Nightmare review by Avenged Sevenfold

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  • Released: Jul 27, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (742 votes)
Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare

Sound — 8
"Nightmare" is the newest album to have been created by the band "Avenged Sevenfold". In December 2009 the band took the loss of James Owen Sullivan (The Rev) in their stride and decided to complete the album in his honour. They asked the drummer from Dream Theatre, Mike Portnoy, to complete the drum tracks for the album. Soon after completing the album they released the opening song of the album: "Nightmare". The song was met with mixed reviews. Despite the mass split of opinions, the song captured all the best bits of Avenged Sevenfold's unique sound. It kept the dark, ominous feeling that surrounds most of Avenged's newer work and in captures the crunching guitar tone that is present in "City Of Evil." The vocals were somewhat disappointing however, as a lot of Matt's singing becomes throaty and groggy at parts. The absence of Matt's screaming in "Waking the fallen" is also disappointing as the anticipation for this album has been growing increasingly since the release of their last album "Avenged Sevenfold", and alot of fans were hoping that Matt would go back to his roots at some point and scream in some form. Many could accuse Mike Portnoy of not following the Rev's style of drumming, but this could just be the fact that fans are just wanting to pick holes in the style of his drumming, simply because they miss the rev. Overall, the opening song definitely sets the mood for the rest of the album.=9/10 "Welcome To The Family" is the second song on the album, which is reminiscent of the "Waking The Fallen song", Remenissions and also of "Avenged Sevenfold's", critical acclaim. A very riff driven verse and a melodic chorus and a very dark and harbouring bridge. The solo kicks in at 2.14, and is once again very reminiscent of "Critical acclaim". A harmonising phrase followed by a very fast alternative picked phrase. After the first two songs you can tell this album is a compilation of Avenged's best parts. = 9/10 "Danger Line" is the third song on the album. The opening is a military style drum and guitar line. The chorus is somewhat similar to the kind they incorporated in "Waking The Fallen" and "City Of Evil", fast paced with guitars playing melodically in the background. The true highlight of this song takes place from 2:40, where the softer side of the album is first explored. With meaningful lyrics and a strong guitar part to accompany, the song then goes into a soft piano interlude, which is sure to give you goosebumps. The military theme present in the song unveils itself again with a military drum beat which is followed by a melodic solo. The song is finished by again the military style drums, and a peculiar "whistle" solo. =7/10 "Buried alive" is the fourth song and is the second single to have been released. A clear influence from early Metallica is established throughout, starting off with a soft harmonising solo. The chorus is the best part of the whole song, with a strong guitar riff which heavily emphasises the lyrics of the chorus, which is altogether further emphasised by the softness of the verses. This song is the most reminiscent of "City Of Evil", due to the tone of the vocals and overall tone of the song. A very Metallica sounding riff is present in the bridge after the solo. You can almost put Kirk Hammets famous grunts and "yeahs" on the track. But this is split up by an Avenged sounding build up of octaves, but is once again hindered by a Metallica sounding solo from Gates. The outro is definitely Metallica influenced. Overall this song is disappointing, but they should get appraisal for the fact that they tried something new. =5/10 "Natural born killer" is one of the best songs on the album, beginning with a riff that is definitely influenced by Waking The Fallen. The chorus is a clear highlight of the song, with a powerful meaning behind the lyrics and a very tasteful riff played by the guitar. Both solos are also highlights, with both being similar to the kind played in the CD/DVD "Diamonds in the rough". Worth listening to. =10/10 "So Far Away" is yet another shining diamond in the album. Similar to seize the day from "City Of Evil", this song is worth listening to. With a solo that will make the hair on your neck stand on end, a soft guitar part in the background that compliments the clean vocals and meaningful lyrics this is Avenged at their best. =9/10 "God hates us" is the heaviest song Avenged have ever released. Starting off with soft guitars you think this is yet again another slow song, but you couldnt be more wrong. The song immediately goes into a heavy riff with Lamb of god style drums. This whole song is clearly influenced by Lamb of god, as all guitar tones and vocal tones sound incredibly similar. The only riff that doesn't resemble Lamb of god is the chorus riff, which is more similar to the groove orientated song "Scream" from the previous album. This signals a welcomed return to "Waking the fallen" style vocals, but with much deeper, darker, growling vocals. The heavy bridge signals an return to the even earlier album "Sounding the seventh trumpet", with a somewhat slow, heavily palm muted guitar part, which the drums and vocals compliment well. The solo is one of the best on the album that goes incredibly well with the rhythm guitar and with the song as a whole. 9/10 "Victim" begins with another soft guitar phrase which is backed by a scat singer. You can tell from the start that this is yet again another good attempt at something different for Avenged Sevenfold. Given the loss of the Rev before the album was completed, you could say this song is about the Rev, with Matt feeling as though James being taken away from him is a crime, and a crime to everyone who knew him, as a fan or personally. You can truly feel the emotional state of mind in which Avenged wrote the whole album. However, the only downside is the tone of the vocals, which remains a problem throughout the whole album. At parts Matt's voice seems hoarse and throaty, which is disappointing given the potential quality of the song.