Review Summary: Dynamic, aggressive, strong. Words cannot express the acclaim this album deserves. A great tribute to Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan.
If you like Avenged Sevenfold or if you don't, this album has got something for a lot of people. Personally I think it's their best release since Waking the Fallen. Track 1 "Nightmare" opens up with an eerie xylophone progression and then explodes into the monster of a song it is, a very catchy chorus, brutal drumming courtesy of the Rev's writing. Track 2's shorter intro is full of brutal drumming and a guitar riff followed by M. Shadows saying "Hey kid do I have your attention"" It definitely got my attention. Overall with the catchy chorus and beautiful instrumentals track 2 "Welcome the the Family" was excellent. The third track Danger Line has a powerful drum intro followed by a guitar riff courtesy of Mr. Synyster Gates. This song isn't the best off the album but nevertheless the song is great.
Buried Alive is the 4th track off the album, it has a soft guitar intro one that makes you think this song will be soft as well. Then the drums come in, still thinking this song will be soft. Shadow's opening vocals are superb. Lyrics great. This is one of the most dynamic songs on the album, the beginning is soft and then the chorus, which is very catchy by the way, is metal-esque. The end of the song is reminiscent of Metallica, if they were good that is. Excellent track, one of the best on the album. Track 5, "Natural Born Killer" has an excellent beginning, strong, hard. The guitar really shines here. With a catchy chorus this song is one of the best off the album. So Far Away, track 6, is a very emotional track. Full of well crafted lyrics and a message that is obviously about The Rev. The haunting chorus line "How do I live without the ones I love"" almost made me cry. The acoustic guitar is layered and beautiful, there's a lot to say about this track. Just listen to it. If anything, this song has something for anyone.
The next track, God Hates Us is the most brutal track on the album. The intro is the best I've heard in a metal/hardcore song. M. Shadows actually screams in this song. It reminds me of their older stuff, as a post hardcore I love screaming. This song's constant guitar riff is amazing. The drums are senseless, I really have nothing negative to say about this track. Possibly the album's best. Track 8 Victim is a great song also, the intro is beautiful. Catchy chorus. Vocals are superb. I'm sure this song has a lot of connection to The Rev. The line "Remembering your life because we wish that you were here" indicates this. Track 9 Tonight the World Dies is similar to Victim, they blend together a bit but this song is no less beautiful. The chorus is packed with emotion. Again a phenominal song. Great lyrics.
Track 10, Fiction. I could write a book on this song, but I'll spare you the major details. Beautiful surreal intro. If you aren't familiar with this song's story let me enlighten you, originally titled "Death" this song was finished by The Rev 3 days prior to his untimely death. Listen to the lyrics; I think The Rev knew he didn't have much time left. "Now I think I understand how this world can overcome a man" He even recorded vocals for the song. You can hear him and M.Shadows singing. "Left this life to set me free
Took a piece of you inside of me. Now this hurt can finally fade. Promise me you'll never be afraid." And also "I hope it's worth it, on the highway yeah, I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you." He could've chosen to die, who knows" All I know is that this is a very emotional and valuable goodbye. The Rev was a very talented man who we all will miss. The pain of his loss is very evident in this album.
Track 11, Save Me, was a long, dynamic, and a very fitting end to such a superb album. The song's intro consisting of a bass riff followed by excellent drums beats and somber guitar riff is suddenly brought to a close as if a whole new song's intro begins playing. Powerful, this song remains consistent. With powerful lyrics in the beginning middle and even to the end phrase, "Tonight, we all die young". It's evident this album was for Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. Passing at the age of 28. May he forever live on in their music. Overall, this album was absolutely incredible. I hope you all enjoy it.