After a five week run, last month, Eminem’s album ‘Recovery’ had been knocked off the top spot in the Billboard 200 albums chart by a band who had just gained their first Billboard number 1. “Who could have possibly knocked ‘Recovery’ (One of the most talked about albums of this year) off of the top spot?” is the question you’ll be thinking. I’m talking about Californian metal heads, Avenged Sevenfold, with their sixth album ‘Nightmare’. That’s correct, sixth! If you want to exclude their live album, fair enough, fifth album.
Avenged Sevenfold have been around for ages now. In fact, they were formed in 1999 and released their first album ‘Sounding the Seventh Triumph’ in 2001. Their most successful album is now, their newest title ‘Nightmare‘ however it’s a bittersweet celebration. December 2009, saw the death of one of the most loved drummers (and their only drummer) Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, by an accidental drug overdose. Fortunately for the band, The Rev did finish writing some of the songs featured on the album (dedicated to him). The lines he was supposed to sing are coloured in red inside the lyric book of the new album. His death has given Sevenfold a bit more exposure, but they’re still pretty unknown in the UK.
Lead Singer, M Shadows, has always said the band is heavily influenced by Guns ‘n’ Roses, (he’s always parading around in a G ‘n’ R T-shirt) and Metallica, who are both obviously one of the biggest bands ever. If someone’s your idol, then for sure it’s going to affect whatever you do right? Some of the comparisons made are quite positive, but then again, they’re coming from the fans. Then there are those who consider Sevenfold as rip offs, wannabes, (the list goes on) just because they have that Roses/Metallica-esque style. They’ve even been called “emo with solos” just because they wear a bit of make-up, like what the hell is up with that? Check out Metallica’s guyliner video “Until it sleeps”. I’m sorry to disappoint you (really I’m not) but, make-up doesn’t make you emo!
It’s puzzling though how Sevenfold can be compared to those highly rated bands, but get so much slack for it. And what’s worst is that they’re still unknown. Avenged who? Shouldn’t it always be a compliment, especially when you’re that good? Sevenfold have their own way of doing things. Roses and Metallica came from somewhere to you know.
Avenged Sevenfold appeal to different genres, which is what’s so attractive about them. Yeah they sing hard rock and metal which is obviously expected. But if you actually pay more attention to their music and not their dress sense, you’ll notice what I’m saying. Their first album was no doubt metal core with a bit of punk, but on their other albums there’s rock, metal, theatrical/musical elements (with orchestras), Country in “Dear God”. They’re not afraid to explore and bring something different for the fans. So we never get bored, which is the least I can say about other artists. Everyone crosses the boundaries at some point in their lives. Paramore’s Hayley Williams was featured in B.O.B’s single “Airplanes”. This was her first UK number one in the singles chart beating Eminem, so why not? Not only do Avenged Sevenfold satisfy all of my musical needs. Their lyrics are awesome too.
“Newborn life replacing all of us, changing this fable we live in, no longer needed here, so where do we go?” – Taken from “Seize the Day” from their album ‘City of Evil’ is just one of my favourite lines. And there are loads where that came from. This song is about what happens after your time is up, regretting not spending time with the one you love. The music video was also criticized for being “too similar” to the Guns ‘n’ Roses classic, “November Rain”.
M Shadows’ rustic voice gives their songs so much more meaning. You can actually feel what he’s feeling. Lead Guitarist Synyster Gates (yeah that’s how it’s spelt), one of the fastest guitar players in the world, lets you drift off into your own little world, breaking out a special air guitar move with his smooth rifts and solos. The Rev gave some heavy beats too.
Avenged Sevenfold’s music is so unique and special in its own way. The UK and the rest of the world need to know more about these talented guys. They’re even featured in Guitar Hero a few times (Mind you, one of the best video games to ever be invented!)
No matter what kind of music you listen to, there’s a guarantee you’ll enjoy at least (and that’s an understatement) one song from each album. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with their self entitled album ‘Avenged Sevenfold’.
Avenged Sevenfold will be touring all over the UK with Corey Taylor’s Stone Sour this year from the 26th October – 7th November. After this, maybe, just maybe, the shops will be bombarded with orders for their albums. I say, get in while you can.