Sound — 9
Before I start, I would like to begin by saying Avenged Sevenfold is not a metal band, nor are they emo/screamo. They are hard rock on their latest, and most mature album to date. The album begins as if it was hitting you in the face with a sledgehammer. Layers upon layers hit you the from the moment M. Shadows speaks his intro on Bat Country to the beautiful acoustic solo that ends the album on MIA. 01. Beast And The Harlot - this song is a real headbanger. It has possibly the hardest solo on the album to play (a large majority of them provide serious difficulty in playing). The song, while retaining a heavy sound, is very mature. 02. Burn It Down - burn it Down is a very quirky song. It has an F Major key playing on top of the relative D Minor key, giving the song the ability to move from it's grinding breakdowns to meryy sounding arpeggios and choruses. 03. Blinded In Chains - yet another heavy hitter. This song is very impressive, however, sometimes feels as if it's being dragged out just a little to long. The breakdown at the end of the song is worth listening to the entire thing though. 04. Bat Country - this song, along with Beast and the Harlot provides an easy transition from Avenged Sevenfold's past evdeavors to their newest album. Good song, with an incredible solo. 05. Trashed And Scattered - fast! Certainly not the fastest song in the world, but deffinately quick paced. This song has impressed all of my friends, even the Avenged Sevenfold haters. Slightly reminicent of Guns n' Roses. 06. Seize The Day - the song is decent, deffinately going to be a classic, despite it's overall repetitaveness, however, the solos (yes, there are two, despite common belief) are incredible. They are not the hardest things to play, but certainly will be on the next 100 greatest solos of all time. And listen to the sweep picking towards the end of the song. I dare anyone to play arpeggios that fast and cleanly. 07. Sidewinder - this is where the album starts winding down. While the song is certainly still a rocker, a large majority of it is a gorgeous flamenco-esque solo by Synyster Gates and his father. Props to two amazing guitarists on this one. 08. Wicked End - one final "oorah" for those metal heads that thought the album had ended after Bat Country. This song is quite different than most songs on the album, and is just a fun song to listen to, with very mature lyrics. 09. Strength Of The World - the song begins by sounding like something out of an old western film. In fact, the entire song sounds like one grand adventure, as we follow the story of a young man or woman who lost his/her family, and now wants revenge. 10. Betrayed - the main riff to this song is so catchy, and this song is a deffinate tribute to Dime. Dime would have loved it. 11. M.I.A. - one of the standout tracks on the album. While the lyrics are not their best, the song musically is incredibely impressive. Even if your not a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, you will love the acoustic solo at the end of the epic song. This album sounds more like a classic rock album, almost like something Guns n' Roses would have created, except heavier. However, this album is blazing a new bath for gutiar bands everywhere, and by guitar bands I don't mean wank off on your guitars neck bands.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album are incredibley mature, and are not the common place "Cry my eyes out" lyrics on their first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. While Waking the Fallen was a better attempt at sounding "not emo," this album cinched it. The lyrics always fit the song, and are either angry lyrics telling someone to piss off, the story of an adventure, a tribute, a worldly observation, the list goes on, the lyrics themselves are worth listening to. While M. Shadows does not have the best voice, his voice fits the music. And I think his surgery and new-found inability to scream are a plus, since this music would just sound, well, dumb with screaming. And hearing M. Shadows voice on the new Good Charlotte song, The River, is just conformation that he is becoming more comfortable with his new voice, and in my opinion talent.
Overall Impression — 10
This album has no competitors in my opinion. Every other album that has come out recently that has been worth listening to can't hold a candle to these guys. I listen to the entire album at least once a day, that's how amazing it is, and it has had a serious impact on my musical writing style. it's also the only album that has made me want to play in Drop-D tuning. The only bad part about this album is sometimes, for only brief periods, there will be too much layering of intsruments. However, throughout most of the album, Avenged Sevenfold can layer two acoustics, a piano, two electrics, drums, bass, and up to three vocal parts, brilliantly. If this album were stolen or lost (which it has been) I would immediately buy it again. Please, if you haven't listened to these guys yet, or are afraid to because "metal" heads will call you a pussy, just ignore that and listen to it. Avenged Sevenfold is ten times heavier than anything out there.