= 7/10 "Tonight the world dies" starts off with another acoustic guitar part, such as in "City of Evil." This is another song which could be considered to be about the Rev, as though the band regrets the choices made in their earlier days which they feel lead to The revs overdoes in present days. A certain empathy is created whilst listening to this song, and you can feel the evident atmosphere of regret and sorrow that the band clearly wished to define. The downside to this song is once again the tone of the vocals, and also the lyrics to the chorus. They don't seem as strong as the rest of the choruses in the album, and clearly falls away from the normal large, epic choruses that is common to Avenged Sevenfold songs.=6/10 "Fiction" is the only song Avenged Sevenfold have ever created that doesn't have any guitar part to it. And they don't need it for this song either, I'd like to point out. A truly melodic song, with a surprising presence of The Rev's singing throughout. A lot of anticipation was created for this song after The Rev claimed it was his masterpiece. The song does not fail to live up to this claim, and if you're a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, i suggest listening to this song. =10/10 "Save Me" is the longest song Avenged Sevenfold have ever created, unless you count "I won't see you tonight" part 1&2 as one entity. A good song to end an exceptional album on. Despite the frightening length, the song seems much shorter in reality, as everything is broken down into easy parts for us audiences. The guitar tone is perfect, and the backing vocals and lead vocals are balanced correctly. The drums could perhaps be different, such as in the verses where the other instruments are all playing something slow and mournful, but the drums pound ahead fearlessly. The song overall clearly shows all aspects of Avenged Sevenfold at their maximum potential. =10/10

Lyrics — 7
Given that they lost The Rev before the album was fully completed, it is no surprise that Avenged Sevenfold have incorporated this loss into their songs. It is evident in both Victim and so So Far Away that this is exactly what they've done. The lyrics show both regret and remorse at the loss of someone close to the band. The mentality of the band whilst writing the album can clearly be seen within these two songs, they are both meaningful and deep, with the same dark unique sound that has been with Avenged Sevenfold since their beginning. The lyrics will surely appeal to both new and older fans of Avenged, as they can be applied to any loss that anyone has ever suffered, but also because older fans can relate to the loss the band has felt as they have lost a role model in the loss of The Rev. However, incongruous to these meaningful, deep and heartfelt lyrics is the vocals themselves. The tone has regressed back to the tone heard in City Of Evil, which is all well and good given that this was the album that gave them mainstream success, but it still does not compliment the other instruments and their styles. In "Nightmare" the vocals become throaty and hoarse at parts throughout the song, and this seems to continue throughout the album. This is the major downside to the entire album. The only reprisal from these vocals is in the song "God Hates Us." The entire song is the heaviest song Avenged have ever produced, with screaming, deep vocals. Even within this song when Matt sings cleanly, the disappointing tone of the vocals can be heard. Overall, the singers skills do not compliment the quality of the songs on the album, which is sad given the potential that they could reach with a good tone = 7/10

Overall Impression — 8
Overall the album is a definitive statement within Avenged Sevenfold's career. It takes influences from all of Avenged's earlier albums, but unfortunately they take influence from some of the bad aspects present in their previous work. The main downside is the vocals, and some disappointing, flimsy guitar riffs, such as the verse riff for "Welcome To The Family." Even though the riff does go with the vocals and the song overall, it is still not what Avenged normally produces. The album explores the emotional side of the band, combining meaningful lyrics to a good few slow songs. It is truly a journey throughout the album, going from the semi-heavy opener "Nightmare" to the dark melody that is "Save me." In between you have an assortment of different styles, ranging from Metallica to Lamb Of God. The softer side of Avenged can clearly be seen within this album. Audiences can appraise the new styles attempted by Avenged, although they don't necessarily work out well with their dark hearted fare. The album clearly demonstrates their fearlessness at attempting new things whilst retaining their unique sound; their large melodic choruses and darker sounding vocals and atmosphere. There is some very impressive guitar solos, none quite holding a candle to their previous single "Afterlife", but still mind numbingly skill full all the same. The album is good despite a few let downs, and I would definitely recommend this album to anyone. Song to avoid = Buried Alive Song to listen to = Fiction

199 comments sorted by best / new / date

    legend shredder
    god avenged have alot of haters. great album, really emotional (to be expected). alot of people dont seem to like burried alive, tho i think it is a great song. best songs are so far away, god hates us, burried alive and natural born killer, altho i dont hate any of them. Rest easy The Rev, you've outdone yourself on this one
    Arguably the best album they've produced lyrically and there's some good songs here and there, but I'm really sick of seeing "love" reviews for any band. A good review is balanced and not having everything as 10/10. I'm a diehard A7X fan, but I wouldn't rate the album 10. There's some really good songs on here like Victim, Fiction and Save Me, but songs like Buried Alive really let the album down.
