Avenged Sevenfold – Black Reign
2018, Warner Bros. Records
- Mad Hatter
- Carry On
- Not Ready to Die
- Jade Helm
The band’s first studio EP is a collection of songs they have recorded for the Call of Duty: Black Ops series of video games. “Mad Hatter” is a new track for 2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 game while the other three songs appeared in the game series from 2011 to 2015.
The standout track is “Carry On”, which was first released in 2011. It has the same vibe of the music from the band’s self-titled release from 2007, which is my favorite album from this band so far. “Not Ready to Die” strays too far into the band’s earlier screamo-emo stuff with M. Shadows’ vocals, which isn’t my scene, but there’s enough there that I like to redeem it.
“Jade Helm” is an instrumental that sounds like selections of music pieced together. Like, music that was used on one of the game’s menu screens or a cut scene. In that way, it’s a bit disjointed. Just a lot of pounding drums to different rhythms. It’s cool that it was included, but it’s a throwaway track.
Back to the new track, “Mad Hatter” is more in line with what the band has been doing the last few albums. It’s got Soundgarden vibe to it at times while still sounding like A7X. It isn’t harsh and aggressive like “Carry On” and “Not Ready to Die”. It’s a good melodic track.
Black Reign is a solid EP that should be of interest to all Avenged Sevenfold fans. It’s nice to get these songs collected together.