Sound — 10
The band take their sound to new levels on City Of Evil, creating a unique blend of hardcore punk mixed with old-style Iron Maiden-like metal. After releasing two previous albums with minor record companies, A7X were signed with Warner for this album, and the change is noticeable, the sound is sharper and clearer, but also their music direction has changed aswell. The songs sound different, less aggressive and more melodic, but the quick pace and techincal guitar and drum solos are still there. Long-time fans may disapprove of the drop in aggresiveness, but I'm sure the major improvement in instrumental skills throughout the songs will still keep them listening.
Lyrics — 8
After being kicked out of Catholic School, you can guess the Avenged Sevenfold boys know a bit about the Bible. The lyrics demonstrate this perfectly, songs are either about the Apocalypse, war, or just feelings of anger/sadness. And they go with the music excellently, the metal sound bringing out the passion in the lyrics. Vocalist M. Shadows shows his full talent by using a wide variety of voice styles (deep, whispered, sung, gravelly), which is one of the main highlights of the album. Sadly, there is no screaming on it at all like their other two albums (vocalist had throat surgery and cannot do it no longer), but the improved lyrics and singing ability of M. Shadows makes up for it.
Overall Impression — 9
The release of City Of Evil has definitely gotten Avenged Sevenfold the recognition they deserve in the metal community. Previously a fairly underground band, the latest album has brought their name into the scene. The album defintely compares to similar bands like Atreyu and Killswitch Engage, and its unique excels them above the rest. Songs to look out for are: Bat Country, Beast And The Harlot, Strength Of The World, and Seize The Day. Each one shows a different side to them, from angry to passionate to loving. The best feature of the CD has to be the great instrumental skills of the band members. Compared to their other albums, and other bands, their skills are massively improved. Listen to the guitar solo on Beast And The Harlot to see what I mean. The worst feature (if there is one), is the fact that there is no screaming. They have been replaced by soft backup vocals, which many metal fans may find to dismay. Otherwise, it is a truly exceptional album for its uniqueness and greatness. If someone stole it I would personally seek them out and "get it back fom them."