Sound — 8
Avenged Sevenfold to me have always had that old fashioned head-banging metal like in their previous albums (a good example being Waking The Fallen) but that changes slightly in this album. I heard this album off of a friend and I couldn't believe what I was hearing was Avenged, as this album boasts totally different tracks to their old material such as the broadway-sounding "A Little Piece Of Heaven" and the slow country sounding song "Gunslinger". At first, I found it hard to get into this newer sound but after a while I realised this was another great asset to their career.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics to this album are fantastic. They may not be as subtle as other lyrics from bands that I have heard, but it makes you think what's behind the song. For example, the song "A Little Piece Of Heaven" has the strange theme of a guy getting rejected by a girl, killing her and developing an obsession for corpse: "Must have stabbed her fifty f--king times, I can't believe it, Ripped her heart out right before her eyes, Eyes over easy, eat it, eat it, eat it" Or there is "Gunslinger" that it themed around war and what soldiers must go through: " I reach towards the sky I've said my goodbyes My heart's always with you now I won't question why so many have died My prayers have made it through yeah" This album appears to have much more thought when it comes to lyrics than previous albums.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, after great listening, I feel that this album sits above all other Avenged Sevenfold albums. They put thought into sound, lyrics and it has that quirky feelign that I get from all Avenged Sevenfold albums. If I lost this? I would certainly buy it again. The best exampels from this album in my opinion are "Almost Easy", "Afterlife" and "A Little Piece of Heaven". My least favourite song, simply because of that annoying effect on his voice would be "Lost".