I think I mistook Avenged Sevenfold for something they clearly were not. When there was a buzz about this band in the scene a few years back I slotted them into the current fad of screamo bands and thus never paid them any attention. With the hype surrounding the new album and a spot on 2011 Soundwave bill, I thought it was only fair to give the new album a spin and my perception totally changed.
Avenged Sevenfold’s new album is full of the great melodic guitar riffs that hark back to the glory days of Metallica and Iron Maiden. Opening cut and title track takes you back to the hay day of mid-eighties metal; a track that inspires headbanging and air guitar solos. The album settles into heavy rock. Welcome To The Family is a solid track even if at times lyrically it comes across a touch cheesy. The album rolls along at a great pace until it shifts down a gear at So Far Away and we get a handful of slower tracks, which at first reminded me of the band Extreme (For those of you over thirty you will know who they were – or just YouTube them). The change in direction feels a little out of place but is the band’s attempt to show greater depth in songwriting and opens for more experimentation in further years.
Basically, this is a classic metal album. Take a healthy slice of Metallica’s And Justice For All days, some classic Maiden and even a pinch of Pantera fury and you get where this album comes from sound wise. Enough riffs to make any guitarist salivate, enough balls to keep your neighbours awake at 2 in the morning and enough melody to be taken seriously.