Avenged Sevenfold – Waking the Fallen (CD)

Going through the promo pack that Hopeless sent for this disc, I was totally expecting an AFI-ripoff band. The glossy photo had a member wearing an AFI shirt, and the general look of this disc looked dark. Avenged Sevenfold is yet another band that completely changed my preconceived notions from what I gleaned from the promo kit and CD art. This band completely stretches out the perception of anything they are a part of – for example, being a band at the Warped tour and being a Hopeless Records act. Avenged Sevenfold, for the most part, plays a very Helloween-influenced style of power metal previously championed by older metalheads who can’t take crunchy riffs anymore and freaky Nordic individuals who burn down churches.

Aside from the highly technical guitars and drums laid down on this disc ,the other key point to the success of Avenged Sevenfold on Waking the Fallen is the almost constant switching of mode during each track to encompass more fully the numerous sub-genres of metal. For example, “Desecrate Through Reverance” has AFI-style vocals meshed together with grindcore guitars at points, and Pantera-like vocals and drums with Slayer-like guitar lines at others. At no point during the disc does it ever seem like Avenged Sevenfold are just trying to cover all the possible bases – it is a nice change of pace to see someone so successfully glide between genre distinctions like Avenged Sevenfold.

Waking the Fallen is an epic in the true sense – instead of having the title character’s exploits be recorded in the lyrics of each track, the band itself is the protagonist of its own epic, creating its exploits with the rich instrumentation. However, this modern-day epic does have its own faults, in that Waking the Fallen has no true stand-out tracks; in fact, many of the tracks when kept in their original context as parts of the disc tend to blend into the rest of the songs. The music may be utterly amazing, the vocals smooth as silk, but Avenged Sevenfold needs to have its “I Want Out” or “Future World” to first set the tempo of the disc before going off into lands unknown. Many pop-punk fans will be turned off by the extreme hardness of Avenged Sevenfold, but glory be to those who actually give it a chance.

Rating: 6.8/10

Top Tracks : Second Heartbeat, Desecrate Through Reverance.

Avenged Sevenfold – Waking the Fallen

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