City Of Evil

Avenged Sevenfold

Warner Brothers, 2005

http://www.avengedsevenfold.com

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/04/2006

Avenged Sevenfold walk a fine line between classic heavy metal and nū-metal goth kitsch.

The lyrics and music have a strong streak of Sabbath and Iron Maiden inspired darkness, but the attitude is pure Hot Topic goth-in-a-box. Throw in some catchy stage names (M. Shadows (vocals), Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Synyster Gates (guitar), The Reverend (drums), and Johnny Christ (bass)) and you have a recipe for success in this day when it seems style counts for as much and often more than substance. At least to the teen & tween crowd that adores these guys. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

My teenage son introduced me to this album and the first go-round impressed me. Their obvious love of ‘80s metal was a big attraction and they are very skilled musicians. Repeated listening, however, took some of the shine off it; by the third listen, my interest had waned.

There’s a strong dichotomy between the music and vocals and that’s my biggest beef with the guys. Musically, they’re a muscular hybrid of New Wave of British Heavy Metal and head-banging nū-metal. They have a very tasty twin-guitar sound reminiscent of Maiden, Priest and other ‘80s metal stalwarts, delivered with precision and power by Vengeance and Gates, but the wimpy emo vocals ruin this, as on the lame ballad “Seize The Day,” which doesn't fit the record at all.

Also, the Def Leppard-style whiny choruses are totally out of place with the heavy nature of the music -- it plays to the current trend, though, which makes this band appealing mostly to younger listeners.

After a while, the songs sort of blend together, with only a few standouts. “Bat Country,” an homage to Hunter S. Thompson, features some solid, tight melodic hooks and the rapid-fire vocals fit the band's music better than the other songs here. The two closers, “Betrayed” and “M.I.A.,” are both powerful rockers that elevate the disc, but not enough to make this worth revisiting often. Old-school metalheads will probably not enjoy this much, but their kids might.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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