Review Summary: Overall a really good modern rock album with a few heavy metal tracks.
After the tragic death of The Rev, the band made a tribute album for him. While this is a tribute album, it's really good but not exactly perfect or the "best album ever" of course. It is the band's most darkest album they've made along with the spooky and ominous album cover they used. The band went completely away from that radio rock/symphonic rock stuff from their self-titled album and made an album like City of a Evil only more heavier and with a few tracks that are more metal than hard rock. Matt Shadows doesn't sound like there's any Axl Rose influence in his singing off this album. He sounds like he's trying hard to sound like James Hetfield. Just look at the song "Nightmare". In the verses of the song, he sings like the way James Hetfield typically sings like. He even does some growling in a few songs, but overall just singing, of course. "So Far Away" and "Tonight the World Dies" are pretty soft ballads off this album with so much emotion in the lyrics. They mostly have acoustic guitars in them. Even "So Far Away" has a little bit of possible influences from country music like Johnny Cash
. But it isn't country rock, just a rock ballad. The heavy metal tracks off this album are the most best this album has to offer. "God Hates Us", for example, is the heaviest song off this album. It has a lot of growling in it and crazy soloing but some really depressing intros. It actually is somewhat thrashy as well. It isn't a metalcore song though, but just simply metal. "Lost It All" is also pretty heavy and "Natural Born Killer" is extremely metal. It begins with some heavy, fast riff and lots of blast beats. Other than that, there isn't really much more metal on here. Although, "Buried Alive" starts off as just rock, but then later the song becomes metal. The song is a little reminiscent of Metallica
's song "One". However, there isn't any thrash metal characteristics in this song. The fact that Mike Portnoy played the exact drum lines written by The Rev is respect. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance basically down-tuned their guitars lower in this album but not like a band like Korn
of course. What is still there is Synyster's overly squeaky guitar solos. This is a pretty decent Avenged Sevenfold album. Even some fans of their second album "Waking the Fallen" might enjoy it a little.