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Released: Jul 27, 2010
Genre: Heavy metal, alternative metal, hard rock
Label: Warner Bros.
Number Of Tracks: 11
In the wake of their drummer's tragic and untimely passing, Avenged Sevenfold rise to the occasion and make one of their strongest albums in one of the most vulnerable periods in their history.
UG Team, on july 31, 2010 36 of 67 people found this review helpful
Sound: Let's get this out of the way first: "Nightmare" is Avenged Sevenfold's first record since the tragic death of their drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. The band recruited Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy to fill in on the record (and for their upcoming tour dates). Given the fact that A7X were always some of the most skilled players who came up in an era when metal bands didn't know how to play their instruments, much less solo or pull off intricate parts, Portnoy fits the band perfectly and the band stays true to the same sound they've been crafting since the early 00s. Throughout their career (and their successes), many have taken to hating on the band, as they were dangerous in their image, proudly not givin' a f--k like a modern Guns N' Roses or, well, Eminem! Many people, namely early fans or those who like to shit talk and care about concepts more than reality, felt the band was abandoning some imagined hardcore roots, when in reality, A7X were never a hardcore band that pledged any allegiance to that scene; they were taking Iron Maiden-riffs and in turn screaming and singing over them, coming up with a modern and unheard of sound from the very beginning, so no one I quite sure how "hardcore" got thrown into the mix! That said, "Nightmare" reminds me of a mix of "Waking The Fallen", which is my favorite A7X record, and City of Evil, their commercial breakthrough which allowed them to graduate to the next level of success. "Nightmare" is crisp and clean; you could perform surgery using this record since it's so clean-sounding. But it's not sterile. Their is so much emotion coursing through the album and follows the A7X formula of noodly riffs and longer-than-normally-radio-friendly-songs with a melodically accessible bend. The title track is spooky and creepy with its key opening and it could easily have been used in the reboot of the "Nightmare On Elm Street" franchise, while "Buried Alive" and "Welcome The Family" will remind one of Metallica and/or Guns N' Roses. The band mixes ballads with ragers and "God Hates Us" feels like a bit of a nod to Slayer, who have an album named "God Hates Us All" and it's easily one of the album's most gnarly tracks which feel like a series of kicks to the taint. A7X haven't sounded this angry in quite some time and they have reason and right to use the vehicle of their music for that catharsis. Go ahead, guys. You deserve it. "Natural Born Killer" also kicked my ass to the curb and left me in a heaving pile with its bluster. // 9
Lyrics: Vocalist M Shadows is a triple threat and he certainly positions himself like a young, hungry James Hetfield. He can sing, scream and employ the mid-level growl that shows just enough teeth to elicit a fleeting "fight or flight" response, but in the end, you'll stick around and listen, because while his voice asserts itself, it's not intimidating. This quality is what made Metallica songs great to straddle the line between aggressive and appealing without sacrificing any of the song's heft and ferocity - and A7X have found a way to do just that. They take that formula and shape it to their sound. Shadows can sing and scream, and he mostly sings, but he's got enough power in his voice so the heaviness is never sacrificed even when he lets his voice soar. When he sings, "God save us" and then "God hates us" in the same chorus on "God Hates Us", I can practically feel his spit hitting me in the face. He's getting the red out and he's never sounded stronger. All the "kids" who thought A7X were "selling out" when they chose to sing more need to be knocked off their soapboxes with a swift kick. Rare is the band that can scream less and sound heavier, but A7X does that with "Nightmare". // 9
Overall Impression: The Tim Burton-style artwork. The darkly romantic imagery. The element of danger. The squalling guitars. The Iron Maiden influence. The groundswell of emotion from losing their drummer while writing the album. Those are all the batteries that power up "Nightmare". Much of the album reminds me of the best parts of Waking the Fallen, which in my opinion, was all great parts! It's heavy. It's melodic. It mixes the two without any sort of detraction from the other. It's seamless. It's like a modern version of Metallica and Guns N' Roses. And those are never bad things. But lest we forget: it's still Avenged Sevenfold doing what they've always done and sticking to their own musical vision. // 9
Shredder425, on july 31, 2010 22 of 28 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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.
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 // 10
Lyrics: 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. // 10
Overall Impression: 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. // 10
SawGuru, on july 31, 2010 7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: December 28, 2009 - The lives of four men and countless others were forever changed when Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan passed away in his home in California. Avenged Sevenfold has come together through this tragedy to cement the Rev's legacy with their latest release, 'Nightmare.' This album is a pure roller coaster ride, going up and down between the radio A7X sound ('Nightmare'), the sorrowful A7X in the loss of a brother ("So Far Away"), and everything between.
The sound of this album is a very sorrowful tone. While the Rev contributed a lot to the songwriting of this album, his passing shows in the lyrics. A7X has created an album full of hard hitting songs that hearken back to the old sound ('God Hates Us') as well as creating a new, somber mood with their ballads. Songs such as 'So Far Awa,' 'Victim,' and 'Tonight the World Dies' all have a new tone to them. While there is no doubt that it is an A7X song, they have a new feel. They have a mood altering tone to them. One of grief, and of loss. The strongest ballad on this album, as far as sound and musical prose are concerned, is 'Buried Alive.' This song delves deep into the writing styles of every band member, finding new creative outlets. The angry bridge of the song brings back thoughts of an old Metallica styled angst.
Another song that will be a fan pleaser with this album is 'God Hates Us.' Shadows cites that bands such as Pantera helped inspire this song. Upon listening, any die hard Avenged Sevenfold fan will recognize the sound. The screaming, the heavy riffs; they all point back to Waking the Fallen's signature sound that has since disappeared.
The sound of this album is beyond measure. Avenged Sevenfold have truly outdone themselves with this heart-felt approach to song writing. One listen shows that without the Rev, the band is more passionate than ever with this album, and the sorrow from losing their brother is evident in every track. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album deviate from the past few albums. Mostly due to the Rev's passing, the lyrics take a dark tone. While he did write roughly 60% of the album, Johnny Christ stated in an interview that the lyrics for the album took a dark turn when the Rev died. 'God Hates Us' is a clear cut example of how angry the lyrics can get on this album. Shadows is still at the top of his game vocally, and delivers on every song. From their signature sound on 'Nightmare' to the emotional performances on 'So Far Away' and 'Fiction,' Avenged Sevenfold's lyrics are strong, and invoke many different emotions throughout the album.
One song in particular with extraordinary storytelling is 'Danger Line.' This song touches on the life of a soldier, and how he deals with the perils of war. The song tells the story of the soldier, and how he will miss his family in death. The lyrics are brought to life with Shadows' melody.
One major song to note on this album is 'Fiction.' Originally titled 'Death,' the Rev handed this song to the band 3 days before his death, and submitted it as his final song for the album. The lyrics are a haunting call, wishing everyone the best as the narrator passes on, hoping not to hurt or displace anyone who is affected by his death. The lyrics take on a controversial meaning to some, whether it was a suicide note or merely a narration conceived by Jimmy, but regardless, it is the most original track on the album. Featuring Jimmy's voice on the chorus, the song is a piano laden track using dissonance and perfect harmonies together to create a unique sound. Listening to the Rev sing his heart out and scream on this track is one of the hardest things for an A7X fan to hear, knowing it's the last track that they will ever hear his beautiful voice on ever again.
