Sound — 10
Really this year is fucking amazing with new music... I don't know what to think. This is really one of the best records of the decade, one of the best metal albums I ever heard in so much time. I never didn't expected that this amazing band could change in a direction like this.
Well, I give my experience with the band, first, I knew A7X with "City of Evil" and "Waking the Fallen," I loved the both, they're the best records that I ever listened in metal too, I wasn't a fan (but after listened to the "The Stage" I've consider a one), simply I consider that the musicality of this two records is complex with awesome riffs, spectacular drums (R.I.P. The Rev), and a rebel singer, simply a definition of a rockstar band, like Guns N' Roses, AC/DC or even Iron Maiden.
I liked the traditional heavy/hard rock style that the band adopted after "City Of Evil" (but also, "Waking the Fallen" is fucking fantastic being a metalcore album). Then releases the self-titled debut which for me is a bit less good than the previous album, but I enjoyed so much. And then releases Nightmare (this was after The Rev's death), I don't liked this record so much, but have some killer tracks on It.
In my opinion, "Hail to the King" was disappointing, very bland record for me and I lost interest on this band after this record, also their new drummer, Arin Illejay, was decent... But didn't fit in the sound of the band. It was an album so basic and cheesy to me.
But when I've noticed that Arin left the band, and a new (FANTASTIC) drummer, Brooks Wackerman joined the band, I guessed that the band probably gonna make some different vibes in the next work. Brooks is a monster of the drums, he gave Bad Religion a flawless discography from "The Process of Belief" to the last album "True North" in 2013, his style of drumming is phenomenal. So, when he joined the band, I thought: "Why a hardcore punk drummer would be in a band like A7X?, It doesn't fit me well"...
These Stupid expectations blowns away when the 73 minutes of truth comes true. The album was released by surprise in October 28th and previously the single "The Stage" blown my mind.
This album was Love like first sight, but this at first listen... My ears were cumming (I try to don't sound like a fanboy, but I'm failing too much!). Also, I'm gonna to tell you that this is a improvement from "Hail to the King"? This album is fucking amazing musically, my principal attention was focused on the new style of the band... I never, NEVER thought that the band became progressive. I swear, I spend most of my time listening to monsters of progressive like Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, ARK, Devin Townsend Project, Mystery, etc... And Avenged Sevenfold perfectly fits in this genre. Men, even the song "Creating God," one of the best songs of the album, reminds me so much of the chorus of "Absolute Zero" by the progressive metal band ARK, which is another amazing song... My goosebumps gave more attention to this song than me.
The direction of A7X being progressive is a very, VERY BIG STEP UP for the band. The riffs, solos and licks of Synyster Gates are fucking Messed Up, combines the classical style of the band mixed with neoclassical styles that sounds worthy of monsters like John Petrucci or Yngwie Malmsteen, a perfect example is the song "Paradigm," in some parts. Definitely this is the BEST work of him...
But also, he isn't the only that steals the show, Brooks is a fucking beast, a monster of the drums, if in Bad Religion made a very big work, In a progressive album is the step-point that I never thought that he could gonna arrive, there are blast beats, Fast tempos, and even influences of Black Metal in songs like "Fermi Paradox" (Even the band confirmed this in a notice released by this page, Which I could never agree more).
Also, we couldn't forget the additional instruments, the saxo in "Sunny Disposition," the keyboards in "Exist" (one of the best songs of the band, ever. The longest, too.) the production, every thing equals perfectly. And it doesn't sound commercial, It sounds that the band does what they want like they want and in the best way.
Really a fucking 10 to this thing... No more words.
Lyrics — 10
Matt Shadows doesn't sounds so energetic here... I prefer his aggressivity in the previous albums, he sounds very melodic and he loses a bit of strong rage on his vocal, relaxed. But when one see the lyric concept of the album, does this have a very importance here?
Very strong concept of the album, Matt Shadows conveys a very solid and mature concept about the human being, the knowledge of stars, the Universe, the land, the destruction of the society, the philosophy, etc... All in one and combines everything with the madness in some songs, like "Simulation." Definitely, "The Stage" is very interesting in the lyrical part. But the best moment definitely is the monologue of Neil Degasse Tyson in "Exist"... SHIT! Even him is the reason that why I'm falling in love with this album... Probably I suppose that him was an important part in the concept because is very realistic, and solid that the entire band had most of the inspiration by this beautiful mind. This hooked me up, I don't know what to say.
Overall Impression — 10
No... This album It doesn't compare to any previous album of the band... Nothing. This is very, VERY DIFFERENT. Is understandable that at the first listen isn't very accessible, but I have my years listening to prog music, and I have to say to the fans of this genre that this is a very big record to spend the time on it. Don't ask me more, GO TO LISTEN.
And I like to say to the fans of A7X that don't liked this album so much. Spend more time on it, it worth, definitely is the most complex and most efforted album of the band to the date. The instrumental part is very advanced, the concept is very interesting and introduces you to know more about the Universe, the Knowledge, and Philosophical terms... You've gonna love it after multiple times of listen...
I love everything of the album, I'd say everything before... Nothing that I hate, nothing. I would buy it Again, and again, and AGAIN. It's a very solid work of the band, If they continues to exploring more of this music, In a couple of years this band gonna take a very important place on the metal scene, after the years of hate that they accumulated in the previous records. They should keep Brooks as batterist, I feel that him is like the new soul of the band, Arin Ilejay doesn't had that, he yes. The Rev should've gonna very proud of him.
The best songs of the album are "Simulation" (and definitely this is one of the best songs of the band, ever, at least in my opinion), "Exist" "Creating God" and "The Stage." But all the songs are amazing in my opinion.
Don't lose it of sight. With "Terminal Redux" of Vektor (another amazing album!, that had a very similar concept of this) and "Dissociation" by The Dillinger Escape Plan, definitely are the best albums of the entire year and the decade, without a doubt. Check it!