Sound — 8
Avenged Sevenfold's fourth outing, their self titled album, like City of Evil departs from their previous direction in music and enters a new approach. If fans of Avenged Sevenfold roots back to the Waking the Fallen know the expenience we shared when Avenged released City of Evil, we could say that this album gives the familiar situation. It's an album that breaks or makes fans. It isn't impressive at first, but take a listen and you know it grows on you and with catchy riffs and melodic solos, it definitely isn't a disappointment. Solos also takes a new approach. While City of Evil suffered the loss of screaming (which, in my opinion was pretty disappointing as me myself loved the way M.Shadows growled) it made up for lightning speed solos and dual harmonics. Avenged Sevenfold shows more feeling than ever with songs like Dear God and Gunslinger, while the lightning solos are still present in Afterlife and Scream. A little piece of Heaven doesn't even have a solo, nor is it filled with heavy riffage. Also in the new album displays a much more orchestral approach, when you listen to the strings in Afterlife and the brass in A little piece of heaven, and bongo drums are even implemented in Brompton Cocktail. The songs themselves are written beautifully, and indeed takes on a much mature yet raw sound. However, only having 10 songs in the album is a minor disappointment. And while preivously stated that the songs are written beautifully, Almost Easy seems abit repetitive and out of place. The synthesised vocals in Lost also seemed useless and ruined the song.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics takes on a similar approach to City of Evil. Themes of war and politics are present. AS's Gunslinger is the CoE's M.I.A, and Critical Acclaim is the answer to Blinded in Chains. Issues of Death are present in Afterlife and Vampire Sodomy in Scream, but the most twisted and crazy song is A little piece of Heaven, where a story of murder, necrophilia and a Bonnie and Clyde action all in one song. M.Shadow's voice is much stronger and powerful than he was in City of Evil this time around, where you can hear it in Unbound and Brompton Cocktail. Also for the fan of Pinkly Smooth, The Rev enters this album in vocals on several songs, and I personally love the way he growls in Afterlife. He also sings in Critical Acclaim, A Little Piece Of Heaven.
Overall Impression — 7
Old fans of A7X who is still loyal would love this album as they did with the transition of wtf to CoE. But those who stopped liking them after CoE would most likely still hate it. The fans after CoE will like the album, as the change wasn't that radical but at the same time, brings something unexpected and fresh. Despite this, if you just took a glimpse, this album is hard to be impressed, and only after you listen carefully would you really feel this album. Definitely not a disappointment though and will satisfy most A7X fans.