Sergio reviews Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare.
Artist Name: Avenged Sevenfold
Album Name: Nightmare
Genre: Metal/Hard Rock
Nightmare is a pretty accurate description of the tumultuous times Avenged Sevenfold have suffered since the death of their drummer and friend, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. There was a stage where the band questioned carrying on, yet ultimately decided that Jimmy’s last work deserved to be heard by the world. Personally, I’m glad they made this decision.
Nightmare is just unbelievable. It breaks every single convention and stereotype of the typical rock or metal album, and asserts itself as a musical piece of genius – don’t worry though, A7X still haven’t forgotten about the acclaimed blistering solos and soaring choruses. Switching from aggression to melody to aggression again, it has something to satisfy all lovers of harder music. While there might be a few people who will criticise the soft-loud approach as distinctively “pop metal”, I’d prefer to deem it as “classic rock/metal” in the same league as Iron Maiden and/or Guns ’n Roses – in fact, there’s a clear Axl Rose influence on the piano section of ‘Danger Line’ and a hint of Maiden’s ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ on ‘Victim’.
One of my personal favourite tracks was ‘Natural Born Killer’, which starts off with colossal, fast-paced metal riffage, before changing the tempo altogether into a sexy and dangerous groove. Despite The Rev having already laid down the drum production before his death, Mike Portnoy’s drumming is almost uncanny – it’s as if Jimmy was actually in the studio during the recording process.
‘So Far Away’ is a heart-wrenching acoustic song, which is based around Jimmy’s passing. The lyrics are beautiful, honest and emotional. It’s a song that comes straight from the heart – free of label bullshit or outside influences – an absolute novelty in the era of Disney (c)rock. The solo is almost like the perfect send-off to Jimmy – it gives me goosebumps.
Many critics say that M. Shadows can’t scream anymore, hence why the band curbed its more aggressive metalcore sound. Haha, these peeps are going to get a huge shock when they listen to ‘God Hates Us’. It’s the most brutal A7X song to ever be released, and Shadows screeches like a pissed off demon straight out of hell – not like a deathcore pussy with a clip-on fringe and electronic breakdown machine.
If you’re a fan of darker and eerie piano pieces, ‘Fiction’ is a must-listen. What makes it even spookier is that it was the last song The Rev ever wrote and chillingly titled ‘Death’; His vocals can also be heard throughout the track making it a crucial and almost final puzzle piece for Nightmare.
While the album might be titled Nightmare, it really is just a piece of heaven. It’s the album of the year for me. I wish that more bands would overstep boundaries and create genre-transcending albums such as this. Buy it now!
Best Tracks: ‘Nightmare’, ‘Natural Born Killer’, ‘So Far Away’, ‘God Hates Us’, and ‘Fiction’