Sound — 9
I love Avenged Sevenfold's music, and its mostly because of the sound. I am a guitar kind of guy and really pay attention to this. Out of all the albums they've recorded, I think this is the best sounding album in terms of instruments. This is when they began to really incorperate a lot of more difficult harmonies along with powerful riffs. The solos were amazing but I did find they dragged on some of the sections of their songs where they could have put in something different. The use of clean to lead in many songs was very effective to me.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics were fantastic in most parts, lacking in others. First off I'd like to say M.Shadows put down an absolutely amazing vocal record going to new levels here. This being the last avenged sevenfold record I purchased (I own them all) I could really compare them. The lyrics were powerful and really spoke to most people. They made it sound like they were spilling out their feelings about the world and their inner feeling. That is something that really stood out to me. I thought lyric wise, trashed and scattered was amazing as well as M.I.A, and Bat country. You can tell alot of effort was put into the lyrics. Things did get cheesy with Strength of the World though. Overall, pretty awesome.
Overall Impression — 9
Probably the best effort I've seen out of Avenged Sevenfold to date. I'm going to go through each song individually: 01. Beast And The Harlot: Wow. Not much else to say. Perfect core riff, perfect intro, perfect chorus, perfect solo, no wonder this song has stood the test of time thus far. /10 02. Burn It Down: I love this song as well. The lyrics are what makes this song. The solo is cool too but the vocal performance in this song is what makes it for most people. /9 03. Blinded In Chains: An overhyped song. Everyone I talk to says they like this song as one of the best but personally I don't. I have a blinded in chains t-shirt but the song is lacking to me./6 04. Bat Country: A classic. I felt like it was a bit choppy and repetative but pretty cool anyways. I love the music video for it too:) A pretty cool concept too. Pretty simple playing wise, solos a bit difficult but Shadows carries the band in this one until the solo. Overall, an amazing song though. /9 05. Trashed And Scattered: A personal favorite and I wish they'd play it live more. I love the chorus. 'Sedated night to the bar room fights as metropolis takes its toll' may be my fav line on the album. I'm not sure why, it just sound cool. I did feel though the song to be a bit 'scattered at times'. It could have used some cleaning up. Even though it's one of my favourites, it doesn't get the highest grade. /8 06. Seize The Day: The first lighter song on the album. Now that the revs gone, it really hits you when listening. Very heartfelt solo along with closing lyrics. The chorus gets powerful the second and third time. And Mr.Gates proves to the world he may the best sweep picker ever near the end. I do enjoy this song live much better when they incorperate the revs vocals as well. /9 07. Sidewinder: An interesting song to say the least. About him being snake... It talks about mankind nowadays in other words. Kind of confusing, you'll just have to listen for yourself. The closing solo and duel to me was really cool. Extremely fast and difficult to play. Got kind of repetative at times. /7 08. The Wicked End: An interesting story line. Basically is sang about the End. 'Dust the apple off, savour each bite, Deep inside you know Adam was right' is a pretty deep line to me. Not a personal favourite but pretty cool anyways. /8 09. Strength Of The World: Probably my least favourite. The intro is too long and cheesy for me as well as the repeated part of the chorus 'Strength of the World'. I thought it was stretched on too long. /5 10. Betrayed: For Dimebag. I don't listen to this song much. I find it a little boring. But it has a pretty cool meaning. To me, its that forgotten song that every album has. Not that memorable to me but is still good. /7 11. M.I.A: Really cool but took me a while to like. Intro is way too long for my liking. But once the intro ends the song becomes amazing and the way M.Shadows comes in at about 1:30, wow. You can feel it. '2 million soldiers can't be wrong! ' great line and really makes sense to me. The outro is a lot like the intro and leaves a lot to be desired. The main riff in this song is one of those things you just can't get out of your head. A great way to end the album. /9 Listening to this album last made me realize how different all of the albums are. This one would probably relate most to their self-titled album. Its hard to say its the best because of the diversity but I can say it was pretty amazing. This album in my mind really defines Avenged Sevenfold.