Sound — 10
The sound of Avenged Sevenfold albums improve with each release, and this is the top of the mountain. City Of Evil has an epic sound that somehow manages to be both classic and modern. The guitars are front and center, with the amazing Guns N' Roses meets Iron Maiden meets Earth Crisis meets Bad Religion guitar riffs, add a more then solid rhythm section and an amazing vocalist and you got yourself a perfect record. As far as the music itself, they are truly a unique band, blending true heavy metal with the distinct california punk and hardcore sound. Also thrown in, is a beautiful yet haunting piano and flaminco style guitar, truly a sound that any fan of rock music can enjoy.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on the album are very interesting. Old School heavy metal imagery and metaphors are used well on this album, in such songs as The Beast And The Harlot and Bat Country. The ballad-style writing of songs like Seize The Day (my personal favorite) and Strength Of The World are touching in my opinion. Other topics include betrayal, being a badass, fighting the world and even a political look at war. What can I say about Matt Shadows? He is without a doubt an incredibly talented singer. Listen to him say "So what if I never hold you..." on Seize The Day and try to not to be moved. Although Shadows cannot scream anymore, his singing voice is still top-form, sometimes sounding like a more soulful version of Axl Rose.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is one of the best albums of this current era. It runs the gammet of bone-crunching heavy metal, to hardcore punk anthems, to heart-wrenching ballads. I highly reccomend this to anyone into rock music, not just metal/metal-core fans. It truly is a classic.