Avenged Sevenfold

Nightmare

Written by: PP on 27/08/2010 15:06:55

Once upon a time Avenged Sevenfold were metalcore titans. They were considered by many to be among the main contestants for the throne of metalcore with releases like "Waking The Fallen" and partly "City Of Evil", both rock solid releases that first brought to spotlight the superb guitar talent of axemen duo Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance. Much has changed since then, thanks to the self titled album from three years ago, where A7X essentially sold out and became a pop band disguised underneath metallic guitars, much akin to a band like Dead By April. The songwriting department experienced a free fall without a parachute to help, and despite delivering on the guitar department, the compositions overall were so shallow that any serious music fan couldn't quite swallow the new change. This coming from someone who spent hours upon hours practicing that A7X song on Guitar Hero back in the day just because it was a great track!

Now, if you secretly wished for Avenged Sevenfold to release a return to form album with "Nightmare", don't hold your breath, because even though it is better than "Avenged Sevenfold", it is only moderately so. It's essentially not much different from the mainstream garbage heard on that disc. Metalcore influences are all but vanished, with a strong focus on a sleazy sound that derives more from hard rock than the genre these guys were so successful in. Screaming makes a welcome return on "God Hates Us", but is otherwise used as a distant, faded back effect on only a couple of other tracks. One has to question whether the lack thereof is an effect of Warner Bros pressuring the band, because I think we can all agree that "God Hates Us" is one of the strongest tracks on the record.

Six minute opening mammoth "Nightmare" alongside "Welcome To The Family" and "Danger Line" display some of the same songwriting talent of the "City Of Evil"-era, with Gates/Vengeance showing off their skill with a number of killer melodic leads, and M. Shadows' smokey croon delivering on the infectious clean vocal chorus department. But that's about it for this album. For the remainder of the album, the listener is pained with Shadows' annoying wail on an all too great number of ballads, some of which are awful to say the least. A track like "Buried Alive" is anthemic, sure, but it's also so pop oriented and boring that it fails to hold any repeat listening value. Then you have a track like "Natural Born Killer" sounding like a second rate Metallica, which is OK I suppose, but why must the momentum be ruined by "So Far Away", which isn't that different from a Bon Jovi track. Jesus. Same goes for "Victim".

One thing that "Nightmare" has going for it, however, is it's instrumental base. Portonoy on the drums, Gates/Vengeance duo on the guitars, and even bassist Johnny Christ all have their moments. In fact, the album is jam-packed with superior displays of pure instrumental talent, which begs the question to be asked: why isn't "Nightmare" a better album than it is in reality? I think we need to be looking in the direction of a certain Mr. Shadows here...

6

Download: Danger Line, God Hates Us
For the fans of: Bullet For My Valentine, Atreyu, Metallica
Listen: Myspace

Release date 27.07.2010
Warner Bros

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