City of Evil review by Avenged Sevenfold

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  • Released: Sep 21, 2007
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (1,117 votes)
Avenged Sevenfold: City of Evil
0

Sound — 10
I hadn't heard any of their stuff before I got wind of this album (got into them when Metal Hammer started majorly talking about them around release time). Got hold of the video to Bat Country and didn't look back. It takes a lot of balls to completely change your style like they have, even if it was mainly for medical reasons. Does it work? Hell yes. The sound on the album is astounding from the start of 'The Beast & The Harlot' right the way through to the end of 'M.I.A', with actual musicians that show what they can do whilst managing to not sound like utter fretboard wankers, as the expression goes. I personally thought it a damn relief to not be force-fed another band of screaming metalheads with more EMG's than the main factory, but that's beside the point. The change of style was an immense relief, and made their music Fun to listen to again in my opinion. Surely that's the most important thing, regardless of whatever message a band wants to communicate. Okay, at some points it gets a little annoying (the chorus to 'Beast & The Harlot' does get on your nerves after a while), but that happens with all records. Not the perfect sound, but the closest I've heard in a long time It'll do for a 10. The drumming of the Rev is solid & does a really good job - kicks Tommy Lee's arse any day. The bassist the only one who's name escapes me, and to be fair you can hardly hear it at all on Any of the songs, so I can hardly comment. The 2 guitars of Zacky Vengence (the more rhythm-orientated of the 2) and Synyster Gates steal the show, in all fairness. Until Machine Head's 'The Blackening' came out, this was the best guitar album of the decade, in my opinion.

Lyrics — 9
A lot's been made of what's happened to M. Shadows (would-be nominee for 'daftest name in rock' if he wasn't so damn frightening at times)since that infamous blood vessel needed to be surgically removed, stopping him from screaming. It's like trying to fence when you've got no fingers, T'is just not possible, jimmy. It still works with his singing on the album. Bloody well, brings to mind all the old 80's bands, AC/DC, Helloween & that band Axl Rose used to be in, haven't heard the name for Years (for the slow ones present, I would like to point out that was a joke. A not very good one, granted). Okay, the nasal tone does get annoying at parts, the chorus I mentioned, for one, but overall it's Damn mighty, and the 2 ballads really give him chance to shine, Seize The Day and M.I.A. Does he rise up? Not 'Arf!.