Overall, the lyrics and singing on this album are better than past attempts, and they even will please the old school fans with 'God Hates Us.' A7X have truly stepped up their game in order to honor their fallen brother. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, this album is the strongest outing yet from Avenged Sevenfold. While many fans may notice their are more ballads than previous albums, this is only natural due to their situation. This album was released in order to permanently set the Rev's legacy, and to allow fans to hear his final work. With Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater stepping in to record Jimmy's tracks, the album will get every fan's approval, and will keep the Rev forever in their hearts...
James Owen Sullivan, "The Rev"
February 9, 1981 December 28, 2009
Life may fade, but the memories never will. A7X has lost a brother. The fans lost a legend. Rest in Peace, until that day when we all meet in the afterlife. // 9
unregistered, on july 31, 2010 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well to start off I think this CD expands on Sevenfold's sound a lot, 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 but also has it's softer sides such as So Far Away which is a song written specificly to Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan after his death this past year (2009). I think the biggest departure is Fiction which is a song Jimmy wrote three days before his death, his vocals are still in the song which I think fit perfectly and it's really kind of a farewell song to Jimmy, which fits very well. Synyster Gates also returns to his kind of trademark awesome guitar solos like the ones he had in City of Evil, the most notable guitar solo in my eyes is in the song Buried Alive, which starts out slow with sort of a Led Zepplin vibe then halfway through the song the guitar solo kicks in and kicks major ass, which then makes a smooth transfer to a more Metallica sounding second half. Overall I love the way the album sounds. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics to most songs are written as a memorial for Jimmy so most of the songs have to do with metaphors about death and pain and I think it fits since they lost one of their brothers and this is their way of showing him respect. M. Shadows singing skills are basiclly the same as they were on the self titled album, which isn't a bad thing at all but he does make one big departure he hasn't made since Waking The Fallen... Yes, the album has a song with screaming vocals. On the song God Hates Us M. Shadows decides to use screaming vocals to show his emotion but they aren't his usual screaming style, instead of going with a higher-pitched scream he uses a lower-pitched scream, almost like a Bullet For my Vallentine type scream, which I think suits the song very well. The lyrics are a good tribute to Jimmy and if you wanna relive the good old days listen to God Hates Us and take in all the glory. // 10
Overall Impression: This CD doesn't really compare to their other albums, I think they were in a much darker place after the death of Jimmy which shows itself in songs like God Hates Us and Natural Borl Killers which results in it being much heavier. The songs I like the most from the disk are Nightmare, Buried Alive, Natural Born Killer, God Hates Us, Fiction, and Save Me, though I give all the songs a 10 those songs stick out the most to me. If this CD was lost or stolen I would definately buy another copy and hurt whoever stole it from me. There is nothing bad about this CD in my eyes, the A7X guys definately do Jimmy justice in this CD, if you are an A7X fan you have to get this to keep Jimmy's memory alive, and even if your not get this CD and give these guys a chance, I guarentee you will not be disappointed. // 10
slipknot5678, on august 02, 2010 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: After the death of The Rev last December, many people began to question whether or not the band would contunue, record the unfinished album, and if the album was going to be good. Well the band decided to record the album and it is the strongest and most diverse album they have released. Nightmare is the ultimate tribute to their deceased friend James Owen Sullivan. Each member of the band have improved as both musicians and songwriters, resulting in the darkest and most emotional album Avenged Sevenfold have written.
Nightmare borrows elements from their previous four albums while having a unique sound of it's own. Some songs do have that typical Avenged Sevenfold sound, especailly "Welcome to the Family", the most dissapointing song on the album; however, there are many experimental tracks as well. The outro of "Danger Line" consists of piano, horns, marching drums, and even whistling. "God Hates Us" is the heaviest Avenged Sevenfold song ever released. There are more piano parts on this album than any of their past efforts, most notably on "Fiction", which is their first song to have no guitar at all. The album does a great job combining heavy riffs and clean melodies.
The band members themselves have improved. Synyster Gates guitaring has become more soulful. Although his fast, technical solos are still present (many of them are bland and overdone), there are many memorable solos ("Victim", "God Hates Us", and "Save Me" have great solos). Zacky Vengeance also plays more diverse riffs but there are still the overused groove metal riffs throughout the album. Brian Haner Sr.(Synyster Gate's father) even plays on "So Far Away", which is a nice addition. Johnny Christ continues to perform cool bass parts ("Natural Born Killer" and "Tonight the World Dies" being examples). The band asked Mike Portnoy (of Dream Theatre, who was The Rev's favorite drummer) to record the drums for the album, and does a great job filling in for The Rev while staying true to his style of drumming.
The songwriting is the strongest part of the album. Each song is well written and flow together almost perfectly. The only problem with the songwriting is that many parts feel half finished. The remaining four members tried a bit too hard to keep the songs the way The Rev left them. While that is very respectable, they would feel more complete if the band changed them or if The Rev himself could of been in the studio working with them.
Aveged Sevenfold have proved that they can perfect their sound on Nightmare, although for those who don't like their older material, some parts will be dissapointing. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, the band have gotten more seious and true to themselves. "Nightmare" is a bit weak, other parts are almost annoying, but the rest is well written and fits the music the way it should. Lead singer M. Shadows stated in 2009 that the lyrics were inspired by the way kids are emotionally detached from what's going on in the real world. That inspiration is still in influence on the lyrics, but most of the album is focused on the life and death of The Rev.
Synyster Gates writes his first lyrics for the band in the song "So Far Away". They aren't awe-inspiring, but are unique compared to other Avenged Sevenfold songs (they are much different than M. Shadows lyrics).
Vocally, the album is amazing. M. Shadows singing is better than ever. He even screams in "God Hates Us". The screams sound as good as they did on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and and Waking the Fallen. The other members of the band do a good job with the backing vocals. The Rev's vocals appear on the album, including lead vocals on "Fiction". The vocals (and the entire song) are beautiful, even though a couple of the lines can be hard to understand.
This album has the most emotional and well written lyrics Avenged Sevenfold have written. // 8
Overall Impression: Avenged Sevenfold have created their masterpeice. From the heavy riffs on "God Hates Us" to the ballads such as "Tonight the World Dies" to their longest song yet "Save Me", the album has proven to their most experimental and beautifully written album.
The only major complaint is "Save Me" should of ben track ten and "Fiction" should of been the last song. It makes more sense because it is the last song The Rev wrote and he said it was to be the last song for the album when he handed it in.
Overall, Nightmare is one of the best albums (if not the best) released this year. It is worth more than the twelve dollars spent on it. Nightmare is Avenged Sevenfold's best and is the ultimate tribut to their brother James Owen Sullivan. // 10
maiden7x, on july 31, 2010 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: When the passing of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan was announced back in December of 2009, I was one of the many Avenged Sevenfold fans who spent hours on end searching for news of the situation; i.e., how Sulivan passed, the status of their unfinished record, and even whether or not they would continue on as a band and finish said record. After many weeks of tense waiting, the band announced that they would, in fact, complete the album (with the help of Sullivan's favorite drummer, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater), but that the band's future remained in question.
While the future of the band is still somewhat uncertain, their new album, Nightmare, is not. It clearly embraces the shock and sorrow felt after Sullivan's death, with a darker sound and much more personal lyrics. While the effort put forth by the band to complete this album in Sullivan's memory is commendable, the end result was, for me, a little dissapointing.
