Sound — 9
When you first listen to an Avenged Sevenfold album, you never quite know what your going to get. Cue Critical Acclaim, the first song of the album, its cool and calm, then The Rev kicks in the scream and in come heavy riffs and rhythm from Zacky Vengeance and bends, slides and solos from Synyster Gates, if you've listened to any other A7X album, then you would expect more of the same through the rest of the album but the great thing with the band is they're not afraid to try something new, each song sounds distinguisahble whether its the orchestra backed Afterlife to the almost broadway show themed A Little Piece of Heaven as well as the rock/metal elements of Critical Acclaim and Almost Easy. A7X have incorparated a lot of their strengths into this album but have also used backing singers and musicians to round off an album with incredible sound. Any problems, well very few, but maybe the tracks all sound so different that if your a metalhead looking for Waking the Fallen style music, you may be dissapointed. And we all would like even just one screamer song. PLEASE! *begs*
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics. Well Critical Acclaim is very political highlighting as The Revs chorus 'I've had enough it's time for something real, don't respect the words you're speaking', that the government and world as a whole has become too secretive and dishonest. Almost Easy is about how we its 'Almost Easy' to do anything but many people either find it just that little bit too hard or do things that make the 'easy' to 'almost easy' to impossible. Scream is a darker song with powerfull riffs and squealy scales, this helps Shadows to set the tone about(and to be perfectly honest im not quite sure if its from the point of view of a Vampire) raping and killing for fun. A little Piece of Heaven despite having the fun swing of broadway to it also has a topic of killing where a man murders his girlfriend but the girlfriend comes back from the dead and kills him too, they get married and terrorise the living together. A mix of screaming underlaying by The Rev harmonises well with Shadows' quiet, seductive tone for great sound, definatly a highlight of the album. Each song is very different so I won't spoil any surprises and let you listen to the album yourself, or if you arn't decided on buying then on Youtube, and build up a better picture. Skills, well shadows may not scream out of choice anymore (NOT because of his surgery!) but his singing is very good, he can reach the highs and lows and stir emotion both calm and angry into his singing. One bad point is the use of kids singing at the end of Unbound which personally ruins what was a fantastic song.
Overall Impression — 9
Shadows singing reminds me of Axl Rose whilst Syn and Zackys guitar duo have pure talent and the ability to understand each others styles which enables them to produce harmonies like none other. The drums by The Rev are great if a little drowned out by the guitars. Bassistt Johnny Christ may also be drowned out but if you listen to the songs with no bass you will realise he is a vital part of the melodies. Now to the awards ceremony: Most Impressive: Must be Critical Acclaim Most Alternative: A Little Piece of Heaven Most Dissapointing Song:(Im sorry but due to the ending) Unbound Best Solo: Afterlife Best Riff: Scream Most Suprising song: Dear God Pros of the album: Great sound, catchy riffs and that Afterlife solo! Cons: no screaming bar backing singing, some songs seem out of place, the ending of Unbound. As you can tell I absolubtly love this album to bit and if I hd never heard of Avenged Sevenfold then there would be a big gap in my love for music. Buy this album.