Avenged Sevenfold started off their career in 2000 practicing in singer M. Shadow's garage. Where they recorded a demo tape and were picked up by the independent record label, Hopeless Records, where they released Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. They are quite different from the band you know today, tearing up the charts with their hit singles Bat Country, Beast And The Harlot, and the recently released Seize the Day. They're even different from Waking the Fallen's previous hit single Unholy Confessions. But back to the history, on this album their now current bass player Johnny Christ wasn't in the band yet, and Justin Sane played all of the bass on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. You guys probably remember Synyster Gates as well, well he only made one appearance on this entire album, and surprise surprise it's a solo on the opening track To End Rapture. Enough of this biography, onto the album at hand!
Sounding The Seventh Trumpet is a very unique album, and I mean that in a good way. It's full blown metalcore, and I'm not talking watered down Atreyu type metalcore, I mean real true metalcore. Full of pounding rhythms, audible bass, a few guitar solos, and various breakdowns. STST is an all around great album. Well then why only a 3.5/5 you might ask, because while still a good album, it is nowhere near what they are capable of. The production is mediocre at best, and Shadow's vocals bring it down. His voice is definitely weaker than on City Of Evil or Waking the Fallen, he even has some trouble harmonizing on tracks like "Warmness on the Soul". His vocals also come off as whiny and poor on almost every track during the clean singing. As I said before the production isn't very good, and that effects the harsh vocals in a negative way. Where as during the beginning of Darkness Surrounding" he screams "Darkness coats us!", it sounds more like "Arkness Oats us" only that's all slurred together to make one word.
I mentioned some technical drums and audible bass before, I wasn't lying =0. The drums play a much bigger roll in the sound than most bands. During "Darkness Surrounding" there is even a drum solo of sorts. It's not as technical as most of the album, but it sure does make for an interesting passage. The Rev really uses his toms and double bass a lot on this album, it showcases some of my favorite drumming from him. Like for example, "The Art Of Subconscious Illusions" , during the first verse, he breaks into a unique blend of accented double bass and floor tom hits, with a few cymbal crashes. The bass complements this very well. On their most recent release Sevenfold have almost cut the bass out of the mix, save a few songs, but on STST they seem to embrace Justin's bass playing. On almost every song the bass is audible, and usually playing some hard shit
. Justin also doesn't follow the guitar lines as much as Johnny (Christ, current bassist).
I haven't said this before, but STST has really unique song structures. It's not your typical intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge/breakdwon-solo-chorus-chorus structure here. It's a lot more diverse, yes they have some choruses, but this album reminds me a lot of Dillinger Escape Plan's Miss Machine, in that it has no set song structure, and it's really a free for all. This isn't like most metalcore albums either, most of their songs are in the five minute range. They even brought out the piano for the power ballad "Warmness on the Soul".
Now onto the guitar playing/production elements. The guitar is mostly rhythm sections, with a few lead breaks, "To End Rapture", "Warmness on the Soul", and "An Epic Of Time Wasted" all show lead playing. The guitar tone however leads much to be desired. It's very muddy, and because there are two guitars played for almost every track it mixes together and really makes it sound like the guitar playing is sloppy. The production isn't all bad though, as I have said before the mix is great, everything is equally put together. and the drums sound really good, it's just the vocals and guitar that give it a bad name.
In conclusion this album whilst not City Of Evil or Waking the Fallen is still a very solid effort nonetheless. It's definitely harder to get into than most albums, as it's lacking the catchiness of their newer works, but by no means is this bad. It makes it more unique and better in my opinion.
Turn The Other Way
An Epic Of Time Wasted
Thick and Thin
To End Rapture
Shattered By Broken Dreams