Now, my dissapointment mainly comes from the album's production. The guitar sounds a bit too generic, especially in songs like "Buried Alive" and the beginning of "Danger Line". Johnny Christ's bass sounds very muddy in the title track "Nightmare", and in "Natural Born Killer". Drums are spot on; Mike Portnoy does an excellent job replicating Sullivan's drumming style, preserving one of the cornerstones of Avenged Sevenfold's signature sound. Vocals are also very good; the biggest complaints I have are the sections of "Fiction" (Sullivan's last song; his vocals are also in the song) where M. Shadows' voice is made to sound more like that of Sullivan, and the Death metal-like vocals in "God Hates Us", which also sound very doctored; however, this is still probably the best vocal performance by M. Shadows to date. // 7
Lyrics: Because the band decided to rewrite the lyrics of some songs after Sullivan's death, but retain the ones they felt he liked most, the lyrical themes may be confusing to some; however, this is hardly noticable. What IS noticable, however, is the trauma felt by the band in rewriting these lyrics; these are some of the most heartfelt lyrics the band has ever put out. Things get very personal in these lyrics; everything from the loss of a best friend, to waking up feeling forever alone, even anger and hostility towards God himself. Very raw, very personal, very impressive. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, this album is very well done and will make a very good addition to any Avenged Sevenfold fan's collection. Some of the band's best work is present here. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance have clearly worked for hours on these guitar licks, Johnny Christ holds down a solid bass line, Mike Portnoy does incredibly on the drums, and M. Shadows wows once again vocally and lyrically. I only wish it had been produced better; perhaps next time (if indeed there is a "next time"), the band should bring back Andrew Mudrock, producer from their 2005 breakout "City of Evil" (my personal favorite album of theirs), or even self-produce, as they did on their 2007 self-titled ablum. // 8
Sparky-MMA, on july 31, 2010 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: As many people are aware, Avenged Sevenfold's Drummer The Reverend Tholemew Plague (AKA Jimmy Sullivan) died a year ago.
From that sad day for music in general Avenged have seemingly decided to mention the death at every possible opportunity in order to increase album sales (it seems). Even drafting in Mike Portnoy (one of The Rev's favourite drummers) to lay down the drum tracks on the album in question.
What does this have to do with the album itself? I'm sure you're asking this, well.
In short the album is nothing more than fairly average, it's a A7X album, end of, you could listen to the darker songs on previous albums and get roughly the same result.
The whole album is dark, very dark, centred around death, its a concept that flows throughout the entire record. As for musicality there's nothing your typical Avenged listener won't have heard before. Unless you look more into the songs themselves.
The title track Nightmare is simplistic in itself, but does what it sets out to do, set the album up, and it does so perfectly, the chromatic intro gives the song a darker feel, whilst in the bridges the guitars use minor intervals in their harmonies of this descending line to create even more unease in the song. Lyrically it seems to centre around a feeling that you can't escape. guilt possibly with the lyric (you should have known the price of evil)
The second track 'Welcome To The Family' is started with a simpler version of Dream Theatre's 'Honor Thy Father' drum fill, followed by a equally similar ossinato pattern in the guitar. (Portnoy influence maybe). After this DT reference, it follows a similar pattern to majority of the City Of Evil album, catchy vocals, pleasing guitar patterns, and a drum beat that seeks to impress as well as keep a pulse. The solo is a typical Synyster solo, fast, chromatic at times and flashy, shred in its purest form. This track is 100% radio friendly A7X.
The third track is Danger Line, the track starts with a Bolero style snare pattern (also a marching band style pattern), followed by a intro solo. the main part of the song has a very similar melody to Nothing to Say from Slash's Solo effort (which M Shadows did vocals for). The chorus has a feel of Lost from the self titled album (minus the Vocoder), the song is very reminiscent of the mainstream Avenged.
Track 4 is Buried Alive which is Avenged going back to something I personally think they do rather well, clean intro and verses and overdriven chorus' (I.E a grunge style of song). this song is obviously about how the band felt about the passing of The Rev, and there is a quiver in Shadow's voice throughout, which is understandable and also very sentimental, and adds a different side to the rather thug like persona of the Waking The FallenAvenged Sevenfold.
Natural Born Killer, is a thrash metal style track made to fit Avenged, Shadows vocals start with a low growl, then its back to business with his shouted style of vocal from City of Evil and Avenged Sevenfold (no real screams yet). the song flows into a slower pre chorus and chorus, then back into the fast paced verse. Song works well for Shadow's style of vocal, and sounds like something Avenged should write more of, even though the mini bridge riffs are reminiscent of Almost Easy from the self titled.
So Far Away, This is another lighter song, flows rather similarly to Dear God in style, instrumentation. nothing special but a nice song nonetheless.
God Hates Us, this is the song Shadows promised screaming on, and he barely delivers, a mid growl is what you get, so unfortunately for the fans of his high pitched screams (as on Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and Waking The Fallen) you won't be disappointed in what you hear, yet you'll want him to go higher, and where it sounds as though it should. it just doesn't which is a shame. The rest of this song is filled with a fast riffs, double kick all for most and a rather impressive dual solo, which based purely on tone seems to be being lead by Zacky (who did all solos on Sounding the Seventh Trumpet [except To End The Rapture]) then Synyster takes over with some Divebombs and various other techniques.
Victim, This song is the final song that The Rev wrote (3 days after finishing this he passed away). The song is seemingly Shadow's hardest song to sing, his voice is throwing deep sadness throughout, and in the first chorus a sniff is audible. This adds to the song's nature and also allows for the song to breathe and reminisce about the band and to allow the listener to think about the various aspects of the band, which are all apparent within this one song.
Tonight The World Dies, it's one of those songs you listen to but don't really notice it, it's good but its not one you can actively listen to.
Fiction, This song has no Guitar whatsoever (shock horror) however it does have piano/strings (synthed)/drums and ... for the best part... The Rev doing the main vocal, doubled by Shadows, It's the only song on the album that seems to come from the heart. The Rev evidently wrote the song, and it seems to have been written from beyond the grave, 'I've found a place to rest my head' 'though I may be hard to find', the lyrics lend itself to the eeriness of the instrumentation. and also the voice you hear. almost a year after his death you find him singing on a track.
Save Me. This song for me is totally different from Avenged Sevenfold, and personally sounds like a track Portnoy has written for DT, everything would fit perfectly in DT's song catalogue. There is not a single part that sounds detracted from DT, with exception to the vocals.
Overall I give the Album 8, it's good but not quite as good as the previous albums. // 8
Lyrics: Shadow's has the unique ability to make anything work with anything. its amazing to listen to how he can manipulate his voice, words and melodies to make them fit over the harmony underneath.
In Fiction, The Rev having seemingly written the song, has a very good understanding of the melody, Shadows seems to be hanging back and allowing The Rev's voice to be heard over his, opting to play a backing role rather than his usual powerful style.
The lyrics all centre in some way or another to death, as was the original concept to the album, even before The Rev's passing, it was his idea to do a concept album based on that.
there is no fault with the lyrical content or the vocals. So I give it 10. // 10
Overall Impression: If you compare the album to the past 5 albums from Avenged ( Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, Waking The Fallen, City Of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold, Diamonds in The Rough) it sits somewhere between DITR and COF in my opinion, in some respects it's different and slightly progressive of them, but every song is radio friendly and there's nothing to offend.
The best songs on this particular album are (in my opinion), Welcome To The Family, Buried Alive, Nightmare, Save Me.
If the album was stolen I probably would buy it again, not on the strength of the album, but purely because if it's not there my A7X CD's would have one missing.
