And All Things Will End
where the growling fits in perfectly with the rest of the song.
The Rev’s drumming throughout the album is exemplary as it adds an extra kick to some of the weaker songs. Remenissions
, and the percussion used within that song is out of the ordinary as James Sullivan beats the living daylight of his kit. Unlike City of Evil
there is less duelling guitars in random bridges that appear from out of nowhere. The songs are better measured and structured and the guitar is never really out of place. Waking the Fallen
contains a lot of guitar harmonies, or melodic riffs. Chapter Four
and Second Heartbeat
hold two memorable guitar duets that really make the songs stand out. Although there is a lot less crazy, unexpected soloing, Synyster Gates still gets plenty of lead-way. He performs 2 minute solos on two occasions throughout the album. Second Heartbeat
and And All Things Will End
have absolutely crazy solos when the song completely breaks down. The bass of Johnny Christ is really a non-factor and needed to be used more to unleash the full potential of the album.
To put the icing on the cake A7X released an absolute monster of a song; Unholy Confessions
. The second the song starts you know it’s going to be good. The ferociously strummed intro riff sets the tone for the rest of the song. The lyrics during the chorus of Unholy Confessions
are phenomenal, with Avenged Sevenfold laying down lines like: When time soaked with blood turns it back and confided in me was your heart
Waking the Fallen
should be the sound Avenged Sevenfold aim to recreate on all of their other albums. It is full of emotion and love for their music, which would be hard to say for the rest of their albums. The singing is similar to in Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
yet it has been refined to create a crisp voice that never leaves the listeners mind. The atmosphere of the album is very dark, and the tone of the guitars add to the murky ambience. If the bass become more of a factor and the quality of the screaming bettered, Waking the Fallen
could have become a revolution for all up and coming metal bands around the world.
I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1