Review Summary: Sounding the Seventh Trumpet is an original, experimental piece of work that successfully achieves what many up and coming bands cannot; release a decent debut album that appeals to the public.
Avenged Sevenfold’s first album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
contains only two of the members that currently reside in the band – M. Shadows and Zacky Vengeance. Synyster Gates, existing lead guitarist for A7X, is absent from this album for the most part. It was released with bassist Justin Sane and James Sullivan on the drums. In Avenged Sevenfold
you see Avenged Sevenfold develop to an almost hard rock style of music, fusing brisk melodies with complex chord progressions. Yet before their abrupt change of musical ideologies in City of Evil
, there was a darker, riff-oriented style of music that is Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
is very innovative, and there are many creative moments of brilliance hidden within this record. Avenged Sevenfold experiment with multiple genres, most commonly a combination of punk and metalcore, best noted on “Thick and Thin.” They successfully develop Shadows vocals on some occasions, and overdub his screamed vocals with clean which is greatly beneficial and it also adds an extra punch. This can be heard on the albums preeminent track, “Darkness Surrounding.” At times, however, there are some cons that can be gathered from their inexperience as a band. Without anybody in particular to hold A7X on a leash, they create a few awkward passages that detract from the overall atmosphere of a certain song. During “The Art of Subconscious Illusion,” M.Shadows’ wife lets rip a line of vicious, satanic screams, and although it is tentative, the fruitless attempts at livening the song fail. On “Shattered By Broken Dreams,” the vocals subside into a whisper in the middle of song in a vain attempt to create a unsettling ambience. On the contrary, it is rather annoying and unnecessary. However the brutal punk-based riff that follows makes up for the lack of environment. Frequently Avenged Sevenfold achieve a certain mood by a varying use of instruments. “We Come Out At Night,” and “Warmness on the Soul,” withhold monumental piano refrains that are chilling to the bone.
Without Synyster Gates, the guitar-work contained inside Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
is a lot simpler, devoid of the memorable duets that rumble on Avenged Sevenfolds later efforts. It is instead blazoned with brutal riffs and vehement breakdowns, although exceedingly dissimilar to those you would find on a typical Bring Me The Horizon
record. The tone of the guitars is very dark, and the heavy guitar tone brings an implausible number of benefits to the table. Where a band could’ve faltered and gone for a frail, un-distorted tone, Avenged Sevenfold blasted in the opposite direction to great subsidy. Although the overall feel from the majority of the tracks is that the guitar-work is sloppy and messy, it certainly doesn’t subtract anything from the records original quality. The album is devoid of guitar solos and sometimes this figure is really apparent in songs that lack a punch. “An Epic of Time Wasted,” seems like a dull, repetitive track until a brief yet effective guitar phrase comes into play on multiple occasions.
Synyster Gates only features once on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
yet when he does, he does it in style, laying down a ferocious solo leading into the short song “To End the Rapture.” The original version of this song, features just an atmospheric piano playing along with M. Shadows unnerving vocals. Throughout the record, the singing seems the exact opposite to what people complain about Shadows’ vocals today: they are under-produced
. At times his clean singing seems strained, and slightly off tune, yet it is these exact imperfections that really exemplify certain songs, like “Darkness Surrounding.” The majority of the record is screamed, and the dark growling although sometimes ear-splitting and off-putting is generally performed well.
The musicianship on display isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The bass is generally a non-factor unless it’s the only instrument playing. The drums follow a simple beat for most songs, however on “Lips of Deceit,” the Rev really breaks free of his bonds and shows everyone the supreme amount of talent he suppresses.
Avenged Sevenfold release a very competent and innovative record that exemplifies the ability to release a far from ordinary debut album which many bands seem to be doing in this day and age. There are a few rough patches throughout the course of the album, yet overall it is a very successful attempt to liven an often limited yet over-whelming genre.
+ Guitar tone suits the feel
+ Good variety
+ Song-writing ability is there
- Awkward passages appearing often
- Inconsistency of good breakdowns
Thick and Thin
To End the Rapture (Both versions)
We Come out at Night