Sound — 10
Avenged Sevenfold is back but looking a little different. Their newest record "Nightmare" is the first one not to feature Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan on drums due to his very tragic death in December of last year. In his place, Avenged Sevenfold recruited Dream Theatre drummer Mike Portnoy to fill in on a temporary basis. Musically this is definitely A7Xs heaviest album and under these tragic circumstances by far their most emotional. Tracklist: 01. Nightmare: the title track begins with what sounds like bells and then explodes into a heavy intro complete with guitar, bass, and drums which is followed by M Shadows screaming NIGHTMARE. Personally, I think this was the perfect song to start off the allbum because it really gets you pumped up for the rest of the album and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser live. 10/10 02. Welcome to the Family: one of the lighter songs on the album but still a fantastic song, it sounds slightly like Blinded in Chains from their City of Evil CD. The guitar solo by Synyster is also fantastic. 9/10 03. Danger Line: the first few seconds of this song sounds almost identical to Blinded in Chains from City of Evil. Personally I think its a pretty good song but I just can't help but feel it is a little misplaced I think it sounds more like a song you would find on City of Evil. 8/10 04. Buried Alive: an interesting song, the intro is somewhat unconventional but once the drums kick in Synyster blesses us with a wonderful melodic solo that is sure to get emotions running. M Shadows really shows off his emotional side in this song with his vocal performance it really makes you want to tear up a little bit. The Solo while it is good went a little downhill for me at about 4:25, something about it just doesn't seem to fit well with the song but thats just my opinion. 9/10 05. Natural Born Killer: A7X jumps right back into heaviness with this song, its a very catchy tune that is both heavy and melodic at the same time. Synyster also shows off his shredding skills on the solo which kind of reminded me of Alexi Laiho's playing. 9/10 06. So Far Away: the first song on the album that really shows how much this band misses their fallen brother. this song was written by Synyster and really pulls on your heart strings especially the part in the chorus that goes How do I live without the ones I love? Time still turns the pages of the book it's burned. Place and time always on my mind. I have so much to say but you're so far away. the song is made even better with the very emotional yet short solo by Gates. 10/10 07. God Hates Us: by far the heaviest and angriest track on the album this song is about wondering how such evil and pain exist if there really is a God somewhere. 10/10 08. Victim: starts off with church bells and some guitar work before a high pitched wail kicks in but don't let it put you off, this song is another emotional roller coaster that is sure to draw a few tears when listening to it. It is truly a song that expresses how the band felt emotionally after losing their drummer. 10/10 09. Tonight the World Dies: yet another fantastic and emotional song that begins with a blues like lick from gates but eventually moves into a soft ballad type song with blues licks spread out between Shadows' singing. 9/10 10. Fiction: the last song Jimmy handed in before his death and the only one to feature his vocals aside from his small part in "Save Me". Now a lot of people have criticized this song as being the worst on the album and while it may be different and unconventional I think its is the one of the best songs on the album and I think that the band did Jimmy a great honour by keeping his vocals on the track. 10/10 11. Save Me: the final and longest song on the record clocking in at just under 11 minutes, to me this was the perfect song to close off the album. its a song that says that the band is nowhere near over the loss of their drummer but can have solace knowing that they have done him a great honour by releasing this record as a tribute to his memory. 10/10
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically this album is the darkest and most emotional of any of A7X's previous records and singer M Shadows does a wonderful job of expressing these emotions through his singing.
Overall Impression — 10
Nightmare is a wonderful album and A7X should be commended for working though their heartbreaking loss and putting out this record in Honour of The Rev. Long-time fans of the band will really enjoy this album and will really get an emotional rush from some of the songs because of the subject matter they revolve around. If your not a hardcore fan then you may not get wrapped up in all the emotion that surrounds this album.