Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil (CD)

Okay, so the last time we heard from Avenged Sevenfold, they were completely coping their general sound from Helloween. Now, with the start of “Beast And The Harlot”, the band starts off taking off Queen and underwhelming with a new-metal blast whose only skill comes in the skillful blending of pop-friendly rock and light elements of emo. The guitar solos that are to be found on “City of Evil” may be euphonic but the fact is that these tracks have a feeling of being tacked on, without much in the way of context. This operatic-rock continues during “Burn It Down”, a track which delves again into the font of new-rock. It is honestly as if A7X is trying to play to all groups and garner the largest album sales instead of putting a united front out there for their listeners.

What essentially comes out of “City of Evil” is a slightly “harder” Good Charlotte; ready and willing to go wherever the dollars are at. The biological problems with the lead singer have no major impact on this band; they have not modified their general sound enough to properly allow for the reduced vocals of M. Shadows to wow. Sure, there are tracks on “City of Evil” that sound “good”, but these tracks (such as “Bat Country”) really only succeed because of the tremendous influence that the band draws from their predecessors (which run the gamut from Guns’N’Roses to Alice in Chains this time). A more technical issue with their music is the extreme length of each of the tracks on “City of Evil” – the shortest track on this disc is well over five minutes. The arsenal that Avenged Sevenfold have to work with is so limited compared to other bands that have such epic song lengths (the aforementioned Guns’N’Roses, Blind Guardian), make these tracks tepid at the three-minute mark and unlistenable at the fifth or sixth minute.

Thus, tracks like “Trashed and Scattered” may follow in the “Use Your Illusion” tradition, but unlike “November Rain”, there is not enough meat on these bones for listeners to sup throughout the length. The guitars are nowhere near as intense as C.C. Deville, the drums not as intense as Fear Factory, but then again the metal purists are not the ones picking up this album. This is progressive metal for the uninitiated, carefully plotted out and never allowed to leave its box.

Top Tracks: Seize The Day, Trashed and Scattered

Rating : 3.6/10

Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil / 2005 Warner Bros / 11 Tracks / http://www.avengedsevenfold.com / http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com / Reviewed 22 June 2005

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