Overall Impression — 10
I feel more inclined to compare it to albums from the 80's heyday, I mentioned a fair few before, rather than trying to call them the new Metallica, Trivium & all that crap. What I loved most about it was the way that instead of following the current fashion of "Chug N' Shred", which hasn't really changed since Pantera split, the lads have completely the other direction. Granted, Shadow's operation forced it to a degree, but it doesn't sound at all enforced and uncomfortable. The most impressive numbers? Bat Country, Strength Of The World, Seize The Day, Burn It Down, Sidewinder, Thrashed & Scattered. Pretty much all of them. My only minor gripe is that they are a little bit lengthy at times. Okay, sometimes I don't notice that (Machine Head's 'Halo', for example), but after 5 minutes your perception does change a little with some of the songs. Still, best thing I've heard in a long time, congratulations are easily due for them. I might even learn the bassist's name specially.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    pitbull510
    dude, where the **** do little sacks of menstrual bile like you get off calling them emo?!sure their image is a little, but not the music. (his voice is quite a bit whiny i must add)
    last_biscuit
    His voice is phenomenal, if anyone claiming he goes out of tune could actually sing themselves to a high standard then I would be surprised they made such a stupid statement. FACT: major bands do NOT release records where the singer goes noticeably out of tune, that would be called career suicide. FACT: The singing is actually very tecnically challenging, especially the tone control to keep a considerable growly, raspy voice whilst staying in the correct key. Seriously, if you have a problem with the style of singing, that doesn't make the singing rubbish. It just means you don't like it.
    SyN6661
    btw a7xa7xa7xa7xa7x w/e it is ur dumb they are not a new band... ur just probably som g*y F*g*ot who said "OMG I LIKE TOTALLY LIKE THIS BAND AFTER I HEARD A LITTLE ACOUSTIC SONG SEIZE THE DAY ON THE RADIO OR SAW THE MUSIC VIDEO ON MTV" DAMN DUDE YOUR JUST SOM BANDWAGONER theIR new stuff isn't half as good as sounding the seventh trumpet or waking the fallen
    Gakusey
    His voice is phenomenal, if anyone claiming he goes out of tune could actually sing themselves to a high standard then I would be surprised they made such a stupid statement. FACT: major bands do NOT release records where the singer goes noticeably out of tune, that would be called career suicide. FACT: The singing is actually very tecnically challenging, especially the tone control to keep a considerable growly, raspy voice whilst staying in the correct key. Seriously, if you have a problem with the style of singing, that doesn't make the singing rubbish. It just means you don't like it.
    Dude, his singing sucks. Period. You insist on anything you want and you may very well be right, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is the end product - his singing on this album - which is just annoying, it doesn't fit with the music at all. And he's even worse live. As I said, GOOD music, BAD vocals. I can't believe it's the same guy who sang on Waking The Fallen. Now THAT was good singing!
    last_biscuit
    Gakusey wrote: As I said, GOOD music, BAD vocals. I can't believe it's the same guy who sang on Waking The Fallen. Now THAT was good singing!
    ...and you've just proved you know nothing about 'good' singing. The 'singing' on WTF was mostly screaming; which a) isn't difficult, b) is a damaging technique of singing anyway and c) isn't even singing! In the places where he did sing, they aren't as complex as the vocals on City Of Evil however on both albums the singing is tuneful and in tune. Also, the vocal style is different but so is the music and surely it's down to M. Shadows how he decides to sing his vocals, rather than you.
    Gakusey
    You've completely missed the point. Again. I am not saying Shadows CAN'T sing or is OUT OF TUNE. Not once have I said that. If I have, sorry. What I am saying is, despite the complexity and all that you've mentioned, it just doesn't work. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or an opera singer to hear that. He may very well be in tune and may very well be an awesome singer, but what I hear on the album sucks and spoils the songs. Seize The Day is fine, some others are mediocre, but overall the singing just doesn't work with the songs. It just doesn't. That's my opinion and I have the right to say so because I listen to loads and loads of different music, and because, well, I can't say I don't give a crap about A7x, because I kind of do... I mean, I'm a very tolerant person so most of the time I can accept something bad in a song and still enjoy it. But not on City Of Evil. I just listen to the intro and the solos and all the parts without Shadows in them. Bat Country is another one that's alright vocally.
    Gakusey
    Oh, and when I mentioned WTF, I meant the singing parts. Thank you, damnit, I'm not an idiot. I meant the parts where Shadows sings. Now that was great. I might not have been complex, godly or whatever you say, but it worked PERFECTLY with the songs and it was actually VERY VERY good. Damnit, just listen to Shadows live now. How can you say all that stuff you've said? Rock Am Ring is a good example.
    swedish_death
    Im sorry but a7x is just a shitty band. Yes, all members (except the singer) are fairly talented, but the riffs are repetitive, boring and seem to have a bit too much of that LA sound which i despise. If you want some really interesting shredding and INCREDIBLE musicianship, try listening to Necrophagist.
    Gakusey
    Nah, they're ok and the music is fairly varied, but the vocal, as I havу said numerous times, just spoil everything. And Seize The Day is an awesome song, so stop bashing it! He just loves his girlfriend, I love my girlfriend too
    supahfreek
    Their first CD (Sounding the Seventh Trumpet) is by far their best in my opinion. This album sounds WAYYY different then their other two CD's. The riffs are heavier, and M. Shadows is screaming. If you're a fan of that kind of "screaming heavy riffed style," like I am, than a better album is either "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" or "Waking The Fallen." If you are more into the more melodized guitar style and just normal singing vocals, this one is for you. Every person in this band are way talented and are putting their talent to good use.