Avenged Sevenfold broke onto the scene with the metalcore album "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet", and there was no doubt about it that there was something special about them even then. Sure, they were young, and the music wasn't entirely polished, and Shadow's vocals needed a lot of work...but the album was better than most metalcore you will hear these days. Then something happened, and soon enough the band progressed into something almost entirely different. With "Waking the Fallen", they established themselves as a full blown metal band with punk influences, and gained a lot of fans in the process. Combining soaring clean vocals and powerful screams with heavy riffs and melodic interludes, this band really created an epic atmosphere.
The band, however, was faced with a hardship. M.Shadows blew a blood vessel in his throat, and was now not able to do his trademark scream. The band was to go into a new direction, and with so much talk leading up to it, it was nearly impossible to predict what to expect.
...and yet now it is finally here. "City of Evil", the thrid album from the Orange County group. And this time they have pulled out of the pack, broken down the boundaries, and created a true metal masterpiece. Every track a breathtaking epic, borrowing from bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Guns N' Roses and adding their own twist upon it, creating something entirely original. Shadows voice has never sounded better, perfecting the metal voice, and at times sounding very reminiscent of Axl Rose. Synester Gates has proven he is quite possibly the greatest guitarist of this decade with soloes that even Slash might have difficulty perfecting. This album has everything, breathtaking soloes, beautiful melodies, even a full blown orchestra and choir moment that could give anyone goosebumps.
Avenged Sevenfold has destroyed the scene. They are nowhere near similar to any band still together today. They are original, and in this day and age that almost seems impossible. Meet your new metal gods, and an album that thirty years from now could very well be rememberd as a metal classic.
Now a track by track review.
1. Beast and the Harlot- 10/10. This was the first song I think most of us got a hold of from the album before it came out, and it definately got me interested. It starts out with one of the few (if not the only) screams you will hear on this album. The chorus is a bit iffy, but the track is definately a great opener.
2. Burn It Down- 9/10: Great song with an awesome breakdown and amazing solo. Only gripe is Shadows voice is at its most nasally at the chorus of this track and it can get a bit irritating after awhile. Other than that, great song.
3. Blinded in Chains- 8/10; This is probably my least favorite track on the album, but thats not saying its bad at all. It starts out very similar to "Burn it Down", and it gets a little boring as the song progresses. Some parts seem a little out of place
4. Bat Country- 10/10: A very fun song to listen to. Sounds very 80's metalish and a very singable chorus. Awesome song.
5. Trashed and Scattered: 10/10: I like this song a lot. Shadow's voice sounds very edgy in this one, and for the most part this track reminds me the most of the Waking the Fallen days out of any other track on here. The almost rap-like chorus is a bit weird, but interesting. And I really enoyed the little Axl Rose like yelp Shadows throws in there every so often.
6. Seize the Day- 10/10: Oh how I miss the days of a good power ballad. This song is definately paying tribute to the G'N'R days.Shadows sounds almost exactly like Axl Rose, and Synester Gates solo is one of the most amazing I have ever heard, and sounds just like something Slash would have come up with.
7. Sidewinder- 10/10: A very epic feeling track, and could quite possibly be my favorite track on the album, second only too maybe "The Wicked End". A great chorus, and the latin sounding part towards the end is remarkable.
8. The Wicked End- 10/10: Probably my favorite track on this album. Definately the most epic. It's about the apocalypse, and sounds like the very thing its about. A great heavy metal track, and then the beatiful orchestral and choir part about 4 or 5 minutes into the song. Absolutely breathtaking.
9. Strength of the World: 10/10: Very power metalish. And the chorus sounds very much like that with the deep chanting. Great song and I love the latin sounding intro with the twangy guitars.
10. Betrayed: 8/10: If this album lags at all, this is where it starts too. It's a solid track, but the rest of the tracks on this album kind of make this one pale in comparison. Even so, the guitar work is amazing and the solo incredible. No surprise there.
11. M.I.A- 8/10: Great solo, and very touching towards the end. It's a very good way to close the album.