Sound — 10
The sound of this album sounds awesome. The guitars are loud, the drums are hard and the bass has real presence. This album is much more guitar centric than their previous albums. There are huge harmonised pieces, shred soloes aqnd there always seems to be some presence of a lead guitar in nearly any part of the songs. whether it be a huge dive bomb in the intro to Blinded In Chains or harmonised melody of burn it down. The drums have also increased in interest and complexity, always suiting the song, sometimes with awe inspiring skill (Blinded In Chains), my drummer friend was shocked at the speed of some of his runs. And the bass is always present, although does not stand out as much as the drums and guitars. This album is very reminiscent of '80s metal and bands like Iron Maiden, but also has a strong hardcore and even progressive element to it.
Lyrics — 9
And I must say the singer getting vocal surgeory has only made his singing better. Gone is the repititive and annoying screams of their previous albums to be replaced by powerful and seering vocals that is sometimes sound like Axl Rose, but better and more tuneful. His voice is amazing on this album, the best representation is the verse on the song MIA where the music sort of momentarily and repetitively cuts out, and the singer's voice is all that can be heard (it's inspiring). The lyrics on this album are of a similar quality covering everything from political issues to Dimebag Darrel's murder. The only let down on this album is The opening track: The Beast And The Harlot. The verses sound awesome, but the chorus really takes away the power of the song. But that is the only hiccup on the entire album.
Overall Impression — 10
I would boldly say that this is Avenged Sevenfold's best album yet, and probably one of the best albums to be released in the last 5 years, it is just that good, everything feels polished, but not over produced. Following are all the songs off the album. 01. The Beast And The Harlot - 6/10, the song would be a 10/10 if it weren't for the chorus. 02. Burn It Down - 9/10, awesome lyrics, heavy intro, great guitars, I love this song. 03. Blinded In Chains - 10/10, this song really shows off the bands skill on their instruments, the band's most political song. 04. Bat Country - 10/10, it took me a while to get into this song, but now that it is in my head I can't get it out. 05. Trashed And Scattered -10/10, real heavy, love the lyrics. 06. Sieze The Day - 10/10, a nice soft song with a good message. 07. Sidewinder - 10/10, has a spanish guitar solo. 08. The Wicked End - 10/10, this song is awesome, then it suddenly changes direction in the middle with the introduction of an orchestra that sounds alot like Danny Elfman. 09. Strength Of The World - 9/10, starts off real slow and nice, but then breaks into one of the strongest riffs on the album, possibly a little bit too long though, I find myself fading out at around the 8 minute mark. 10. Betrayed - 9/10, the tribute to Dimebag. Although this song was only around 6 minutes long, I feel that it would have been better if it had a minute or two shaved off of it. 11. MIA - 10/10, about the emotional impact of War. A spectacular way to end off the album and a vocal showcase. This entire album is impressive, the songwriting the musicianship, this band rivals many of the top metal bands around at the moment. This is an album for any fan of metal, shred guitars or just good music. If this album were stolen I would definitely buy it again.