Avenged Sevenfold
City of Evil



by LiZeR USER (1 Reviews)
June 14th, 2005 | 998 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil (2005)
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal (I hope I got this right :P)

Vocals – Matt Shadows
Lead Guitar – Synyster Gates
Guitar – Zacky Vengeance
Bass – Johnny Christ
Drums – The Rev


First I’d like to say, as much as I try to be as objective as possible, there will always be a bit of bias. And sorry to those that are looking for a track by track review. I just thought it’d be easier to get a general feel of the album by doing it in paragraphs. :P

Fans of A7X’s old material were definitely skeptical about “City of Evil”, especially when Matt announced last summer that the new record will have no screaming at all due to his throat surgery. Many had already labeled them as sell outs after they signed onto Warner Brothers. That is for a discussion elsewhere, and I wont touch the subject matter anymore in this review. With no song shorter than 4:58 (“Burn it Down”) and most songs averaging 6-7 minutes, this is certainly not going to receive a lot of radio or MTV support.

Musically, the guys didn’t disappoint. Generally, I’d summarize City of Evil as a mix of Iron Maiden, Guns and Roses, Pantera and Queen. The album showcases the musicianship of the band, with no one being left out. The obvious standout is the guitar work on every song, which are each filled with Iron Maiden-esque harmonized riffs, with Synyster pulling off some pretty good solos in “Burn it Down”, “Seize the Day”, “Bat Country”, and “Strength of the world”. “Sidewinder” even ends with a flamenco guitar solo accompanied by bongo drums (correct me if I’m wrong). Edit [Although the solos are pretty good, some of them dont seem to "fit in" with their respected songs as well as they did on WTF. Although on WTF there were less solos, most of them added to the "feel" of the song, ie. the chaotic solo in "I won't See You tonight part 2". On this album, they are good, I'm not saying they're bad, it's just that they don't feel as if they add to the songs' emotions as well as they did on their last album.] Unlike “WTF”, the bass can be heard on this album with Johnny Christ laying down some pretty good bass riffs with an 8 string bass, as can be heard on “Trashed and Scattered” and “Blinded in Chains”; “Bat Country” also features some really good bass playing and “The Wicked End” begins with a surprisingly good bass riff. To complete the rhythm section on this album, the Rev’s drumming is nothing short of incredible. His double bass can be heard thumping throughout the album and his abilities are showcased on almost every song, while his versatility is best displayed at the ending of “Sidewinder” (nothing incredible here, just a different feel he creates with his drums). Extras that the major label could provide for them were a full-blown orchestra and a boys choir which intensify the power of the epics “The Wicked End” and “Strength of the World”, the latter which is a song about avenging the murder of a sister.

Finally, the vocals…I can’t say I love them. Without the screaming, every song is sung, for some songs it works incredibly well, and on others not so much. Sometimes I feel he sounds like he’s whining like Axl Rose, but that’s my personal opinion. I felt the clean vocals on “WTF” were as good as they can get for him, but for some reason Matt hired Axl Rose’s vocal coach, and on a few parts in some songs his voice just sounds whiny. In addition, I think they over-layered Matt’s vocals on a lot of songs; sure it sounds good to have back vocals at a few parts in a song, but on many songs I felt there were too many vocal layers layered on top of one another (ie. the verses in “The Beast and the Harlot”). That’s a minor flaw on the album, and shouldn’t prevent anyone from giving the album a good listen. On some songs like “Seize the Day” and “M.I.A” his vocals are more reminiscent of those on “WTF”. It’s nothing that really affects the strength of the album, I just thought it took some getting used to.

Without the screaming the songs themselves are a little more straightforward, which could be seen as a weakness in this album. Fans of the older material will likely miss the vocal variations that were present on those albums. Lyrically, the album is decent, except I felt Matt threw too many “***s” all over the album. You have your typical metal themes, ie. Revenge, death, tributes (“Betrayed” is written in memory of Dimebag) etc. including a dark love song in “Seize the Day”.

Overall, I think A7X have matured a tad more with this release, and although it’s completely different from their old material, it is still an enjoyable listen with good replay value. Choosing any “standout tracks” would be hard, because almost every song on this album is worth a listen. I hope Matt will revert to his “WTF” era clean vocals, because I thought they were more powerful that way. Anyhow, aside from my personal dislike of his new vocal approach, the album is definitely worth a listen from anyone that’s open-minded.

Burn it Down
Seize the Day
The Wicked End
Strength of the World


-Good music, highlighted by the twin guitar leads and solos, nice bass lines and some technical drumming from the Rev.
-Some of the songs sound epic, which should appeal to listeners looking for a musical adventure.
-No more screaming, so this would appeal to listeners that can’t stand screaming.

-With the average song averaging 6-7 minutes, the typical listener might not have the patience to get through a whole song.
-Some of Matt’s clean vocals will strike a wrong chord with some old fans.
-No more screaming, so gone is the vocal Schizophrenia that A7X was known for.
-[Edit] Some of the guitar solos dont seem to fit in with the song.
-[Edit] The songs have an immediate effect, but on the long run they dont seem as "replayable" as their old material.