Overall the album gets 9/10. its good, regardless of the bad points. // 9
IAmTwisted, on july 31, 2010 1 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sound: "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 // 8
Lyrics: 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 // 7
Overall Impression: 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 // 8
HWFG1, on august 02, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is the culmination of Avenged Sevenfold's sound; it takes a bit from each of their previous records and combines it into one seamless mixture of kick-ass. From the eerie opening of "Nightmare" to the raging "God Hates Us" to the emotional "Fiction", this album leaves little to be desired by the listener. The self-titled track opens up the album, with some driving riffs from Gates and Vengeance, and it will make your hair on your neck stand up. "Welcome to the Family" has a groove that you just can't help but bob your head to. "Danger Line" opens with Portnoy's drumming and a harmonized lead that could only come from the Sevenfold camp. It's reminiscent of "Lost", and my personal favorite part of the song is about halfway through when it cuts to just piano and Matt's vocals, and leads into a heartfelt guitar solo from Gates. "Buried Alive" has a fantastic intro; the finger picked guitar sets the mood for the rest of the song. The last half of the song definitely has a Metallica-influenced sound though. "Natural Born Killer" picks up right where "Buried Alive" ends; with a driving guitar riff. The verse riff will make you bob your head no matter what. "So Far Away" has an ominous sound to it. It's never speeds up or picks up the intensity, but it carries you through without leaving you wanting more. "God Hates Us" opens up quietly, but quickly goes from 0 to 10 and would definitely get a pit going at any metal concert. Shadows employs screaming for the first time since "Waking the Fallen", and it definitely adds to the intensity. "Victim" features a female vocalist, and is another song that carries you through without any really significant changes throughout the song until the guitar solos, which are delivered excellently. "Tonight the World Dies" has a distant Alice in Chains/Stone Temple Pilots feel to it. "Fiction", The Rev's last work, is beautifully done. The piano work is awesome, and The Rev's vocals just add to the intensity. This is definitely the most emotional song on the guitar, and features no guitar or bass. "Save Me" is Avenged Sevenfold's longest song to date and has an epic feel to, which closes out the album nicely, pushing through to the very end. // 10
Lyrics: In lieu of drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan's passing, the lyrics are quite dark, and provide an interesting look into the world of Avenged Sevenfold as they deal with his passing. Matt's vocals have never been better; his singing skills heighten with each record, and his screaming in "God Hates Us" was quite refreshing. The Rev's vocals on "Fiction" are excellent, and leave us with one final memory of his life. When he sings "Let it burn!" the hairs on my neck stand up. The lyrics are superbly done, and Avenged Sevenfold have never released a more personal record. // 10
Overall Impression: Nightmare is an amazing album. It's got ballads, straight-up metal songs, a duet, and much more. My personal favorite songs are "God Hates Us". "Tonight the World Dies", and "Fiction". It will take some listeners a few listens to accept it, but it is, in my opinion, their best work to date. // 9
motleycruefan, on august 02, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Far from the best musically speaking weve heard from A7X. The Rev will be greatly missed on the drums and for his creativeness. The lack of creativness really hurts this album. It almost seems as if the band reverted back to its influences to search for their sound again. The influences of Metallica and Guns N' Roses really stick out. You can hear it in Tonight The World Dies, Buried Alive and Nightmare.
The vocals on this album are fair. The Rev's performance on Fiction is spine tingeling. M. Shadows performance is consistently average. He shows a little of his range on Tonight The World Dies. He attempts to scream in God Hates Us, but he just doesn't sound like he use to. Best Vocal Performance: Fiction.
The guitar work on this album saves it from being totally lost. It remains the strong point for A7X. Again it wasn't the greatest work weve heard from Zacky and Synyster, though Synyster still manages some nice solos. Best guitar performance: Welcome To The Family
On to rythm and the weakest part of the album. Chemistry between a bass player and drummer is soo important to a band. The chemistry here is decent, but the music is uninspired. Johnny is almost non existant on most songs. He gets lost in the background easily. He plays a basic style most of the time, this time it was basic and watered down. He finally shows off some skill later on the album on Tonight The World Dies and Save Me. But overall a weak performance by Johnny Christ. You can't put all the blame on him, working with a new drummer is difficult. We all know why Mike Portnoy is on the album, it almost doesn't seem fair to judge him, but he does affect the music. He shows flashes of The Rev in his playing that is great to hear. But other times he just seems to go through the motions. Its not the same, thats all I'll say about the drumming.
The production of this album wasn't great, and may have taken a few songs down a notch. Better production could have deffinatly given this album a better sound. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are obviously dark and emotional for the most part, but at times are very inspirational. Some of the lyrics can get too repetative, example: Victim and Save Me. Other times, the flow of the lyrics can seem off or to much like other songs, example: Danger Line. Ballad writing for Rev was very well done.
Best lyrical song: Fiction. Reason: The emotion from M.Shodows is extremly strong. The Rev singing can send chills to anyone listening in this song. Listening to what The Rev is singing abot just adds to the emotion. So Far Away is a close second for emotional lyrics.
Honorable Mentions: Nightmare(The video sums up the writing and makes the song better.), Buried Alive.
Worst lyrical song: God Hates Us. Reason: Shadows sounds way over produced in this song. He sounds more like an alien from the movie Alien than he sounds like he's screaming. Sounds nothing like he use to. Makes the lyrics hard to understand. If you read the lyrics it is a perfetly understandable song. It just could have been done better. Which is the feeling you get from alot of songs on this album
It's not the strongest writing or singing we've had from Avenged, but you can clearly get the idea of where they wanted to go with the album, and how they feel about losing a brother and bandmate. That is whats most important for them right now, expressing how they feel. Performance wise, I would say the album here would be closer to a 7. Because of the consistency throughout the album and under the hard circumstances I think they can justify an 8. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall its difficult to judge the album based on whats going on with the band. There were high points, and a few low points, but can we really expect them to release an album of their highest potential? With a new drummer? After this horrible tragedy? This album was a dedication to their friend and brother. It may have hurt their sound, but it was the right thing to do. // 7
ZachyV, on august 02, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: I'm going to try to keep the overall review short and to the point. The overall album sound falls between the self titled CD and Diamonds in the Rough. There are quite a few ballads and its definitely not the hard rock album Avenged Sevenfold or City of Evil was. Great instrumentals like always with great swagger but not too much head banging here. Like everyone says, if you like them you'll like their progression... If you've never liked them, you won't like it. I personally love it. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics of this album definitely stand out. The unfortunate passing of the Rev has quite obviously impacted the lyrical content and soul of this CD. I personally like Matt's rough singing. It's very distinct, unique, and you feel the passion in his words. A good amount of songs (So Far Away, Fiction, Victim, etc) are incredibly emotional but it is expected because of their terrible loss. I applaud the guys for changing up the lyrics last minute before releasing the album and really showing their emotions about the loss of a friend. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall I like Nightmare, however, it is definitely not my favorite album they've made. I do like a lot of the songs, however, their "in-your-face" albums like City of Evil and Diamonds and even Waking the Fallen have always been my favorite. I feel I will forever find myself in a dark mood after listening to the album but I do respect their progression and ability to release a CD so quickly after their friend's passing to mark his legacy, to express the band mates emotions, and to feed their worldwide army of loyal fans who stand behind them through thick and thin. Rest in Peace Jimmy. Your fans miss you more than you imagine and can't wait to party with you in the afterlife. A7X foREVer // 9
Weaponxclaws, on august 09, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Avenged Sevenfold's fifth album, Nightmare, is easily the most mature sounding record they have released thus far. It's vocal melodies are what capture it for me. They are easily memorable upon first listening. The guitar melodies are very typical of Avenged Sevenfold but that does not mean they suck. Hell, I even liked that whistle solo on Danger Line.
