Sound — 4
Avenged Sevenfold's mixture of emo, hardcore and metal lead to them being one of the most highly acclaimed bands in the metalcore movement of the early 21st century. With Waking The Fallen they showed it was ok to blend catchy riffs e.g. Unholy Confessions with thrash style chugging guitars and solo's, adding screaming and melodic singing into the mix! Sadly most of the elements from Waking The Fallen have been lost. The catchy riffs have been exchanged with over the top (and very technical) trash, the chugging still their but is boring and frankly doesn't add anything to the music. The sound of this record is old school metal (so old school it actually sounds old fashioned and not in the good way), power metal (Manowar style) and while all musicians are very talented especially the guitarists, this album fails to impress on many levels!
Lyrics — 4
Lyrics are the next gripe about this album, the subject matter is cocky and unemotional, the lyrics suit the music yet with the music being cheesy and annoying the lyrics match! The lyrics themselves are awful. M Shadows has really lost it, although this is down to a burst blood vessel in his neck, his voice is devoid of emotion, no screaming either while Waking The Fallen was vocally layered, with melodic singing and death metal style screaming, it felt real, the emotion felt real, in City Of Evil it feels really fake, his voice in some songs is a whine and this is very annoying.
Overall Impression — 6
Overall City Of Evil was not my cup of tea, while some people admire the talent in the music, the song writing just isn't up to scratch, the singer sounds lazy as well as unfeeling and basically it's just annoying. While the album reeks of talent, and the very technical flamenco style riff (easily the best bit about the album) in Sidewinder is very entertaining. The album sounds lazy and emotionally forced. If it was stolen off me I would find the swine who stole it and kill them as I hate being stolen from!