You know the Avenged Sevenfold of today. With singles such as Bat Country tearing up the radio and TRL, it’s hard not to notice them nowadays. Now, just put what you know about that A7X on the backburner for a little bit and we’ll revisit their debut album, Sounding The Seventh Trumpet. This is a very, very different A7X.
Avenged Sevenfold is (on this album):
M. Shadows – vocals
Zacky Vengeance – guitar
The Reverend Tholomew Plague – drums
Justin Sane – bass
Synyster Gates – guitar on “To End The Rapture"
There’s no Axl Rose-like singing from M. Shadows, no Synyster Gates (for most of the album, at least), and for the most part, songs that wouldn’t work in the mainstream. Instead, Shadows uses a raw, violent, and sometimes incomprehensible (I’ll get into that later) scream with some clean vocals mixed here and there. The songs are much more riff-based due to the absence of Gates and there are almost no solos.
However, the first track would give you no indication of that. To End The Rapture
begins the album with the sounds of a thunderstorm. Then, Gates makes his only appearance on the album, playing a technical solo that leads into Shadows singing about the apocalypse. A powerful opener, but that is all it is, an album opener, and not an actual song.
Another thing you may notice is that most of the songs don’t follow any sort of song structure. A good example of this is Turn The Other Way
. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this is one of my favorite songs. This track clocks in at 5:36, and almost never repeats a riff from an earlier part of the song. Shadows uses both his clean and screaming voice and they both sound great. Also, there is some nice drumming involved.
Some parts of this album are heavily punk-influenced. The song Thick and Thin
starts with a punk feel. Having the trademark 1 2 punk drumbeat and a fairly simple chord progression, this song feels like it could fit into any punk album and not stick out. Until Shadows shriek transforms the song into a much more conventional A7X song. Then a couple minutes later, the song changes back into a punk style. This shows the versatility of A7X. Other songs also have parts that feel rather punkish, for example the intro of The Art of Subconscious Illusion
has clean vocals and some punk-like palm muting, but the influence isn’t nearly as strong.
An issue I have with this album is that sometimes Shadows tends to slur the lyrics when screaming. On some songs, like the frantic Breaking Their Hold
, I can’t understand a word Shadows screams without the lyrics booklet handy. There are some parts, like the outros of Darkness Surrounding
and The Art of Subconscious Illusion
in which Shadows will first sing the lyrics cleanly, then repeat himself with a scream. It didn’t hit me the first couple of listens that the lyrics of those two parts were the same (but more so on The Art of Subconscious Illusion).
Most of the songs on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet have the same feel to them. But not all of them. A7X sprinkled in a few songs that sound very different to the rest of the album.
The most obvious one is Warmness on the Soul
. This piano-driven number is a nice break from the chaos that is STST. I think that Shadows plays the piano in this song, but I could be wrong. This song is Shadows completely professing his love to his special someone. Warmness on the Soul also features one of the few guitar solos on the album. An overall beautiful song.
I mentioned the punk influence in this album earlier in the review, and it shines through the most on Streets
. I remember hearing that this song is a cover, but I can’t remember the name of the band. Anyway, this is a straight-up punk song. If this was the only song you heard by A7X and knew nothing of their background, you would never guess that they are (or were, at the time of this recording) a metalcore band.
Shattered by Broken Dreams
is the closer. The first two minutes of the song feel like they would fit perfectly on City of Evil. It starts as one of the softest songs on the album, with an acoustic riff and clean vocals. Slowly over the two-minute long intro, it builds, until it just explodes into a more typical A7X song. The album ends just as it begins, the sounds of a storm.
This is a solid debut album. However, it will not be enjoyed by all. Although I like Shadows’ scream, it may irritate others. If you hate screaming, I highly recommend you stay away, except for maybe songs like Warmness on the Soul. Also, solos are nearly non-existent due to Gates’ absence from the album. All and all, I feel it gets a 4/5.
To End the Rapture (for the solo)
Turn the Other Way
Warmness on the Soul
Thick and Thin
I’m still somewhat new to the reviewing thing, so any constructive criticism will be accepted. Thank you for reading.