Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare (2010, Warner Bros. Records)
1. “Nightmare” … 6:14
2. “Welcome to the Family” … 4:06
3. “Danger Line” … 5:28
4. “Buried Alive” … 6:44
5. “Natural Born Killer” … 5:15
6. “So Far Away” … 5:27
7. “God Hates Us” … 5:19
8. “Victim” … 7:30
9. “Tonight the World Dies” … 4:41
10. “Fiction” … 5:13
11. “Save Me” … 10:56
M. Shadows – Lead Vocals
Synyster Gates – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Zacky Vengeance – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Johnny Christ – Bass
The Rev – Drums, Lead Vocals (“Fiction”)
Mike Portnoy – Drums
Brian Haner, Sr. – Guitar
Sharlotte Gibson – backing vocals
Jessi Collins – Backing Vocals
David Palmer – Piano, Keyboards
Stewart Cole – Trumpet
Mike Elizondo – Keyboards
Producer: Mike Elizondo
Another 2010 release that I had great anticipation for! I was never big fan of City of Evil, other than loving the song “Bat Country”. I think at the time Avenged Sevenfold was just too new and too different to me to really understand them and I decided I wasn’t a “fan”. Years later, I gave their 2007 self-titled release a try when I saw it on sale in late ’08. AMAZING ALBUM! One of my favorites from the past decade and I know Nightmare had quite a task ahead of it if it was even going to equal their 2007 album. I’m pleased to say I think it has!
A7X’s music and lyrics have always been dark, angry and borderline emo with a twisted sense of humor. For the most part, the twisted lyrics are gone (other than the usual about death and what not) and all that’s left is a much more somber and melodic album than anything they’ve done before. There’s a real melancholy atmosphere to the whole album, the band doesn’t seem to be going as heavy and as fast as they have in the past (I think Synyster Gates sounds particularly restrained), though their are exceptions like “Nightmare” and “God Hates Us”.
The songs aren’t as in your face and didn’t immediately grab me like songs off the last album did. It took me 2 or 3 spins to really start enjoying the whole album. I’m not sure if it was a calculated move to go this moodier route or if Nightmare is a band captured at less than 100%. And that’s completely understandable given the The Rev passed away during production of this album. I know he recorded some tracks and then Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy came in to finish the album. From my understanding, most of the lyrics were written after his death and many of them deal with the band’s loss.
On a creepy note, The Rev wrote the song “Fiction” by himself and the working title of it was “Death”. He also performs some lead vocals on it and the lyrics make the whole thing an odd affair.
As for the rest of the album, the hooks just keep on coming. Every track on here is really a winner except for “God Hates Us”. It’s okay, but it’s the band going back to their metalcore roots. A sound I really don’t care for. If you like Avenged Sevenfold, you’ll like this album. If you’re still one of those people that can’t accept the blending of modern and classic metal, this album isn’t going to change your mind even if the band seems to be spreading their wings a bit more (“Tonight the World Dies” sounds like a somber mid’-90s Stone Temple Pilots tune!).
As always, the lyrics are a real treat. I love the dark imagery A7X uses when talking about love gone wrong and things that go bump in the night. I can relate to a lot of it and for this album their words have added weight.
It took me forever to get this CD in the mail thanks to screw ups by USPS and BestBuy.com but it was totally worth the wait and is one of the year’s best releases as far as I’m concerned!
Highlights: “Nightmare”, “Buried Alive”, “Natural Born Killer”, “So Far Away”, “Fiction”, “Tonight the World Dies”, “Save Me”