    Cacophonic wrote: The inability to deal with the watered-down solos live.
    Name a song Syn can't play the solo for live? He's awesome, and no, I'm not one of those who thinks he's god and I'm not going to start defend him. Just curious.
    I think it combines all their previous stuff such as God hates us which sounds more like something off of Sounding the Seventh trumpet with the screaming M. Shadows does
    Lord have mercy.
    Musically this is definitely A7Xs heaviest album
    erm... no it isn't... listen to Sounding the Seventh Trumpet... Sorry for double post
    Dream Theaterr wrote: This album is mediocre. The only reason no one will admit it is because the rev died.
    You underestimate. This album is perfect for all A7X fans because it mixes elements of every album in it and blends it together perfectly. I give it a definite 10/10. And it really feels like Jimmy is in it.
    I can't agree with the haters, this is my favorite album along with Waking The Fallen. The music they've done on this is record is another step in their musical experience, they just collected some of the old work they have done and put it in their modern music. When you say there's nothing 'new' from A7X I don't know how you think.. Every album sounds different since 2001. They've just matured in their musical minds. I've watched a lot of live videos from Avenged and Syn plays almost every solo perfectly. I'm not saying he's the best guitarist around but you can't say he's worse live.
    I can't believe so few of the commenters liked it, this is my favourite CD by Avenged Sevenfold, I must admit though it didn't click with me the first 2-3 listens, but I feel like it grows on me and I kind of "get it" much better now. It's a great CD musically and lyrically
    This is the first album since Waking the Fallen that I love all the songs. It's a very emotional album, and I love how one second your listening to So Far Away ready to cry than it turns to God Hates Us and you're ready to punch the next person that says hi to you...
    IROn 5L1nKY
    I liked the last song A LOT. A7X did a good job with the longer song idea. BTW, was the meet in the afterlife comment really necessary?
    Fair album. Got it on the 23rd. I still prefer their old stuff though. Is it just me or do a lot of bands that make new songs and albums get worse? I mean, Iron Maidens Newest was kinda boring, BFMV was just the same really.
    Saw them on the 27th, incredible show. Got to hear Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, and Buried Alive live. Also bought this the same day, it's a good album. Reviews here are all pretty good, but in my personal opinion this is not their best work. I'd give it something like an 8/10 overall. It'll be in my cd player for the next month or so, that's for sure. Of course, R.I.P. Rev
    SOADbeast wrote: First of all, i dont think 3/4ths of the people posting bad comments here have listened to the whole album froim strat to finish... probably only heard nightmare on the radio. this is an excellent album , they be trollin'
    haha, couldn't agree with you more. Love the album, screw the haters.
    grungerag13 wrote: 1. "hey let's make an album called "the nightmare"!" "yeah that's never been done before, we're so creative, what a concept, and now that our drummer is dead, it will be even better." 2. typical drop-d chugga chugga (that's so 2003, we tune to ****ing drop A now-a-days...) combined with dream theater drumming (nice touch, mike) with james hetfield/axl rose wanna-be vocals... a cacophonous experience. 3. cheap rhymes i.e. lie and die. wow. genius. 5/10 for guitar work
    1. It's nightmare retard. It's in plain bold letters up top. 2. Drop D is what they play in. It suits the singers range. They don't have to tune to Drop A. And all drums were written before recorded, he just learned and played 'em. And vocal wise.. are you stupid? That's been his style of singing since he started. Some of it is a bit more aggressive, so what? It's called influence. 3. That doesn't make it a cheap rhyme. If it suits the song, it works.
    All you haters gotta listen with your ears and not your eyes. Nightmare is an amazing album. Don't like it? Your loss.
    Guitar Skater
    I have been a die hard Avenged Sevenfold fan for MANY years and i rank this as my favorite album by them.