Here is the breakdown of the songs:
01. Nightmare: the albums title track. Similar to their last effort, Avenged Sevenfold, the song starts off with a little bit of a difference to throw you off, I suppose. Critical Acclaim did the same but after 30 seconds or so is where you discover 'Oh, wait. There it is' when the dual guitars enter and it gets faster and heavier. It gets balls. The chorus of this song enticed me the very first time I heard it and now I can't help but sing along. Overall, good choice for an opening track.
02. Welcome to the Family: first of all... Drum solo. Synyster's familiar riffing and slightly out of tune bends sort of remind me of Avenged Sevenfold's earlier songs. This song has a huge groove and I find myself bobbing my head to the beat through no fault of my own. It is just one of those songs. Very catchy melodies with the vocals and the guitars, again. It's kinda hard to tell but it almost sounds like they added the 808 drum sound (just like they did in Scream) to give it a bigger groove feel. Interesting song.
03. Danger Line: I hate to say this but it sounds way too much like Blinded in Chains and I think that's been mentioned before... This song is probably my least favorite on the album but I still like it. Also, 12/8 time signature almost makes it awkward to listen to.
04. Buried Alive: holy shit, Stairway to Heaven anyone? The intro is not very motivated. It sounds way too similar to Stairway to Heaven then when the rest of the band kicks in it sounds like Hotel California. Nothing to impressive in this song to be honest.
05. Natural Born Killer: this song is so ridiculously heavy! I was impressed with the very quick buildup of instruments. The music is very clear in what the musicians were trying to achieve. Everything is there and is beautiful. As far as vocals go, however, again they sound too similar to previous albums and even songs on this album. I still do like this song.
06. So Far Away: here we go, a slightly different vocal part. I was instantly enticed my M. Shadows intro. I almost classified this as country-esque music when I first heard it but I am not really sure how to define this into a genre. It's Avenged Sevenfold. Although this song is rather mellow I find myself moving to the music still. The guitar solo is absolutely beautiful. Synyster Gates once again proves that you don't have to blister up and down the neck to get your message across. The acoustic interlude that leads into the heavy bridge sounds a little familiar but I love how it leads into a heavier chorus to finish out the song. Last note= Ow!
07. God Hates Us: you got me Avenged Sevenfold! I seriously didn't think the song was going to slam into this heavy riff. Shit! And there is screaming too! I never thought they would go back to that. I am actually giddy over the awesomeness of how heavy this is. Reminds me of Sounding the Seventh Trumpet without the punk element. The chorus is almost anthemic. I can see a crowd of people pumping to that PANTERA STYLE. I'm done now
08. Victim: love the ambient effects. That is always an attention grabber for me. Song probably could have done without the female vocal part, however. I don't have much to say about this song. It is what it is. I am somewhat annoyed with the fact that they can't do an entire song as mellow with clean tones. They feel they have to slam the distortion in every song and so it almost feels forced.
09. Tonight the World Dies: 1:42 is when the distortion slams in. I almost thought they were going to do the song without it. This song has some interesting melodies that build tension because of the dissonance and instrumentation. The song still feels a little dry and moves kinda slow. This song, I hate to admit, is filler. Also, it sounds almost like some of Iron Maiden's material off of their last few albums. THAT is a good thing.
10. Fiction: very nice piano intro. It sets up a tone that plays for the rest of the song. This song is rather emotional because it starts with The Rev's vocals sung along with M. Shadows part. It was a nice gesture to keep his vocals in there and believe it or not, it works very well. This song impresses me because it is a different departure of Avenged Sevenfold's sound. It is musically and lyrically beautiful. With the exception of the vocals in the beginning of the interlude. I couldn't even tell what Shadows was saying. My absolute favorite part of this song is that it has a slow dance song vibe.
11. Save Me: distorted bass? There is a little too much going on in this song. Weird effects and ridiculously loud whammy bar effects. I do like the whisper screams that start the actual song at about the 2 minute mark. This song is another different sounding song. I think the idea was to put the good songs at the beginning and ending of the CD. Oh well... This song is pretty straight forward. Once the actual song kicks in there is nothing else really special about it. This will definitely make it onto my car playlist. // 7
Lyrics: I am going to be rather brief with the lyrics, if I may. The lyrics written for this album are rather mature compared to previous efforts. They cover various topics such as love, hate, passing, living, sanity, insanity. To me it seemed like if they wrote about one subject, they wrote about the polar opposite somewhere else on the CD. This gives the album a nice contrast of feelings. It is not all about I HATE THIS or I LOVE YOU. It's a fair combination of everything. Good job Avenged Sevenfold, I shall be quoting your lyrics for time to come. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, this album was a hit and miss. Some songs were like 'wow, that's new and exciting' and some just made me think 'sounds too much like (song) or (album)'. My only HUGE complaint is that the songs were in all sorts of time signatures. I am not sure if that is the fault of Mike Portnoy or not but... I mean you have to understand my pointed finger considering Avenged Sevenfold (for the most part) has been a 4/4 band. Just a thought. The lead guitars also sound a bit loud. When Syn rips it up and hits some high note, it physically hurts my ears. Maybe that should have been toned down in post-production. Otherwise, great album. I will definitely give it many more listens. // 8
reptartdf, on august 11, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: One word, WOW. This album is down right amazing and I want to get that out of the way first. The guitars are once again, amazing. Zacky and Synyster sound beautiful together and deffinately prove that they're some of the best guitarist today. Johnny's bass is great and Mike Portonoy really did do a good job. He is no Rev but he is great. Shadows really lets it all out on this record. He even pulls some screams and growls out again on God Hates Us and its great to hear them again. // 9
Lyrics: Most of these lyrics are very great. They really are meaningful and sensitive. Then they have brutal and tough lyrics. M. Shadows voice is great on this record and so is Jimmy's. Fiction and Save me are great but Victim really touched me. I love that song. God Hates Us and Nightmare are also great. // 9
Overall Impression: This album really brings them back to the Bat Country days. Its great. Very different then they're last album, the self titled, Avenged Sevenfold. I basically love everything from this album. It is overall great. Theyr aren't my favorite band but I have to adnit, this album is amazing and I think you guys should all pick it up. Stand out songs are Nightmare, God Hayes Us, and Victim. // 10
wolfeman85, on august 17, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Nightmare is the fifth studio album by Avenged Sevenfold and the first one released without their drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sulliva, and boy-oh-boy is it a good one...I can honestly say, that it's my favorite Avenged Sevenfold album next to Waking the Fallen... in my opinion, City of Evil was as a whole somewhat annoying/difficult to listen to and their self-titled just wasn't very good in general, but Nightmare just pumped into me that same manic energy I only felt when listening to something off Waking the Fallen... now as for the songs, I'm going to review every one of them and rate them out of 10:
01. Nightmare: the first track and title track of the album, and also the first single. This song starts off with a soft, ominous playing of the song's main riff, it really does a good job setting off the song's sinisterness early on, and then it blasts off into the song's evil-sounding main riff on guitars before going into the song's extremely-thrashy verse riff. After the chorus and another playing of the verse it goes into the solo, a very evil-sounding bunch of harmonies and scales that really go with the mood of the song. Overall the song is pretty catchy and is definitely going to be a crowd favorite. One thing I didn't like about this song was the chorus, it just doesn't seem as powerful as the verse or other parts of the song. But other than that, it's an extremely catchy song and really does a good job of setting off the album. 7/10
