Sound — 10
Avenged Sevenfold's major-label debut City Of Evil marks the return of the classic metal sound that has been out of the rock scene spotlight for quite some time, with nu-metal and alternative bands dominating the mainstream media for almost a decade. With album opener Beast And The Harlot, Avenged Sevenfold kicks off the first of eleven songs which are all rooted in clear influences from Iron Maiden to Megadeth. Back on the table is guitar harmonies and shredding guitar solo's. As a result, City Of Evil is melodic metal at its very best, with each band member being very skilled musicians, as well. Something that isn't an everyday experience these days. Avenged Sevenfold shows again what bands like Iron Maiden proved many years ago; it doesn't take depressive lyrics or extremely down-tuned guitars to enjoy metal. As the case is with any other music genre, it basically takes a strong melody and delivering the song with an energetic feel to make metal creative and worth listening to. On City Of Evil every single one of the eleven tracks have that force. From Beast And The Harlot over the hit single Bat Country with a phenomenal chorus to the progressive elements on Strength Of The World and MIA.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on City Of Evil is remarkably sung by vocalist Matt Shadows. Instead of many of his contemporaries, he gives up the somewhat modern screaming and constant growling in favour of actual singing. He has the perfect rock voice to do so, too. A mix of Bruce Dickinson's and maybe Phil Anselmo's voice. However, he has really got a good enough voice, to call it his own style. The lyrical content is not depressive. It has more of a angry-love-gone-wrong-attitude. The songs are also about fantasy, and holding up against whoever tries tearing you down. There is also a tribute to the late metal-god Dimebag Darrell on Betrayal which fits in nicely on the album.
Overall Impression — 10
If Avenged Sevenfold can continue to do what they're already doing so well, then all fans of metal and the good melody around the world will get convinced of the band's quality, eventually. City Of Evil is arguably the most important metal album of 2005, because it sees the metal heritage rise to the surface once more to prove a point.