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Avenged Sevenfold – Waking The Fallen 
The Hobo review

Avenged Sevenfold. Who are they? Personally, I do not know them as such, but collectively – Avenged Sevenfold (or ‘A7X’) are M. Shadow (vocals), Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Synyster Gates (lead), The Reverend (drums) and Johny Christ (bass). Their story? A talented quintet hailing from Orange County, California citing influences ranging from Pantera, Metallica and Maiden to Bad Religion, The Misfitsm GnR and Nofx. Their music? Incredible! 

Listen not to the mournfully inaccurate Rolling Stone when they tell you A7X are “completely blur the line between metal and punk,” because if you were to listen to crap like that, not only would you be a fool, but you would be an unpopular, misinformed and incorrect fool. To proclaim the band as ‘metal and punk’ is just about as accurate as calling Avril a ‘girl that rocks’ (ironically, RS also ran such a feature article some months ago.) A7X instead blend stylistic elements of power metal, hardcore, thrash and retrogressive metal to create a sound which is sometimes beautifully clean, crisp, melodic and harmonic, but at other times powerful and destructive.

Without a doubt, Zack and Synyster are damn damn good axe-men; take a moment to soak up the multi layered distorted brilliance – the big harmonies, the powerful lead work, the crushing bass-guitar combinations! The band has toured recently with the likes of Mushroomhead, (booo!) Shadows Fall and most recently on the Vans Warped Tour.

So now, lets tear apart the sophomore release from Avenged Sevenfold entitled Waking The Fallen. You mightn’t be able to hear it, but A7X is actually a Christian band! The name itself was derived from a biblical passage ‘they who kill Abel will feel my vengeance sevenfold.’ Usually, such a discovery would turn me off a band (see rezzentment for further information) but this album is too good to judge on such a pathetically shallow level. 

We kick start this joviality with the intro track Waking The Fallen, which kind of lulls you into a kind of half euphoric daze with its hypnotic melody. But some 90 seconds later, you realize how very wrong your first impression is. As Unholy Confessions kicks in with its two-guitar power-metal melody you find yourself caught in the middle of powerful double bass madness. Shadow’s voice varies from beautiful, to soothing, to fear-inspiring in his screams and growls. The guitar work is great - I love it, I endorse it - around 2 minutes in, the song begins to pick up at double pace with some hardcore vocals thrown into the mix for the hell of it. A great powerful track and perfect first taste of the band.

The problem with having to review this album is that while it is consistently awesome, its also infinitely hard to analyze each individual track. Each track jumps betweens so many sub-genres it ends up being a complicated epic piece in itself. How does one describe the highs and lows of the powerful 13-and-a-half minute opus I Wont See You Tonight?

In any case, the album is brilliant, boasting great musicianship from all five band members. A successful attempt at blending both aggression and harmony in complex six minute epics. But whatever you do, don’t bother listening to the evil that is Rolling Stone when they call A7X a “…a Goth-metal band with a singer who looks like Elvis and sounds like Axl Rose.” I for one HATE Axl Rose, and love M. Shadow. ‘Goth metal?’ Didn’t… Did you guys just call it punk? Idiots. Idiots. 

Cheers to A7X on compiling such a brilliant album in this day and age, in this period and in this genre. Whether you’re a fan of Chimaira, Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Metallica, Iced Earth or Pantera – you should like Avenged Sevenfold. I wish them all the best as they go on to evolve and aspire to greater things; they sure as hell deserve it. Up there with the best of 2003 from a band I’ve never even heard of before.

CD Info 

Avenged Sevenfold – Waking The Fallen
Label: Hopeless Records
Genre: Hardcore + Harmonic + Power Metal
For Fans Of: Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, In Flames 
Best Tracks: Desperate Through Reverence, I Won’t See You Tonight, Unholy Confessions
1.Waking The Fallen 
2.Unholy Confessions 
3.Chapter Four 
5.Desperate Through Reverence 
6.Eternal Rest 
7.Second Heartbeat 
8.Radiant Eclipse 
9.I Won’t See You Tonight Pt.1 
10.I Won’t See You Tonight Pt.2 
11.Clairvoyant Disease
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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