Album Review no.9: City of Evil - Avenged Sevenfold

kempokid After listening to some Avenged Sevenfold, I can safely say that they're pretty good, not great, but good. That said they do have a couple of albums that I consider to be worth listening to, or at least parts of. First up, an album that isn't quite there, City of Evil. I also like talking about this band because it is much more interesting to talk about flawed music rather than perfection for me.

Beast and the Harlot:
Because of the beginning of the intro, I originally though that this song was going to suck. I was beyond surprised when I found that it was one of the best songs on the album. The riff is awesome and the drums are amazing, just as always with these guys, M. Shadows doesn't sound that bad either. The reason I love this song however, is the chorus, I love the way it continues without pausing past the point you expect is awesome, not to mention that it's catchy as all hell. The other highlight of the song is that drum solo, this band is one of the few that make me care about drums and how they are played.

Burn It Down:
I'm nowhere near as keen on this song as with the opening track. M. Shadows doesn't sound particularly good in this album, but it can be forgivable if the rest of the song is awesome, this is not the case however. The vocals are particularly whiny, with the instruments playing with speed rather than skill. The other issue is that the verse reminds me of something from their debut album, which was absolutely awful. Because of these issues, the length of the song also becomes an issue, as it's 5 minutes of something that is not that good. All in all, I don't like anything about this song.

Blinded in Chains:
This is a very good song, the vocals are of high quality and the ridiculously fast instrumentals work well for once, as it fits the general tone of the song rather than felling like a cop out. The drumming is great, and the use of the higher pitched voices is well done. My one issue is that the song is too long and I was beginning to lose interest by the end.

Bat Country:
From the word go, this song begins to repeatedly kick you in the face with that scream. This is easily one of the most commercial songs that A7X have done, but it sounds so good. I really like the verses and how the vocals keep going up and down constantly. M.Shadows also demonstrates that he has a decent vocal range as well. The chorus is the clear highlight however, and is probably one of my favourite choruses in any song. The solos are also exquisite.

Trashed And Scattered:
The song spends no time screwing around as an awesome intro comes out. Unfortunately, I'm not too keen on the first minute of the song, M Shadows sounds quite whiny during this section. Once the song becomes quieter, everything becomes more enjoyable and complex as the melody keeps changing, keeping my interest in the song, for the first 2 minutes anyway. This song does begin to drag on somewhat however, due to the fact that it is nothing but fast and aggressive with almost no reprieve, which gets somewhat boring if not done expertly (Pantera is a good example of all out aggression that doesn't get old). After 4 minutes, the stupidest part of the song kicks in, as M Shadows starts to sing "aaaaaaaaaaa" in his whiny voice. All in all, I don't really like this song outside of the intro.

Seize the Day:
I like this song a fair bit. M Shadows doesn't sound awful, and the song is quite pleasant. I always found that A7X work better with their more controlled, melodic songs, as they don't usually have the ability to make ridiculously fast, aggressive songs without compromising the quality of the song. Anyway, I also like this song because it's length isn't a drawback, unlike most of this album. Despite my praises for this song, when the vocals become louder, Shadows sounds completely terrible, at least it's only a small part of the song.

The crescendo combined with the guitar solo is a nice way to begin, and the intro is sweet. I really like the guitar in this song, the riffs and solos are consistently great, once again for the first 2-3 minutes. Shadows doesn't sound very good, once again, but I love the first little section of the chorus. The song begins to meander when the tempo is slowed down, and it feels unnecessary to have. I think that this would have worked much better as a 3-4 minute song, rather than a 7 minute one, especially since the good qualities of the song become less likely to save a song if you are bored out of your mind, which is what this song made me feel. The outro is pretty good as well.

The Wicked End:
The fast - slow structure doesn't quite work when the transitions are so sudden and inconsistent. A problem with this album that I haven't brought up yet is the fact that many of the songs lack good enough structure to remember properly and to keep interest the entire way through, this also has something to do with the unnecessarily long song times, as most of the songs don't feel "epic" enough to require a 7 minute run time. The part in this song where everything resembles an epic is ruined by the vocal, as always, as anything grandiose about it gets brought back down by the whininess and lack of power. This song is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to being all over the place without any real point.

Strength of the World:
The intro to this song is great, the violin is a good choice for something to sound beautiful, which is what I'm assumiong they are going for. When the guitar enters, it still sounds really good, and as the song keeps building more and more instruments and power, everything seems like it's going to be perfect. When M Shadows starts to sing, this feeling surprisingly still stays with you, even the chorus with the multiple voices sounds awesome, you feel like this is going to be a masterpiece, you look over at the song length, and feel like screaming. That was essentially a summary of how I felt while listening to this song, I was not a fan of the 10 minute length at first, but surprisingly, this is a very good song, to the point where I wholeheartedly enjoyed the entirety of it. I found every component of it to be integral to the song, and I also felt that this song qualified as an epic, not just a long song. This would have made an amazing album closer, especially with the magnificent. This is my favourite song on the album.

This is another song that isn't all that bad, the melodic nature of it really helps break from the tone of most of the album. When the song becomes louder in the first half, it still works really well, as it is quite fitting. When the "aaaaaaaaa"s begin in this song, they sound awesome, until they become louder and really stupid, I found them so bad that I burst into laughter. Unfortunately, the last third of the song when it is consistently heavier, is dull and takes away from this otherwise great song as I slowly became bored of the song.

The positioning of the last few songs really make me question the song order, I believe that this album might be slightly more enjoyable if the slow, ballad type songs are spread throughout, rather than ending with 3 in a row. When the song picks up, the vocals attempt to steal the show, and kinda fail in the process, they aren't awful in this song, but I really think that they shouldn't be the focus of the songs in general, because M Shadows doesn't sound that good. Once it gets to around the halfway mark, the song stops being quite so boring as the guitars and drums take centre stage, which is how I feel this band should work in general, because they almost always sound absolutely amazing, but the vocals and writing usually bring them down somewhat. I definitely prefer the latter half of the song a lot more because of the more focused sound of it, although the vocals are still not good. I find this to be a fairly good song that has been brought down by the vocals.

3*10 + 9 + 8 + 2*7 + 2*5 + 2*4 - 7.2 = 72/100

Final Thoughts:
While there are some songs on the album that I love, I find this to be a very patchy release that could have had a fair few songs cut out of it. I also really don't like M shadows in the first 3 albums, as he always sounds extremely whiny. My biggest issue with this album though, is the fact that almost every song could be cut down by at least 3 minutes. All in all, I don't recommend getting the whole album, just pick up Bat Country, Beast and the Harlot, Seize the Day, Strength of the World and Blinded in Chains.

My next review will be on an album that is generally regarded to be terrible, as I will be reviewing a bad album every 5 posts now.


Nice, pretty accurate. - visitor