02. Welcome to the Family: the second track of the album was definitely one of the Rev's babies, the entire song reeks of his influence and it's without question the most catchy song on the album, it pretty much goes right into the verse then to a bridge that leads to the chorus, the best part of this song. The chorus is unmistakably Rev-style, extremely catchy and very easy to get stuck in your head. The guitar solo is of course, Synyster-style shredding that kind of reminds me of Afterlife from the self-titled. Overall it's definitely one of the most catchy songs from the album, and probably the song most first-time Nightmare listeners will like the most. 8/10
03. Danger Line: when I first heard the beginning I immediately thought of Blinded in Chains, and at first this song definitely reminded me of City of Evil, it's got that sinister kind of verse, powerful chorus that I heard a lot of in CoE, but once the song passes the 2nd chorus it changes and becomes one of those new Nightmare-style songs, getting a progressive/melodic edge before going into an incredibly soulful solo from Syn before fading out in army whistle. Overall, a powerful song that gives the listener a taste of the new side of Avenged Sevenfold to come. 7/10
04. Buried Alive: an extremely powerful song and also the first to bear that new side of Avenged Sevenfold we haven't heard before, it starts with a clean,soft intro before going into a beautiful harmony, which leads into the clean verse. At first it's going all soft, then the song hardens up as Shadows sings, "HEY!" and it goes into the extremely catchy, powerful chorus. The harmony, verse and chorus repeat, and then this song takes a turn in a rather unexpected direction with a blistering solo from Gates that leads into the much-heavier 2nd part of the song. Overall this song bears much of that new side of Avenged Sevenfold that involves much more melody and catchiness, and if you don't like this new side you probably won't like this song, but I find it very good and a nice change to what they've been doing for the past two albums. 9/10
05. Natural-Born Killer: the song starts off sounding very Waking the Fallen-esque, but after a brief drum/guitar fill turns into a very thrashy, catchy verse I find it very hard not to headbang to, and then blasts off into the very melodic and catchy chorus. Then the song goes into a softer bridge/solo thing, which might temporarily fool you until the song blasts back off into an unexpected solo played over the verse, before playing the chorus again. Overall, this song is very, very in-your-face and catchy and a very nice addition to Nightmare's song list. 8/10
06. So Far Away: this song is interesting in that it's the first song completely written by our good friend Synyster Gates, lyrics and everything. And I'd say for a first time he did an amazing job... the song starts off with the soft, heartfelt verse which goes into the equally-emotional chorus. The verse and chorus repeat, then after the 2nd chorus a bridge comes along with a short but sweet guitar solo. The chorus repeats, and then fades out into the total best part of the song. Clean guitar which reminded me a lot of the Nothing Else Matters clean tone from Metallica, which leads into an extremely emotional solo/chorus to the end of the song. This is without doubt one of the best songs on the album, reeking with sadness and emotion, and the ultimate tribute Syn could pay to his lost brother Jimmy. 10/10
07. God Hates Us: if I had to compare this song to another I'd compare it to Vigil by Lamb of God. Just as in that song, don't let the soft intro fool you, because this is without question the heaviest song Avenged Sevenfold has ever done in their whole history. Not just on Nightmare, in their whole band history. If Natural Born Killer was in-your-face, God Hates Us is in-your-face-beaten-on-the-ground. The heavy chorus, the super-headbangable chorus and an insane shredding solo from Gates that puts Afterlife's solo to shame, this whole song is a definite departure from the A7X we're accustomed to and thus one of the best ones on the album. 10/10
08. Victim: another ballad, and my second favorite song on the album, the song is just stuffed with emotion from the start. The intro goes to the soft verse sung magnificently by Shadows, which blasts into the beautiful, catchy chorus. So the verses and chorus of this song are both very good, but where this song shines is the guitar solos. The first one is only a small one, but is made all the more emotional by Shadows singing over it. The second solo... probably the most heartfelt solo Gates has written since Seize the Day, and definitely fits the song like a glove. Overall, the song is extremely emotional and catchy, and one of the best from the album. 10/10
09. Tonight the World Dies: A very, very bluesy song, definitely more so than anything I've ever heard from Avenged Sevenfold, and filled with emotional from Shadows' extremely powerful vocals. Not a particularly heavy song, but made powerful by Shadows' vocals, and the excellent use of blues to make this song the monster that it is, if a little bit ordinary. 7/10
10. Fiction: a very unusual song, the last song the Rev ever wrote, and in a very creepy (coincidence?) the lyrics sound exactly like a final goodbye from someone who knows they're going to die... excellent use of piano, and the combination of The Rev and Shadows' voices give it a beautiful yet somber tone. Overall a very depressing yet very good song, and an honor to put on the album for the Rev. 9/10
11. Save Me: the final song on the album, and in my opinion the best song on the album as well. The bass intro leaves you unsuspecting of the trippy and emotional 11-minute long song to come. The song has a powerful main riff, followed by a guitar solo and a few verses and the first chorus, after the excellent guitar solo in the middle of the song it takes the turn that makes it my favorite song on the album...a clean riff with Shadows' haunting vocals, leading into the chorus once again and then at the end, the chanting of "Tonight we all die young" over and over again, before ending in a similar fashion to how it started. It's almost 11 minutes long, so some may not have the patience to listen to it all the way through, but for those of you who do you're in for an amazing song that just couldn't get any better. 11/10
Overall my favorite A7X album next to Waking the Fallen, I really don't think they could've done any better with this album even if The Rev was still alive. // 10
Lyrics: The Rev's death unquestionably influenced much of the lyrics on this album, and considering how many dark songs there are on the album it suits them well, and Shadows as always amazes me with his amazing range and vocal tone, as well as reintroducing screams on God Hates Us, he just seems to get better and better with every album, no disappointments in this section. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, Avenged Sevenfold definitely outdid themselves with this album. There couldn't be a greater tribute to the Rev, what with songs like So Far Away, Victim, Save Me, and of course Fiction. I don't like to call anything perfect, but I have to honestly say I thought Nightmare was perfect. No annoying, difficult to listen to songs (City of Evil) and no crappy letdowns (Self-titled), just 100 percent awesome Avenged Sevenfold style. // 10
boreamor, on august 23, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: My first review shall be about Avenged Sevenfolds new album, Nightmare. Now I know Avenged Sevenfold seems to have a stigma attached to them (LOL u lyk that shit? fukn fag. SLAYER!) but I don't really get it. Sure, it's quite pop in the ways it's mixed and mastered. But the actual music being played? That is not pop. Never in pop music will these sort of harmonies and riffs be played.
The lead track of this album is, would you have guess, Nightmare.
Personally, I feel this track is very weak in comparison to some of the others. They've definately taken a different step this time. Instead of changing their sound nearly completely, like they did both in City of Evil and their self-titled, it seems as though they've gone for an album between Waking The Fallen and City of Evil. This is a good move in my opinion, and it shows in the album. It's more creative. It's not different genres, but it's exploring diferrent areas of the genre they're very good at: Metalcore.
They've got some amazing new songs. Here's a list of what you need to check out:
1: Fiction. This is was the last song The Rev wrote. I personally think it's one of the best songs they've ever done.
2: God Hates Us All. Very Slayer-esque in my opinion. Problem: Terrible breakdown.
3: Buried Alive. Lovely bluesy-jazz clean guitar intro.
The riffs are there, the solos are the same (technical, but melodic) and the harmonies are awesome. If there's anything Synyster and Zacky can do, it's know when who plays what and how. They work very well together, just like Slash and Izzy. // 10
Lyrics: Of course I have a problem with the lyrics. I cannot like lyrics easily. Sure, Tool do it very well for me. But Avenged Sevenfold? I feel their lyrics to be very immature. But it goes with the music. If it was too deep it'd detract from the music. They've brought back his screaming, even if it's weaker than they used to do it. (Thank God. If I wanted to hear cats being blended, I'd do it myself). // 4
Overall Impression: To be honest, I've not got much against this album. I can see the effort was there and I can't really fault it musically. It's very much an Avenged Sevenfold album (if you knew them from City of Evil). It's less technical than City of Evil, but less brutal than Waking The Fallen. A perfect combination.
