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Avenged Sevenfold: Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold's fourth release, simply titled Avenged Sevenfold, sees the popular metal band taking a similar route as on 2005's City Of Evil. Heavy, yet highly accessible metal fare with just enough prog-metal flourishes and pop flavorings to keep things interesting, this new platter is sure to further alienate fans of their older, brutal metalcore style of their first two releases, but in the meantime open up new doors for them to a much wider audience. With 10 songs clocking in at just under 55 minutes, you get a good bang for your buck here, although the first half of the CD is more loaded with crankin' rockers than the latter half. Opener "Critical Acclaim" kicks off with an almost "Mr. Crowley" styled organ passage before the band launches some hot shot guitar histrionics for a raucous, catchy number. "Almost Easy" contains some furious riffage and blazing leads from the guitar duo of Synyster Gates & Zacky Vengeance, with singer M. Shadows mixing up aggressive and emo-ish vocals, and The Rev bashing away on the drums. Things really get interesting on the next two tracks, the pounding nu-metal fury of "Scream", complete with some tricky lead fills, huge riffs, and pounding groove, and the wild progressive metal meets sugary pop of "Afterlife", with some musical passages that could almost pass for Dragonforce and lots of catchy hooks. "Gunslinger" is radio & MTV friendly fodder, and despite the hooks is mostly a throwaway song. M. Shadows puts in a great vocal performance on "Unbound (The Wild Ride)", a song that mixes some technical guitar & drum work with soaring vocal passages and majestic keyboards. More squealing guitar licks come into play on both "Brompton Cocktail" and "Lost", and the 8-minute epic " A Little Piece Of Heaven" is sort of a proggy/pop/Zappa-ish pot of stew, complete with loads of strings and keys, easily the adventurous piece here, if not a bit out of place. The final cut "Dear God" is a slice of rootsy pop that could easily be played on any modern country station, but even though it has soaring melodies and hooks, it's sure to raise eyebrows of their loyal fans.

Although Avenged Sevenfold began their career as a rampaging hardcore/metal band, they've certainly refined and honed their sound over the years and morphed into something completely different. Give them credit for sticking to their recent melodic and more musical ways, as the band sure knows how to write some catchy and memorable songs that incorporate some metal grit and progressive tendencies. They ain't extreme anymore, but that's OK.

Track Listing
1. Critical Acclaim
2. Almost Easy
3. Scream
4. Afterlife
5. Gunslinger
6. Unbound (The Wild Ride)
7. Brompton Cocktail
8. Lost
9. A Little Piece Of Heaven
10. Dear God

Added: December 30th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3004
Language: english

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