Avenged Sevenfold

support Corroded
author AP date 18/11/10 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

The second high profile concert crammed into Week 46 saw metalcore-turned-hard rock megastars Avenged Sevenfold bring their gimmicks to Vega. But where for most of this tour Stone Sour had been tagging along as a co-headlining act, the Scandinavian leg saw the two bands split up to do their own headlining runs, and as a result, support bands for both were of a much lesser calibre. But for the zounds of fans packed into the venue, support acts were rather a nuisance than something to cherish; after all, their favorite rock star posterboys were about to throw them cheeky glances and make their knees melt.

Corroded

For the Scandinavian leg of their tour, A7X have recruited Swedish hard rock outfit Corroded, who, for some inexplicable reason, have decided that static red lights are all that's needed to convey their murky take on the genre. With three guitarists focusing on the lowest frets on their instruments, the sound is dense and... well, corroded, but the predominant impression that one gets is that Corroded have to offer little more than discarded Volbeat songs (though I prefer the vocals here). On the other hand, the band's showmanship is top notch, particularly on the left side of the stage, where one piece of the guitar trio makes sure every instance of chug and solo alike, is delivered with attitude and passion. And towards the end of the set, there is a considerable increase in the quality and memorability of the band's repertoire, with especially "6 Ft. of Anger" leaving a lasting impression with its vocal hooks. If only the band had more of these songs to offer.

Avenged Sevenfold

A7X have brought with them quite the scene on that big truck of theirs parked outside. On either side of the stage are large gates with the band's logo embellished, while elsewhere the stage is cluttered with skulls, faux brick walls, various platforms, and an impressive three-dimensional backdrop. Gone are the days when A7X were a modest progenitor of the metalcore genre - everything about this setup, and indeed the band's performance, screams mainstream and superfluous excess. Unfortunately the megalomania has brought with it little good music-wise, and this being a promo tour for the band's latest opus, "Nightmare", the setlist is heavily poisoned by songs off it. Songs, which, in my opinion, lack the youthful defiance, honesty and force of the band's glory days on "Waking the Fallen" and "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet".

As you might expect, the band are extremely concerned with their appearances too: M. Shadows with his signature aviators and Guns n' Roses tank top; guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance clad as teen idols (at times having bras and other female garments cast at them by frenzied girls upfront); and the legendary Mike Portnoy (who fits this band like a glove) himself looking like a proper rock star. All this is fine and in no way compels me to slate the band in a review, but what I cannot forgive is the shameless and blatant use of vocal playback. Sure, in big mainstream rock shows it isn't uncommon to reinforce your voice with a backing track, but when M. Shadows raises his arms during "Critical Acclaim" and the chorus is still sounding clear as crystal, my palm involuntarily connects with my face.

It takes some adjusting to deal with all this, but for one thing I must offer commend: A7X have possibly the best sound mix I have ever heard in Vega. The band's trademark guitar leads are razor sharp during songs like "Beast and the Harlot" and "Afterlife", and, when he is actually singing himself, M. Shadows sounds even better than he does on album. If you're an A7X fan, this show is likely to be more than satisfactory, but for those of us with a more casual interest in the band, the performance is a little too ordinary to justify the band's extravagant looks and stage production (which they hardly use). As a result, the show quickly grows tiresome, with the result that even the fantastic encore piece "Unholy Confessions" becomes an anticlimax.

Setlist:

01. Nightmare

02. Critical Acclaim

03. Welcome to the Family

04. Beast and the Harlot

05. Buried Alive

06. So Far Away

07. Afterlife

08. God Hates Us

09. Bat Country

10. Almost Easy

--Encore--

11. Seize the Day

12. Unholy Confessions

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