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June 14th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, fair and balanced

June 14th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

This review is much better than the old one; not as biased, and your opinions are completely backed up. Nice job!

June 14th 2005


Album Rating: 1.5

much better than the other review. I'm still gonna pick this up. Very nice job lizer

June 15th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

Loved the album, but I didnt really enjoy the layerd vocals ala Guns n Roses. And when Shadows does try to scream, it makes me cringe hearing him doing it. But all in all the singing he does is pretty good considering his predicament. And I do agree on the whiney voice in "Burn It Down", it sounds nasal like and all that. However, the guitars on the other, simply amazing, and the acoustic guitar solo in Sidewinder, wow love it.

June 16th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

I just realized what a good review this was. Bravo, I'll be picking this up soon.

June 17th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the comments guys! I've wanted to write a review for a while now, but this is my first :P

In hindsight after having this CD in my CD player for a week, I probably rated the drumming a little too high, but I won't change it now. (I have a thing for double bass :P)

The first time I listened to the album, I didn't like it too much. But after a few listens it grew on me and I guess i got used to Matt's vocals. Though I still like Waking the Fallen a lot more.

Personally, I'd rank this behind STST. (WTF>STST>CoE)

June 17th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

i was definitely shakey on how this album was going to sound without the screaming. Singing made all the songs kinda different from their two previous albums and it took some getting use to which was a good thing. It allowed me to listen to the album a few more times and a handful of the songs sounded really good after going through the album for the third time or so. Ppl should really check this album out and it was a very nice review.

I still think that WTF was their best album. STST and CoE i would prolly say are about the same to me.

July 1st 2005


City Of Evil, was more "solo's" and "nasal" music, by 'Nasal' I mean M.Shadow did blow a vein in his throat right? ( or somthing like that forget where it was.. )
So his singing was a bit less screaming, but not that big of an adjust ment, I mean this is an amazing album, just like everyother one they released..even if its only 3 1/2
( 1/2 = Wamness on the soul Cd, only like 3 songs on it )
But I love this CD, it was amazing and blew me away. Also great job on the review

July 2nd 2005


awesome album. The guitar is mind-blowing. M. Shadows is not that greatest vocalist by any means. I almost died when i listened to the part in M.I.A. where he tries to sing high pitched. The drums are also very strong. Just a talented band all around.

July 2nd 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album...I got it awhile back, like a week after it came out. Bat Country is my favorite song on it. And the solos are so damn good... *drools*

July 3rd 2005


Album Rating: 1.5

i thought that this was a good album when i listened to it a few times. it was hard to get used to without the screaming, but the guitars are still excellent. Waking The Fallen is still my favorite though.

July 24th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album. I've had some time to get into A7F now, and I have to say that I prefer this album to WTF even though WTF peaks in amazing places COE is more consistant, and i've only heard a couple of songs from STST but they seemed weaker than the stuff they're playing now. This album is amazing, the intruments have improved even upon WTF were they were good, now they're very good. The vocals are simply.. different, for obvious reasons. They sound more classic metalish, though a bit whiney in places I really enjoy them a lot. I can't give the album 5/5 because it's really just been released, i'll tell you in a few years whether it deserves the 5/5 rating.

July 26th 2005


Album Rating: 1.5

ughhhhh finally listened to it and I'm displeased. Waking The Fallen was the only decent album of thiers STST= crap and City Of Evil is just boring and uninterresting to me. Don't think I'll be buying another album from them in a while

July 29th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

It also kinda got boring this time around in the CD player, whereas STST and WTF never get old. I guess I'm part of the old A7X fanbase, those who prefer their old stuff to the new stuff.

Will bump the rating on my review down from a 4 to a 3. I think I justified it with the last post. Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up by giving it a 4 initially. Just want to clarify my rating system so fanboys won't jump all over me (5 = If you like music, you must own it. 4 = A Highly Recommended Listen. 3 = Good album, recommended for fans of the band/genre.)

Sorry for the double post, it was too long for one.

LiZeRThis Message Edited On 07.29.05

August 5th 2005


Great Album

January 23rd 2006


i love this album
im a punk fan and this album has made me think metal is awesome
it kills their old albums, i only like chapter four, i won't see you tonight part 1, 2nd Heartbeat, streets and warmness on the soul on their older Cds but i like every city of evil track
the music is inspiring and i think blowing a blood vessel in M shadows Neck has made him sound muuuch better to his screaming days
4.5/5 for me
the only 5s ive ever given were to AFI sing the sorrow and Frenzal Rhombs Meet the Family

six pack*****
January 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

this is the greatest album i've ever heard.

outstanding musicianship and the great clean vocals go extremely well with the best guitar of probably the decade. i just can't get enough of this cd. the greatest song's gotta be either the wicked end or m.i.a......... just awesome all around. GREAT album - 5/5

Storm In A Teacup
January 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Eww, this sucks. His voice is horrid.

January 24th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

definitely not a biased review.

i do miss the screaming though i still enjoyed the more "classic metal" feel of this album.

i still prefer the old a7x though.

January 27th 2006


"this is the greatest album i've ever heard."
wow if this is the greatest album youve ever heard then it must also be the only

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