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    Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare (Hard Rock) (3/5/5)

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    skeletorissatan

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    Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare (Hard Rock) (3/5/5)

    Post by skeletorissatan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:32 pm

    The loss of a loved one is a tragic thing, that can destroy a man's soul. It can make him feel as if he wanted to die instead. Or it can inspire the man to go on and make their fallen comrade proud. Such is the story of Avenged Sevenfold's 2010 album, the first following the death of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, their former drummer. This is an album in which half of the songs are dedicated directly to The Rev, and he even makes appearances on both Fiction and Save me, doing piano and vocals.

    Hired in his place to drum was Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, to play the patterns as accurately as possible to The Rev's work. And boy, does he do a good job. In fact, you can hardly tell the difference, such is the talent of Portnoy, and the tightness of The Rev's work.

    The band themselves are a mixed bag. Their first album was OK, Waking The Fallen, the follow up, was stellar, City Of Evil was a complete stylistic change and a let down, and the self titled was rather hit and miss. Nightmare was an album that attempted to regain the heaviness of the first two, but also include the softer moments found on the last two albums, and this is where it really succeeds.

    For fans of the first two albums, tracks such as God Hates Us, the thundering title track, and the fast-paced Natural Born Killer will be happy. Fans of City Of Evil will be more at home with one of the album's singles, Welcome to The Family, and Buried Alive. And then, fans of songs such as A Little Piece Of heaven from the self titled will thoroughly enjoy So Far Away, parts of Save Me, Fiction and Victim. So, credit to the band for attempting to be loyal to all their fan base.

    The songs themselves vary in success. The finest success on the album would be So Far Away, written exclusively by guitarist Synyster Gates. This was a very slow, haunting song that really does drip with emotion throughout. It is a tribute to The Rev, and really shows it with everything. The atmosphere of the song is absolutely beautifuly constructed, and it is not hard to see the time and effort poured into this song.

    Another song that really does work perfectly is Buried Alive. This song starts out as a dark, slow song, before switching up in tempo with some crazy soloing about two thirds of the way through, leading into some EXTREMELY pissed off vocals from M Shadows, and yet more soloing. The structure to this song is where it realy succeeds. If it had changed speeds any earlier, it would not have worked, any later and it would have collapsed in on itself. But everything is gauged to perfection on this song, coupled with the well written lyrics, making it one of the bands finest compositions.

    A song that half works and half doesn't would be God Hates Us. This starts with a mellow, clean opening guitar passage, which is too drawn out and lasts far too long, before going into the Waking The Fallen style screams with the usual chugging from Zach Vengeance, and then the snarly clean vocals. Then we have a minor break, before we go into verse number two, and then a slow breakdown, with a lot of screaming. And then we are back to the clean intro, and it is twice as fucking annoying when heard a second time. However, the actual song parts of this (as opposed to the crap filler parts they couldn't work out something better for), work fantastically. Other than the Kerry King ripoff song title, and the utterly shit clean intro and outro, this had the potential to be a decent attempt to mimic their heyday.

    However, one thing becomes painfully apparent on this album. All of the songs are too fucking long. Think about every song. Nightmare has too much chorus bollocks and guitar noodling. Natural Born Killer is just about a minute too long. Danger Line suffers from length. God Hates Us has the shit clean parts. And this leads me to the next song of note. The absolutely fucking "epic closing track" Save Me.

    Four seconds shy of 11 minutes, this song is the definition of tragic. I mean, sure, i have no problem with long songs, if they are done properly. Dream Theater, Opeth, Metallica-they know how to do long songs properly. But this is just too fucking boring. 11 minutes, and it only needed 3 to get it's point across is just the band being lazy deliberately. Yes, it is The Rev's swansong, and yes, i know a lot of people love it. However, i can not think of an earthly reason why 11 minutes is necessary. What statement does it make? None that i can think of at all.

    Victim suffers from the same problem. Despite boasting some of the finest vocals i have ever heard from M Shadows (seriously, this guy RULES on this song), it has no reason to be 8 minutes long, and has too much repetition of ideas, without introducing much new to the table. Shame, as it had the potential to be a fantastic song, with the interesting intro and Sander's vocals...

    Natural Born Killer is one of the more interesting songs on the album. It features some of the chuggy-est riffs i have ever heard, but there is one thing that makes it stand out from any other song ever written. After a ridiculously fast riff at the start, Synyster Gates goes absolutely beserk, molesting his fretboard, and then it stops. And what do we hear? A DING, much like the DING you hear from a bell, signals the next part of the song. This is the most novel thing the band has done other than A Little Piece Of Heaven, and makes me cackle with immature laughter every time i hear it. There truly is nothing quite like it out there. The rest of the song is a pissed off excercise in speed, but a little too much repetition.

    The appearances from The Rev remind us once again that the band miss their brother, and the song Fiction remains one of the few songs to have ever made me cry. This song was handed in three days before he was found to be dead, and truly sounds like a man who knows his time has come, and he has to go. And it really is the most emotional song this band will ever put out, and one of the finest they have done to date. If there is a song out there, save for Nine Inch Nail's Hurt, that can match the raw atmosphere of this song, i am yet to hear of it.

    This album is an album where the elements from the albums put out before all came together on one album, and there was bound to be some growing pains. However, this is definately Sevenfold's most mature album to date, especially considering the loss they had sustained. It is far from perfect, being too long, but every song has something about it that makes it interesting enough to listen to. Songs such as So Far Away, Buried Alive and Fiction prove that this band really has talent. 3.5/5

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