Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold

Written by: PP on 14/12/2007 00:25:39

In the series of disappointing follow ups to breakthrough albums, Avenged Sevenfold follows in the footsteps of Atreyu to reduce metal to a poppier level than ever before. Self-titled albums are meant to be those that people consider as the defining albums of an artist's career; a brief glance at Metallica's Black Album serves as a great example of how a band is forever remembered by their self titled album. In a hopeless attempt to try to top the artistic success of their previous album "City Of Evil", the image that we are left with after listening to "Avenged Sevenfold" is a band with dollar signs for eyes, desperately appealing to the angstful teenage emo crowd, who will respond by bringing screaming girls to their shows, who are almost certainly more interested in the band's looks than their music.

Let it be clear from the start that I have nothing against clean pop choruses, or wailing metalcore riffs that give melody a new definition - Bullet For My Valentine is among my favorite bands. But there are limits to exactly how far you can push the clean choruses and catchy verses before the very meaning of the word metal is betrayed. There are alarmingly many songs on "A7X" that cross the boundary between metal and pop just a little bit too far. The ridiculous "Scream" song is just one example; it's so generically formulated that it's sickening. Having to describe the song as a derivative from metal is disgusting. "Gunslinger","Brompton Cocktail" and "A Little Piece Of Heaven" also fall into the category of songs you'd rather prefer the band had never written.

However, there are moments on the record where we get a brief glimpse of what we all know Avenged Sevenfold is capable of. It's impossible to avoid singing along to "Almost Easy", but at the same time the song is heavy and technically impressive. Although "Lost" sees vocalist M Shadows sing in a voice much softer than we remember from "City Of Evil", the wailing lead guitar is among the most complex and interesting compositions this band has written to date. Not to even mention how catchy the song manages to be simultaneously.

Aside from these two though, the album doesn't have much to brag with. "Critical Acclaim" is almost listenable, but ends up sounding like a metalcore version of koRn and trust me, it's not good even if some of you might be intrigued by that description.

Why, then, has the band felt necessary to write so many tracks that don't take better use of their obviously great instrumental capability? The answer is not clear but based on the amount of major label money spent on production and promotion of the album, my best guess is that the band wants to become even bigger than they already are, and to do that they realize that it sells more records to make metal slightly more accessible. In a nutshell, the problem with this record is that the band has taken that concept a few steps too far, and are now on a free fall from a cliff that they were barely hanging onto with "City Of Evil".

5

Download: Lost, Almost Easy
For the fans of: Atreyu, Eighteen Visions
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.10.2007
Warner Bros Records

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