Aug 4, 2010

Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare Review

Artist: Avenged Sevenfold
Album: Nightmare
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Tracks: 11
Runtime: 66:47

Track Rundown:
(All ratings out of 5 *'s)

1) "Nightmare" - There's just so much I really like about this song. I like the eerie, children's mobile tune turning into a demonic drumming and guitar shredding. The lyrics are dark and haunting, angry and action-film-friendly. A song I would compare it to is "Inside the Fire" by Disturbed for it's frequent, harrowing descriptions of Hell and the devil. 5 *'s, all the way around and back again.

2) "Welcome To The Family" - Dark yet applicable. Makes me think of gangs, cults, or even terrorist affiliations who convince the lost, lonely and confused sheep to join their flock. A good shepherd can either be a beautiful or destructive thing. Makes me think of Samuel Jackson at the end of Pulp Fiction! The music is top notch in this, everybody went all-out. Another 5* track.

3) "Danger Line" - I'll admit to being picky on this track in case there is anyone who severely disagrees. For a song with awesome verses (awesomely delivered vocals, pacing of the guitar, all-around awesome build to what should be an awesome chorus, even having an awesome bridge!) the chorus ruins this song for me. To some, maybe a chorus doesn't mean much, but to me it means a lot because you hear it more frequently than anything else! Verses = excellent, chorus = an over-the-top not-as-funny-as-it-sounds modern-day-metal version of "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins. A generous 3 *'s, given aid by an epic guitar solo at the four minute mark.

4) "Buried Alive" - A great build-up chorus that leads to an even greater chorus. I particularly have to show love for the opening guitar solo which makes the instrument cry. There's something a little off-putting about the song that I should point out, but it's hard to pin-point. The missing "it factor" is definitely in the verses, and it's not unwarranted hate against a slower melody for a hard rock band. Without sounding too derogatory, because they're an occasional guilty pleasure of mine, something about listening to the verses make me think of Creed. Blasphemy! I know! Maybe you'd feel different though. Either way, 4 1/4 *'s for an overall awesome song. The additional 1/4 * comes from the last minute of the song that amps up the attitude and metal!

5) "Natural Born Killer" - It seems like anything relating to this title turns out epically awesome. Movie - Natural Born Killers, Rap - Natural Born Killaz, this song. Great stuff, heavy, rocking, add it to Guitar Hero/Rock Band and watch people's heads explode on Expert. 5*'s.

6) "So Far Away" - Sorry, I just threw up a little in my mouth. Maybe some will like it and see this song as Avenged Sevenfold's "November Rain", but really, I don't. I can appreciate this was essentially just a attributing goodbye to the band's deceased drummer, but it isn't a track I intend on listening to. Completely skippable in my mind when I hear it - 2 *'s.

7) "God Hates Us" - People who like uber-death/thrash metal with screaming gutteral sounds into a microphone will be pleased with this track. Myself, not so much. 2 *'s for a unique track on the album and at least having most of the verses understandable to the average Joe's human ear.

8) "Victim" - The first minute of the track seems directly inspired by "The Great Gig In The Sky" by Pink Floyd, while the rest of the song feels surprisingly mainstream. I would really not be surprised to hear this play on the radio. It's soft, melodic, touching and relatable. 5 *'s! Though it is a bit needlessly long.

9) "Tonight The World Dies" - A really beautifully composed song. Fuses soft melody verses with an emotional and passionate chorus. Anytime I sense passion in a song it earns a ton of respect to me. 5 *'s.

10) "Fiction" - 1 1/2 *'s. Essentially one long snore, only gaining a little respect for use of the piano.

11) "Save Me" - Just an eleven minute jam session with lyrics thrown in. Some of the jamming is great, some of it is just kind of there. It's hard to put a rating on this one but overall, I think while it was impressive, it didn't serve much purpose on the album, especially at eleven freaking minutes long! 3 *'s, simply because I think it would have been better if it was cut in half and the lyrics were completely removed.

My Highlights:
"Nightmare", "Welcome To The Family", "Natural Born Killer", "Victim" and "Tonight The World Dies". If you have any remote interest in this album, check out some of these songs as a taste-test.

Overall Rating:
Averaging all of the ratings for the songs together, the overall rating for this album is an impressive 3 3/4 *'s out of 5, or 7 1/2 out of 10. On occasion, I'll give 'Super Writer Brownie Points' to add or subtract *'s from the overall rating based upon various factors such as runtime, number of tracks, ratio of hits to misses, etc. but this isn't one of those times. The score remains unchanged, but it's a very positive score! I don't recommend readers shelling out their hard-earned cash for anything under 3 *'s, so the fact that this is almost 4 *'s means there's plenty to love and you won't be constantly hitting the fast-foward/skip button on your MP3 player/WMP/Car Stereo/Zoozamagoogle (the next technological breakthrough in the music-listening experience. No relation to the Vuvuzela).

image from Amazon

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