Sound — 10
This album, "Waking the Fallen" by Avenged Sevenfold is a lesson to all bands out there on how to create a sound. Some bands try to change their sound throughout their many albums, from one album to the next. On this album, Avenged Sevenfold successfully changes their sound, on just one CD. This isn't just one of those albums that bands release for the sole purpose of having a few "radio hits". This band didn't have any radio hits. Probably because their songs aren't fit to enter the mainstream. None the less, it has a sound that most people would like. Meanwhile, you can tell that every single song on the album had extensive work put into it. The vast majority of them have catchy riffs that you can't create off the top of your head. They take time to perfect. With this band's prior album, "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet", they decided to scream on the entire album. While not a choice I was fond of, they felt that was their style. This album brought singing into their music without losing the sound that the screaming creates. Every song tells a different story with it's own unique sound, and doing that front to back is a feat that not many bands can pull off. Though if you're not a fan of the angry yelling/screaming type music, this may not be the album for you as there are a lot of times when he lets his frustration out into songs.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics in this album may not be as highly regarded as lyrics that other bands create, but there is no denying that the lyrics in each song do very well to match the mood of that song. That is usually the main goal, to make lyrics that fit with the song. Some of the lyrics such as the ones in "Chapter Four" refer to biblical times. Others, such as in "Radiant Eclipse" tell a struggle of a man. With the powerful lyrics that are created, M. Shadows does a very good job of singing/screaming them in a way that fully emits the perfect tone to the listener. He doesn't just have one voice throughout the whole album, but his voice has different tones throughout different songs that are able to fit the mood needed. In songs such as "I Won't See You Tonight Pt.1", his voice creates feelings of both anger and sorrow. The way he sings is usually the high point of many of the songs and without his unique voice, these songs would just be shells with no real direction.
Overall Impression — 9
Compared to the other albums by this band, Waking the Fallen is their best work although City of Evil is not far behind. And as far as other artists go, I have yet to see something that can match the originality and sound that this album produces. It's hard to mention a song or two from the album because all of them are great in their own way. They don't use the same strategy to make each song great but instead they find a new way to make it noteworthy. Be it a catchy chorus as in "Chapter 4" or a thrilling intro followed by a epic breakdown as in "Eternal Rest", the songs on this album cannot be linked to each other as Avenged Sevenfold has made each one of them unique. They even show a soft side with the acoustic chorus in "Reminnisions" and the heart rendering power ballad "I Won't See You Tonight Pt.1". And just when you thought Synester Gates was an average guitarist, he shows you the full extent of his skills with the ear bleeding outro solo in "Second Heartbeat". Though after listening to this album, you may think you have their sound figured out, they come at you with the ending song of the album "And All Things Will End." It sounds completely different from the rest of the album and the outro solo must change tempo a good 10 times. Overall, I have never owned an album that has affected me the way this one does. I usually get tired of listening to songs after awhile but it doesn't seem to happen with this album, it just blows me away. If there was something I hate about it, it would have to be the fact that most of the song titles don't fit very well. Almost none of the titles are actually used in the song which leads to not even knowing which song is which. There is no way to tell because the song title has nothing to do with the actual song. They seemed to have corrected this in later albums as they actually do use the song title within the lyrics now. Just something that bands are able to correct over time and Avenged Sevenfold have done a good job of this. If you are a fan of power rock, a bit of screamo, or just some killer guitar, be sure to pick up this album.