I would give a rating of 7/10. Which is quite good in my opinion. // 7
Unicronus, on october 29, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Music sounds great. I feel that they changed in style. They are heavier and have more of a thrash sound. You can really see how heavy they have gotten in songs like Buried Alive and Natural Born Killer. However it is still the same great vocals and Synster Gates has his same style solos. They got a new drummer for this album because the old drummer (The Rev) sadly passed away. However I feel that Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater did a good job on this album. I believe that The Rev wrote the tracks though. This album has a nice blend of heavy and soft songs on it. Some really nice soft songs on this album are So Far Away and Fiction. Fiction has really beautiful harmonies. If I am not mistaken The Rev sings lead vocals on this track and he wrote it as well. From the first track to the last track the album sounds really good. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are good. Most of the songs are sad. It is suppose to be Avenged Sevenfold's most personal album. The music goes really well with the lyrics. M. Shadows is a great singer with a very unique style. He is not for everyone but those of you who like rock and metal should enjoy this. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall this album is a masterpiece. If you like Avenged Sevenfold you should definitely get it. If you listen to metal ranging from Disturbed to Metallica, I would recommend you get it. I would say Avenged Sevenfold is one of best metal bands out there today. My favorite songs on this Album are Nightmare, Buried Alive, and Natural Born Killer. In Buried Alive there is a part near the end that sounds like Metallica. I love how they this album has both Avenged Sevenfold's heaviest and softest songs. I am a big fan of Thrash Metal and I feel that this album sounds a lot like Thrash. I don't really hate anything about it. If it were stolen or lost from me, I would definitely get it again. I listen to this all of the time. // 10
EddieOwen, on december 10, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is album is really something very special, the songs were written by The Rev before his death. Many of the songs are about death. The sound is something very different to what they have done before, the vocals are beautiful and the rest of the band did a brilliant job finishing off the songs for Jimmy. The Album features Mike Portnoy, who came to help them with the drums after The Revs death. He was The Revs favorite drummer and idol. The different genres for each song make it difficult to give entire album one. // 10
Lyrics: The Lyrics are very strange, but not in a bad way. Most notably "Fiction" a nickname the Rev gave to himself, the song "Fiction" was written 3 days before his death, and is about his death. (Strange Much?)
Some of the Lyrics, about his own death: In the end I gave my life for you. Then: Gave you all I had to give, found a place for me to rest my head, while I may be hard to find heard there's peace just on the other side. And then: Left this life to set me free Then finally: I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you. Hidden Meaning? Did he know he was going to die? Anyway, Fiction and save me feature the revs singing while the rest have matts. Matt did a bloody good job at this. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is awesome. The most impressive songs are: Save Me, Natural Born Killer and Fiction. I love everything about it, the way the songs are written is truly amazing. The only thing I dislike is that their aren't many songs on it. I would buy it if it were to be stolen/lost. // 9
HoverFan#1, on january 10, 2011 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is one of the best albums I have ever heard! In spite of the tragic and untimely death of drummer The Rev at only 28 years old, A7X pulled through and produced a new album with Mike Portnoy amazingly! I mean, every song is just mind blowing.
01. Nightmare: Although highly overplayed on the radio (92.5 WKGB-FM), it's actually a great song.
02. Welcome to the Family: This is a very catchy song, and has one of my favorite guitar solos on the album.
03. Danger Line: It has this cool rhythm part to start it off, with A7X's signature dual guitars to complement it.
04. Buried Alive: The intro has a really blues-like sound to it, and the chorus is simply perfect. The end of the first solo, the drums, and the riff are pure gold! I like how it kinda goes from one song to a completely different song.
05. Natural Born Killer: A very cool riff just explodes into a solo of superhuman speed, with a pause and a little ding that always makes me laugh. Starting at about 3:20, I could swear it's The Rev singing.
06. So Far Away: The downward arpeggiated chord in the beginning is a little different, which is just the way I like it! And Papa Gates also appears.
07. God Hates Us: This one doesn't really sound like Avenged Sevenfold, but I still love it, with its blues-like intro/outro and its super cool riff and solo.
08. Victim: Now I always thought it was in standard with a capo at the third fret, but then I got the book and saw it's actually in Drop-C, but I still play it like I played it before. The beginning with the guitar and bells gives a really spooky mood.
09: Tonight the World Dies: Papa Gates' other appearance. Here's another song where it sounds like The Rev is singing. I'm playing this song on December 21, 2012!
10. Fiction: Personally, this is my favorite song on the album. Very beautiful lyrics. I know The Rev sings in this one, and I love how he sings at the end! Nice tribute to him. I heard that Fiction is actually one of his nicknames.
11. Save Me: Ah, an 11 minute Avenged song to wrap up the album! Great riffs, great lyrics, great vocals, great everything (like the rest of the album!). // 10
Lyrics: Every song has simply amazing lyrics. But let me get one thing straight with Fiction: The Rev wrote and sang this: "I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you." Three days later, he's found dead. So Far Away was Synyster Gates' first attempt and success at writing lyrics, and they sound great! Both M. Shadows and The Rev sing wonderfully! // 10
Overall Impression: Although A7X's other albums were great, this album shows no comparison! It's just so much better! I love everything and hate nothing about it! All the songs impressed me very well, and they always will. Avenged Sevenfold is, always has been, and always will always be amazing! R.I.P. Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan! // 10
Kwyjibo2006, on january 27, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: After 18 months of touring in support of their self-titled album, Long Beach quintet Avenged Sevenfold began writing their next album. Described as a dark concept album, the band were weeks away from entering the studio when tragedy struck. Drummer and founding member Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan was found dead in his home, and the band were left to pick up the pieces. However, after months of turbulent emotion, the band decided to complete the album, and, along with the help of ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, record what they called their drummer's masterpiece.
The album opens with the creepy xylophone of "Nightmare". The song is classic Avenged Sevenfold, with dueling guitars throughout and a blistering solo from guitarist Synyster Gates. Next up is the first Rev piece on the album: "Welcome to the Family". The song features a pounding main riff, and will remind the listener of tracks such as "Afterlife". "Danger Line" is essentially this album's "Gunslinger", a song for the troops with a fantastic outro solo.
The album breaks some new ground for the band with "Buried Alive". Clearly inspired by Metallica tracks in the vein of "One" and "The Day that Never Comes", the song features a beautiful clean guitar passage before breaking into some soft dueling guitars. After the crushing choruses, the song changes dramatically, taking a complete right turn into metal territory, before finishing with a great solo and some fantastic vocals from singer M. Shadows.
After the uber-catchy "Natural Born Killer", the first half of the album closes with "So Far Away". Written by Synyster Gates", the song is a tribute to The Rev. Lyrics such as "I have so much to say but you're so far away" will bring tears to the listeners eyes, as well as the simply beautiful solo and powerful singing at the end of the track. Definitely an album highlight.
While the first half of "Nightmare" features more of what fans have come to expect from Avenged Sevenfold, the second half features some of the band's best work. "God Hates Us" brings the band back to the metalcore sound of their earlier albums "Waking the Fallen" and "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" with some frantic riffs, huge breakdowns, and (what a lot of fans have been begging for) all-out screaming from M. Shadows.
