Avenged Sevenfold
City of Evil


4.5
superb

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
August 10th, 2006 | 1357 replies | 65,735 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Fast guitar solos. Skillful double bass drumming. Heavy riffs. All of those are terms that apply to heavy metal music. Avenged Sevenfold’s third album, City of Evil has all of those things. So why do some people insist upon saying that Avenged Sevenfold is not a metal band? We all know the story. Vocalist Matt Shadows messed up his voice by screaming incorrectly on their first two albums, so he was forced to use clean vocals throughout all of City of Evil. Avenged lost a lot of old fans and gained a lot of new ones with the release of this album. It’s catchy enough to appeal to people that aren’t into metal, yet it still has all of the elements that metal fans love. Some people say they’re sellouts; others have touted them as the saviors of metal. I don’t agree with either of those. But one thing’s for sure: Avenged Sevenfold is metal.

I’m going to come right out and say that the vocals on Waking the Fallen and Sounding the Seventh Trumpet were awful. The clean singing was just alright, but the screaming was terrible. My vocal chords hurt just listening to it. So I think I’m justified in saying that Shadows’ surgery was the best thing that ever happened to the band. Instead of barely understandable pig squealing, we get straightforward rock/metal vocals. Although the vocals are a huge step up from their previous efforts, I still have some complaints about them. Shadows’ screaming was no doubt painful to listen to, but some of the vocals on here are painful as well, just in a different way. On some songs, when Shadows hits a high note, it makes me wince just like his screaming did. Also, his voice tends to comes off as whiny here and there, most notably on Seize the Day. Fortunately, whiny singing is the exception and not the rule for this album.

Additionally, I felt that they tampered too much with Shadows’ vocals. Overdubbing is prominent throughout the whole CD, and it can get annoying after a while. I can understand that they wanted to take attention away from the lack of screaming by making his new voice stand out as much as possible, but at times it feels like they messed with it too much. The most obvious example of this is in Beast and the Harlot. Every vocal line is overdubbed, and although it sounds good, I think they should have laid off on the overdubs a little bit to let Shadows’ natural voice be heard more. When his voice isn’t being hampered down by overdubs and whininess, Shadows’ voice is incredibly strong. His lyrics aren’t too shabby either. Their first two albums contained average metalcore lyrics, but Shadows’ lyrics on City of Evil are equal parts epic and powerful. Whether the subject matter is the apocalypse (Beast and the Harlot and The Wicked End), revenge (Burn It Down and Strength of the World), or a pseudo-political commentary (Blinded in Chains), Shadows shows some immense writing skill that just wasn’t present on their first two albums.

Although I don’t like their previous efforts that much at all, one thing that has always impressed me about Avenged Sevenfold’s music is their “structureless song structures.” Every song on this album is longer than four and a half minutes, yet A7X manages to keep them fresh by throwing in multiple bridges, variations on verses and choruses, and numerous guitar solos. A verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formula is rarely ever used. The increase in musicianship is even more impressive than the change in vocals. A7X compensated for the lack of screaming with their instruments, most notably the guitars. The solos on Waking the Fallen were good, but Synyster and Zacky took it to a whole new level on this album. You can find everything on this album from sweep picking (The Wicked End, Seize the Day) to an acoustic solo (Sidewinder, courtesy of Synyster’s father), to harmonizing (M.I.A., Bat Country), to all out shredding (Beast and the Harlot). They don’t disappoint with their riffs either; check out Strength of the World and Betrayed. The Rev is a pretty talented drummer, and he likes his double bass pedal. His standout song is Blinded in Chains, where he goes crazy with some sweet fills and fast feet. Johnny Christ, sadly, is not heard for most of the album. He’s a pretty skilled bass player, and they should give him more room to show off his talent. He isn’t invisible though; he can be heard playing some nice riffs on songs such as Blinded in Chains and Trashed and Scattered.

Best Song on the Album

The Wicked End – This song’s got it all. An awesome bass/harmonized guitar intro, great lyrics and vocals, a sweet solo, and a creepy orchestral section coupled with choir vocals.

Avenged Sevenfold’s City of Evil is one of the most impressive metal albums of the past few years. It’s catchy, yet heavy and technical, but not so technical that the instrumentation distracts you from the rest of the music. In my opinion, this is a better representation of the metal genre than any Metallica or Slayer album.

4.5/5



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user ratings (3116)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mmmmmmmmhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm

Cravinov13
August 10th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Not a bad review. At least your rating is diffrent, since this is now the only 4.5 review for this CD. However, you really didn't write anything new that the other 10 or so reviews havn't already.

MisterPilgrim
August 10th 2006



233 Comments


To be honest, I think you wrote too much about the vocals and not enough about the overall album sound or the other aspects of the music. It's well-written and all, but... Yeah.This Message Edited On 08.10.06

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



16071 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh yeah 10 reviews for this album thats tasty.
It was well written, but it didn't bring much new analysis to the table review-wise to be honest.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Thor
August 10th 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Do we need another?
No.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To all above: I know. But I did it anyway.

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 10th 2006



4405 Comments


Sorry Custis, what everyone else said.

Cravinov13
August 10th 2006



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I don't think you're gonna get much feedback then this though.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

weeeeeeeeee I don't care. I had fun writing it.

Drunken Viking
August 10th 2006



1023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review man, I agree with nearly all of it. Except the vocal overdubs part, I think it was neccesary, while yes Beast and the Harlot could have done without during the verses and breakdown I'd say it sounded pretty good for the most part. For example Burn it Down, If the chorus had all been one track it would have sucked, but with the 4-5 tracks used it sounds huge.

So in conclusion, the A7X faonboy approves and applauds your review!

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WOOOOOOOOO THX!

Really the only reason I did this review was because I'm trying to branch off and do some different stuff. Next up: SLAYERRRRRRR!!!! Actually I have no idea what I'm doing next.

Angmar
August 10th 2006



2689 Comments


in chans defense if someone wants to write a review than let them so what lots of people already wrote it just let them write in peace.

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 10th 2006



4405 Comments


Uh... No one said he couldn't write it. We didn't tell him he's a useless asshole and should delete it. We're just giving our opinions.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Settle down children. I won't have any bickering in my review.

south_of_heaven 11
August 10th 2006



5426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review mr. chan

Not a bad album at all...

PS: Don't 'whoa' at my picture again...

Next up: SLAYERRRRRRR!!!! Actually I have no idea what I'm doing next.

SLAYER!This Message Edited On 08.10.06

"Freshly Baked"
August 10th 2006



583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, obviously this is good and doesnt need to be reviewed again. but i'd rather someone review it who knows what they're doing rather than some guy with two reviews that gives every song a 5.

Strength of the world is incureably boring IMOThis Message Edited On 08.10.06


[quote=southofheaven11]SLAYER![/quote]

Ummm, since when did you like slayer :DThis Message Edited On 08.10.06

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The "WHOA" was referring to the smore.

n thx

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 10th 2006



4405 Comments


Chan, your still numba one. Unlike this album. And Scientology.

What a crock of shit.
This Message Edited On 08.10.06

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 10th 2006



17911 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Scientology is 4 stoopid ppl.

Bee Ron, South, and Chan. BIFFS4LYFEKTHXBYE!

south_of_heaven 11
August 10th 2006



5426 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And Scientology

ewwww tom cruise blahhhh



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