Review: Avenged Sevenfold - s/t
Label: Warner Bros.
Released: October 30, 2007
Avenged Sevenfold are one of those bands that makes me wonder what all the hype is about. It's not that they're bad, just that they don't seem to really separate themselves from the pack so to speak. Their self-titled follow-up to their major label break-though, City of Evil, both justifies my question about them and answers it.
The album jumps right into their metalcore bread and butter, but by the second track, they bring a sense of hooky melody that begins to show just why they may have a platinum record on their hands this time. They incorporate everything from hardcore to melodic hard rock to pop to classical. They even close with a country-tinged ballad that only works based on the strength of the rest of the album. Extremely tight throughout, they show that their music works with delicate string arrangements as well as harsh, aggressive rockers. They do have a miscue on "Lost." The song itself fits well, but no one who wants to be taken seriously should employ an effect that reminds anyone of a bad Cher song (you know the one). Still the album shows that Avenged Sevenfold graduated into being a versatile rock band that plays music big enough for arenas, not just another run-of-the-mill metalcore act. The music is certainly grand, but it's also fairly safe.
Other bands are out there taking their small sub-genre and making great big rock records. If bands like My Chemical Romance and Chiodos are the Queens of this generation, then Avenged Sevenfold are the Foreigner. That doesn't make them a bad band, it just means that they aren't pushing the limits of what a rock band can do. While MCR and Chiodos are both the present and the future, Avenged Sevenfold are simply the here and now, so enjoy them while you can.