    1. "hey let's make an album called "the nightmare"!" "yeah that's never been done before, we're so creative, what a concept, and now that our drummer is dead, it will be even better." 2. typical drop-d chugga chugga (that's so 2003, we tune to ****ing drop A now-a-days...) combined with dream theater drumming (nice touch, mike) with james hetfield/axl rose wanna-be vocals... a cacophonous experience. 3. cheap rhymes i.e. lie and die. wow. genius. 5/10 for guitar work
    I got this album personally I like it but not over the top my favorite...can't beat Waking the Fallen....A7X has gone through a lot so many people would feel it's OMG I LOVE IT! but personally it ranks 4th to me but the album has some great moments but I was kinda dissapointed at some points through out it
    As soon as I read the first few sentences, I knew Amy wrote this review...
    There's really not much to say more than it's awesome. This is one of those bands that you can really show how much they've matured since they've began, in just about every aspect. This is one of the best purchases I've ever made, CD-wise anyways haha.
    How the hell did they get one of the best drummers in the world to play with them? What were you thinking Portnoy?
    PowerOfGlove wrote: Sparky-MMA wrote: Musically this is definitely A7Xs heaviest album erm... no it isn't... listen to Sounding the Seventh Trumpet... Sorry for double post People with awesomeness make me happy
    thats being sigged it just makes me wonder where these people show up from... like my ex girlfriend had a 3 hour argument with me based on the fact that in her mind 'City of Evil was the first Avenged Sevenfold CD' I then proceeded to own her with various gig tickets and of course CDs from pre 2005... but she was adamant i'd photoshopped the CD's or they were fake, and the gigs were when they were unsigned :/ she made me feel more nerdy than I thought :/ but still felt awesome at the same time
    wraith313 wrote: Wasnt this whole album written and probably mostly recorded before he died? This album is not more emotional because he died, because that very likely had little to no effect on the writing process. Before I get flamed all to hell: I like Avenged, and it sucks their drummer died.
    He died while they were writing their stuff and they revised all that they aready had when he died
    phantom_lord586 wrote: PlayFreebirdNow wrote: Pingis_Or_Death wrote: A7X were always some of the most skilled players who came up in an era when metal bands didnt know how to play their instruments, much less solo or pull off intricate parts LOL Yeah right. LOL is right. That reviewer does not know what she is talking about. But her reviews are always bad, so I wasn't surprised. i'd like to see you play like syn gates... just shut and go sit in bedroom and play your shitty fall out boy or whatever the **** posers like you listen to.
    a7x not posers? alllow me to rofl
    I beleive it was a pretty fair album, but not there best. i do understand the loss of the rev did have an effect on them. but at the same time they got Mike Portnoy.who in his own right is fantastic. Overall i beleive, and this is just my opinion, that there Self titled album was there best work to date. R.I.P REV
    chiefmegadeth wrote: i hate the singers hard to get into them...when the singer sounds like he should be in some crappy punk band...get a new vocalist!
    Please, don't insult punk bands.
    not to mention "God Hates Us" isn't their heaviest song Sounding the Seventh Trumpet has heavier songs on it
    i hate the singers hard to get into them...when the singer sounds like he should be in some crappy punk band...get a new vocalist!
    The first two reviewers sucked, and from what I got by skimming through the others it's all the same crap. 1. I didn't like this album when I first heard it. Now I do. But it annoyed me on how commercialized this was trying to get before it even came out. 2. I don't know who said this is their heaviest album, but lay off the dope. If anything, this has to be their softest. 3. It's the same old Avenged Sevenfold. Same type of lyrics, same type of college educated written guitar work - without some of the beast drums to back it up (PORTNOY did fine however chill out) 4. I think that Jimmy died in the middle of recording the album, so it's not like all of the songs are emotionally reflective on his death like everyone is saying. He even appears in Fiction, so you know he was around for recording. They even have a Nightmare Demo track with Jimmy on the drums - sounds complete other than recording quality. So cut the 'most emotional because of Jimmy's death' stuff. On a side not, I'm a huge Sevenfold fan. I'm just not going to bias my opinion because of it. OMGSEVENFOLDROCKS
    Listen to the CD yourself to find out how it sounds. I swear these reviews are useless. And also, as another side note, that demo track of Nightmare with Jimmy on drums - Sevenfold asked us to share it with our friends. lDelivery.asp?oid=UPN6PR8PWKWC9GTC86AJWWM2E2&mscssid=4FD6693 A8F294AFD9EC201C55D9604A0 That came with it when I pre-ordered the Book of Nightmares. See if it works. Or find it somewhere online. Whatever.
