Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare

Formed in 1999 with 11 years added to their name as it were Huntington Beach, California Californians Avenged Sevenfold comprising of M. Shadows (vocals), Synyster Gates (lead guitar), Zacky Vengeance (rhythm guitar) and Johnny Christ (bass), the band achieved mainstream success during the mists of their 2005 release “City of Evil” that included such singles as “Burn It Down”, “Bat Country,” “Beast and the Harlot” and “Seize the Day.” The band had remained to continue that success following with a self-titled release that included singles such as “Critical Acclaim”, “Almost Easy”, “Afterlife”, “Scream” and “Dear God”.

While these two releases may have been Avenged Sevenfold’s brighter days the band had come to a darker era in their lives, with the sudden passing of their drummer and founding member James “The Rev” Sullvian during December 2009. Whilst this death was indeed a time of sorrow for the band and their fan followers, the band chose to continue onward with recruiting Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater to replace Sullivan as a “rebound” drummer for their fifth album “Nightmare“. Portnoy will be joining the band on the upcoming touring runs until the end of 2010 from then on there is no telling as to where A7X will end up next.

Though the band has been very successful with the releases of 05-07 the band wouldn’t have had that much success if it wasn’t for their earlier works, “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” (2001) and “Waking the Fallen” (2003) the 03 release consisting of “Unholy Confessions” and the “Second Heartbeat” some of the band’s most enthralling singles to ever exist. But enough about the past, on towards the present and later the future but right now is the present’s domain to shine. “Nightmare” release just three years after the band’s self-titled release has recaptured the bands essence and what has made the band so captivating to begin with, it’s uncanny as to how well it’s all worked out.

Mike Portnoy was a major influence to The Rev as well as the rest of the band had this to say after agreeing to finish the recording process for the drumming tracks on the album: “Even under normal circumstances, I would’ve been happy to help the guys out in any way I could as I think Avenged Sevenfold are a great band; But under these incredibly sad and tragic circumstances, I must say I am truly honored to have been asked to play with them and I didn’t even have to think twice about saying yes. … These guys are a true family and it is an incredibly emotional experience to be here with them for the first time without their lost brother. But they have welcomed me into the family with open arms and there’s a real excitement to make the record they had set out to make. I am treating my participation on this album with the utmost respect for Jimmy’s memory and am remaining as true as possible to the drum parts that he wrote for the songs and the record he wanted to make…. Although I wish I could stay on board with Avenged Sevenfold in a more permanent capacity; I will need to resume work with Dream Theater to start a new album at some point in 2011. However, I will be able to join my brothers in Avenged Sevenfold for at least the duration of their touring throughout 2010, and hopefully this will give them the time to continue to heal and get comfortable back on the road.”

As you’d probably expect to hear, the titled track opens up quite slowly then enters the drums blasting both guitars playing a slowly dramatic riff quite typical dueling style you’d expect coming from Syn and Zacky. Then M. Shadows follows in with a scream, a reflection of death and despair. The album goes into a lot of tempo changes being very upbeat and catchy but Avenged Sevenfold does return to the classic style as they had done on their previous self-titled release, for example “Buried Alive’ brings back to life that same essence that “Dear God” had done -recapturing that same momentum of energy that was preserved within its melody presents. The Rev’s spirit is crafted within the album’s entirety Portnoy nailing The Rev’s style right on target. “Natural Born Killer”, “Victim”, and “Tonight The World Dies”, all portray a darker presence taking the music to a whole another level.

This is a nightmare that has yet to be completed.

Rating: 8.5/10
Label: Warner Bros. Records

By Natalie Perez at Natalie’s World


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