Up next is "Victim". A mellow track featuring some great female guest vocals (where you can't help but think of "The Great Gig in the Sky"), the song deals with the morning after The Rev's death. It's definitely a different Avenged Sevenfold track, but with it's emotional lyrics and another great solo, it's one of their best.
"Tonight the World Dies" is a haunting, acoustic track, featuring some bluesy riffs and one of the most powerful vocal performances on the album. But it's what's up next that every Avenged Sevenfold fan is waiting for...
"Fiction". The final track written by The Rev, completed just 3 days before his death. There is no guitar on the track, just a truly haunting duet between M. Shadows and The Rev. Drums and piano dominate the song, while Jimmy sings "Now I think I understand/How this world can overcome a man". The lyrics are The Rev's goodbye to the world, almost in the sense that he knew he wasn't long for this earth. This reviewer found it very difficult not to cry when the song finishes with The Rev singing softly "I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you". The song fades with a final chord, leaving behind the legacy of a fantastic drummer, writer, and brother.
The album ends with the longest track the band has ever recorded: "Save Me". At damn near 11 minutes long, it features fantastic performances from every member of the band. Beginning with Johnny Christ's thumping bass, the track slams in to a duel solo. With The Rev growling "Skull" and whispers of "They all know", the verse only kicks off two minutes in. The harmonies are fantastic throughout, particularly when M. Shadows sings "We only (only) wake up when we sleep" and during the chorus. The song changes pace during the solo, where Synyster Gates is shredding with all his heart. The song quiets down for a truly unbelievable bridge with brilliant guitars before slamming back into the chorus. The song, and the album finish with a chorus of "Tonight we all die young". It's a true, 21 gun salute to the life of their bandmate, their friend and their brother James Sullivan. // 10
Lyrics: Originally dubbed a concept album, the band ditched that idea following the death of their drummer. Lyrics for the tracks "Nightmare" and "Danger Line" were kept because, according to M. Shadows, Jimmy was a fan of the songs. The rest of the album, particularly all tracks after "Natural Born Killer" deal with the band coming to grips with the death of their friend. Vocalist M. Shadows is on top form throughout the album, with his vocal acrobatics ranging from a soft whisper on "Save Me" to the piercing screams on "Buried Alive" and "God Hates Us". The lyrics themselves are some of the most emotional lyrics the band has written, with highlights such as "So Far Away" and "Victim". The raw emotion in the singing is evident on every track, such as the final goodbye of "Tonight we all die young" on "Save Me" and especially on "Fiction". Fans will get chills when they first hear The Rev's voice, salvaged by producer Mike Elizondo from the demo completed days before The Rev's death. It's hard not to smile and cry when you hear him scream "Let it burn!" or, when you hear his last goodbye to the world: "I hope it's worth it/Out on the highway, yeah/ I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you". // 10
Overall Impression: "Nightmare" is Avenged Sevenfold struggling to deal with the death of their drummer. It's an emotional roller coaster, featuring everything from the acoustic ballad to the full out metal that has made the band famous, without them getting lost and unfocused in the tragedy that has overwhelmed the band this last while.
Personally, almost no albums get a perfect 10 from me, only the true classics of their respective genre get the five stars from me. But there is something about this album that, just like Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, has a special place in my heart and in the hearts of Avenged Sevenfold fans all over the world. And that, I believe, is his true masterpiece. // 10
JayrezalJorgy, on june 07, 2011 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: My first impression for this album was fantastic. Avenged Sevenfold and their new drummer Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater had made their new album after The Rev's death. Their sound and music in this album is beyond expectations. Mike Portnoy uses some of The Rev's drumming skills and sound for the album. The album "Nightmare" consist of two styles of music which is from Avenged Sevenfold and Dream Theater. "Nightmare" was published after the death of The Rev. This album is to pay tributes and to remember The Rev. // 7
Lyrics: My overall impression of the lyrics in this album is great. The lyrics told a story and some part of the lyrics has a message that delivered by Avenged Sevenfold. The lyrics told a magnificient story. The singing skills for M. Shadows is better than before. Where there are loads of death metal screams. // 5
Overall Impression: In this time, the album "Nightmare" from Avenged Sevenfold dosent compare with any album this year. The most impressive songs from the album is "Nightmare", "Welcome To The Family" and "God Hates Us". Actually, all of thier songs in this album were ridiculously out of question the most "awesome" album I had ever heard. I love the album because it pays tribute to their friend and drummer The Rev. If it was lost, I would buy it again because the music is now part of my life and it is worth the money to spend for that album. // 7
unregistered, on june 27, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Avenged Sevenfold have dedicated this album in memory of their fallen brother The Rev and its one hell of an album. The single "Nightmare" is one of the best songs in the album. The guitarplay between Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates is very gud. I also liked welcome to the family. The intro to "Buried Alive" is slighly unusual but very gud, as is the rest of the song. And the tribute to The Rev - so far away is just mindblowing. However I dint like fiction and victim. Synyster Gates has relly become one of todays finest metal guitarists. Mike Portnoy also fills in nicely for The Rev. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are soul stirring and very heartfelt. The death of The Rev has really inspired M Shadows. In so far away he writes - "how do I live without the ones I love, time still turns the pages of the book it burns". His singing on this album is amazing. He is one of the few metal singers who can scream and sing well at the same time. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall I think this is a ver gud album let down by a few songs like "Fiction" and "God Hates Us". "Nightmare", "Buried Alive" and "Welcome To The Family" are my favourite songs. Synyster Gates shines throughout the album. If it were stolen or lost I would definitely buy it again, not least in the memory of the legend known as The Rev. // 9
haygoe, on january 16, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of A7X's album "Nightmare" is much harder and heavier than that of there previous self-titled album, I think that this is a good thing. It brings back memories of the great "Waking The Fallen" album in terms of how heavy and fast paced it is, also to some extent the singing, because M. Shadows is screaming in the song "God Hates Us" but more on that in a bit. In conclusion if you enjoyed the album "Waking The Fallen" chances are that you will enjoy this one as well. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are very dark and filled with emotion, because of course they were inspired on this album because of The Rev's untimely death. As much as it was a tragedy for A7X that The Rev pass away it is also in some sense a blessing, because if he wouldn't died they wouldn't felt compelled to write great songs like "So Far Away" and "God Hates Us" just to few. M. Shadows has an amazing voice that is easily recognizable, and that's why I think they have gained famed. His voice is in my opinion as easily recognizable as James Hetfield so that's a good thing. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall this album just kicka-s, I would recommend this to anyone that likes Metallica, Iron Maiden or any other modern/classic metal/hard rock band. I enjoy every song off this album, but the ones that stand out to me are "Nightmare", "So Far Away", "God Hates Us" and "Buried Alive". If this CD was stolen I would buy it again with out a doubt! // 10
ChayceDavis#1DD, on may 24, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I can tell that A7X stepped it up on this album for Jimmy. He passed away shortly after writing the last song on the album "Fiction" (Originally titled "Death"). A7X did great in honor of Jimmy with Mike Portnoy behind his kit. Music styles range from epic ballads to the real heavy shit like "God Hates Us". Overall, this album has something for everybody. But if you're a true A7X fan, you'll like everything on it. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics can really connect to a somewhat "emotionally damaged" audience. It seems as if something tragic or something freaky has happened to Matt (Lead Vocalist). The lyrics make a lot of sense in every single song. Matt covers a large vocal range on the album. // 10
Overall Impression: I like every song on the album, I love that it's a tribute album. If it was stolen, I would be f--king p-ssed and I would steal it back! // 10