    I have been listening to this band since they were playing venues in Orange County in the 'Warmness on the Soul' era... and this album gets an 8/10. I can't see how anyone who is listening to this album in full, with an unbiased ear, could score it any lower than a 7; otherwise, I think you're just being hateful. Although those of you trying to give it a quick listen so that you can judge should probably skip the first four tracks.
    theogonia777 wrote: AidanTDR wrote: these guys really seem to love Dminor... of course they do, it IS the saddest of all keys after all
    Haha... Spinal Tap. I think Nigel was right, though.
    Sparky-MMA wrote: Musically this is definitely A7Xs heaviest album erm... no it isn't... listen to Sounding the Seventh Trumpet... Sorry for double post
    People with awesomeness make me happy
    Lead guitar and drums are fantastic, but that's about it. I mean, it's pretty damn irritating to listen to the title track, be like, "WOW, what an awesome, dark lead, Portnoy's beating the shit out of the skins too!!" and then they pretty much start playing Critical Acclaim. Buried Alive is basically the same thing, garbage, with some really good drums and an awesome dueling solo. I saw some live tracks off youtube too, and it's the same deal, some part of the song has awesome guitar and drums, then you're usually stuck with a verse and chorus that's this whole A7X filler nonsense they started playing in party of City of Evil and most of their self titled. God Hates Us sounds awesome, but it's what, 3 minutes long? Kinda sucks, death of their drummer took them from mostly junk to inconsistent. I was really hoping for And Justice for All here...and I got Reload.
    Based on the UG review I should be in love with these guys, something is either wrong with me or (more likely) the person who wrote that review. They have good ideas, but they water it down so much, and what I've heard from them has been very unoriginal, sounded like total Megadeth/Metallica/Maiden/GNR rip offs, and not good ones.
    theogonia777 wrote: AidanTDR wrote: these guys really seem to love Dminor... of course they do, it IS the saddest of all keys after all
    a fair amount of their back catalogue is in Dminor.. just means Synyster doesn't need to practice his scales
    How much did they pay you to give them a 9? I listened to this album and was incredibly disappointed. A7X helped me get into metal and now they're producing this crap and their rhyhtm guitarist keeps milking the death of their drummer. He looks a pedophile, by the way... anyone else think that? P.S. I liked Save Me. It was cool with the leads on the chorus. Wish the rest of the album could've been like that.
    this album is incredible i still think they should have done more like 'God Hates Us' or made their album more like 'Waking the Fallen' but this album, even though it may not be as hardcore as 'Waking the Fallen' it's still an incredible piece of work for what kind of album it is.
    "You can almost put Kirk Hammets famous grunts and "yeahs" on the track. " wat? Do you mean James Hetfield?
    I felt this was a pretty different album than their previous on first listen...lot of songs i really liked for what they were, but the stand out was Fiction, its weirdness was so refreshingly beautiful.
    King ofKumbucha wrote: The UG review is so bad it's good. So many amazingly stupid lines LMAO
    Okay, I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought there were awkward lines abound. I figured it was just too early for my brain to be processing language, haha. The thing about the vocals is the dude had massive vocal nodules, so I'm pretty certain his doctor said screaming won't be an option for him from this point forth. It's fine to throw it in the record one time, but it's not the one time that's detrimental, but the zillions of times he's gotta scream that song at the shows once the record's out.
    Great album. Takes a listen or two, but it's great nonetheless. "Save Me" is by far the best song on the album.
    Their self titled album is still my favorite, but this was a pretty good album. The track "Nightmare" is so catchy and doesn't get old. Welcome to the Family, Natural Born Killer, So Far Away, and God Hates Us are all good too. I dig Fiction even though it's different. Portnoy did a great job as well. Hope to see them live soon; R.I.P. Rev
    Pingis_Or_Death wrote: A7X were always some of the most skilled players who came up in an era when metal bands didnt know how to play their instruments, much less solo or pull off intricate parts
    You just made yourself a complete f**ktard, well done sir. On a side note, the majority of people writing things about portnoy's drumming fail as well. Yes he did the drum tracks, but The Rev had demo'd everything out before his passing, and portnoy did his best to play it note-for-note, the way The Rev had it.
    Like their last two records, some of the tracks are good, some are just 'meh', and some are awful. They're just prone to self-indulgence, and consequently, they can't make a consistent or focused record.
    I haven't listened to this yet, and when I get around to it, I'll try to do it objectively, but... A7X really has me hooked for some reason. I'm generally not a huge fan of mallcore in any form, but I can't not like this band.