Sound — 10
The very second when I first listened to this album I borrowed from a friend of mine, I was very impressed. I went out and bought the album right away, and it has remained one of the best CD purchases I ever made! The Rev is one of the most amazing drummers I have ever heard. He is just jaw dropping in the beginning of "Burn It Down." The two guitarists, Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance are both just amazing together. They are very synchronized excellently together, especially in the guitar duo in "Bat Country." The bassist Johnny Christ, is very well synchronized with the whole ensemble as well, a very important thing to have in a musical style such as this. He has an awesome bass riff under the rest of the music in "Trashed and Scattered" (my personal favorite) during the chorus and in the beginning of "The Wicked End." And of course M. Shadows, a very talented vocalist, especially right after vocal chord surgery, sings the vocals amazingly. The harmonies he created fit so well with the music. There are a few things I found very unique and interesting in the album. At the end of "Sidewinder," there is an acoustic guitar part that strums some syncopated under a hold of a power chord of the distortion of an electric guitar, and it suddenly breaks into a completely different style of flamenco guitar playing and bongo drums, making it one of the most unusual, yet intriguing, things I ever heard a metal band do. Another amazing part is in "The Wicked End." After a few seconds of a clean arpeggiated guitar part, we hear under it a cello come in, then a harp glissando is heard and a female choir comes in. It evolves into a whole orchestra playing with the female choir's angelic ah's, with a beautiful orchestration done by Scott Gilman, as well as some orchestrations done by Synyster Gates and M. Shadows. It is an amazing part of the song. There is also a western style introduction to "The Strength of The World" done by the orchestra, and they later play again later in the song as well with an excellent orchestra part. That part almost captures your soul when you hear it, because it's so beautiful when they play with the whole band. The whole album is very unique in many ways and its just amazing.
Lyrics — 7
It seems that the lyrics are focused on the individual listening to the album, which I'm not too crazy about. I feel that the lyrics tend to become a little emotionally forced at times, but not all the time. The lyrics and the music usually go together well, though there are some spots that don't always work. For example, I don't think that Seize The Day's music works well with the lyrics. And the f--king language isn't all that necessary in this album. Maybe in previous Avenged Sevenfold albums you could use the filthy crap, but in this case, the language isn't very effective. As for M. Shadow's singing, he sings pretty good for someone getting out of vocal chord surgery. He doesn't scream as much anymore, but that is one reason that makes this Avenged Sevenfold album special from the past ones. M. Shadows does an excellent job with the harmonies as well.
Overall Impression — 9
I cannot think of any other album to compare this album to. I really cannot think of an impressive song on this album, since all the songs are so great. So I'll just say what I thought of all the songs: 01. Beast And The Harlot - a strong beginning, and a strong and wicked beginning to the whole album. A top rated song on this whole album. 02. Burn It Down - starts off with an amazing, crazy double-kick drum part with the whole band, with guitar screeching, and then breaking into an awesome song. 03. Blinded In Chains - there is a lot of instrumental in the beginning. And the chorus in this song is my favorite chorus throughout the whole album. 04. Bat Country - the highest rated song in the whole album. It has a very hard and amazing guitar duo and solo, something only a great band such as this can only do. 05. Trashed And Scattered - my personal favorite. It starts out with a lead guitar solo, and suddenly abrupts into another amazing song. The greatest part in this song is where it suddenly changes into a major tonality at the bridge where M. Shadows starts singing I never bothered with all the rumors, too much garbage. 06. Seize The Day - starts off with a nice, strumming acoustic guitar. A lot of it's about a girl that you don't want to leave you by result of death. 07. Sidewinder - when you hear this song in the beginning, you hear the wind in the desert blowing and the rattle of a rattlesnake. Then after a little while, you faintly hear a solo guitar gradually get louder. It keeps playing and suddenly the whole band comes in, making this song having the most unique introduction in the whole album. It's also the most unique song in the whole album as well, ending with a an acoustic guitar part that strums some syncopated under a hold of a power chord of the distortion of an electric guitar, and it suddenly breaks into a completely different style of flamenco guitar playing and bongo drums, as mentioned before. 08. The Wicked End - starts off with an awesome bass line intro under screeching guitars. Eventually later in the song, the orchestra and chorus plays as well, as mentioned before with all the details, betraying evil excellently. Another excellent song. 09. Strength Of The World - the orchestra in this one as well plays a prominent role, having some type of western style beginning and abrupting later with a powerful interruption with the band. Later, when the orchestra plays again with the band, it almost takes your soul away and it's just so beautiful. 10. Betrayed - this is the one that is in memory of Dimebag Darrel. The beginning of this song reminds me of AC/DC. Of course, this album does tend to have many 1980's lead guitar content in it. This is the only song that M. Shadows has a low, groveling vocal part in. The vocal parts are pretty nice. 11. M.I.A. - this song relates to the war in Iraq obviously. However, I believe this song has the best lyrics, since they depict a vision of a soldier in war pretty good. As for the music, it's very quiet in the beginning and gets louder and faster later on. It's quite a powerful song if you listen to the lyrics. This album overall is absolutley amazing. If you don't have the album, and you are a metal fan, I would highly recommend you to go out and purchase this album. It is absolutley fantastic. The only thing I hate about this album is the length of the songs. The shortest one is only about five minutes, with the longest being almost nine minutes long! And I sometimes cannot stand long songs. But in a way, and in this case, it is somewhat an exeption. If I were to ever lose this or have this stolen, I would buy it again.