“Critical Acclaim” kicks off the disc with a full on riff-fest . . . pretty much what one would stereotypically expect from Avenged Sevenfold. Double bass drums, screaming vocals, a full on barrage of noise. But, then something happens that I personally found unexpected. The vocals came out with a sense of urgency that dared you to not pay attention. Production values were cleaner and more crisp than any hardcore/metal core album I’ve laid ears on. A multi-instrumental orchestral conquest. A new level of maturity? Sure. You could call it that. I like to think of it as artistic growth.
This growth continues onto “Almost Easy”, which has a chorus that I’ve had stuck in my head for the past week. Yeah. You read that right. Amongst all this testosterone laden metal, Avenged Sevenfold have a bitchin’ sense of melody. Great vocal harmonies. Guitar virtuosity. The works. “Scream” comes in with some more interesting guitar work played over a primal groove-type thing. This is one of those songs that should have all those bad little Goth girls pole dancing with its pelvis pumping bass lines. Give it time, you’ll see I’m right.
The most ambitious track is the ninth one, entitled “A Little Piece of Heaven.” It would be a fitting accompaniment for a musical about Jack Skellington. It’s grand in scope, almost bombastic at times, and maybe bordering on pretentious . . . but somehow they kept this car on the road. It’s truly a stunning piece of music that will have you singing along by the time the eight minute epic is winding down. Again, I got back to that artistic growth. Avenged Sevenfold will probably get some heat from the old school fans, but to hell with them. A musician has to push their own boundaries to grow. Hell! Everybody has to do that to grow . . . so, to any detractors of the band . . . piss off! When’s your album coming out?
Buy here: Avenged Sevenfold