Ever since the death of Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan back in December, I've been waiting for this album. After a listen-through, this is one of my favorite Avenged Sevenfold albums to date. There are virtually no words to describe it; the style changes with every track. There is nothing at all I can say is bad about this album. From the first track "Nightmare" to the eleven-minute epic "Save Me, " it is perfection. A song-by-song review of the album:
"Nightmare" - A creepy song, with an especially creepy opening. The drum lines in this song are amazing, the chorus is catchy, and it has a very Metallica-esque vibe to it.
"Welcome To The Family" - This song is just overall fun to listen to. It has heavy riffs, and M. Shadows sings with a different style - one that I absolutely love.
"Danger Line" - The story of a soldier fighting on the frontlines, and his battles both in war and emotionally. A wonderful song, it sounds like it came off of the 2005 album "City of Evil."
"Buried Alive" - Some of the most heartbreaking lyrics on the album, other than "Fiction." It has a breakdown very similar to "Nightmare, " which seems like it could be written for a Metallica album itself. After a few listens though, you get used to it, and it compliments the song greatly.
"Natural Born Killer" - The best chorus on the album. This one will be stuck in your head for days on end - and you won't mind it, either.
"So Far Away" - As far as my knowledge goes, this is the first song to be written both lyrically and instrumentally by the guitarist, Synyster Gates. You can feel his pain through the lyrics in the entire song. This also features Syn's father, Brian Haner Sr. (who is a comedian, and more commonly known as Jeff Dunham's "Guitar Guy") on an acoustic guitar.
"God Hates Us" - The screaming is back. There has been no A7X screaming since their second studio album "Waking The Fallen, " and it returns on Nightmare. Shadows' screaming style has also improved greatly - the only way I could describe it is as a growl coming from Hell itself.
"Victim" - This song has some strange elements to it - and by that I mean a Gospel singer. While it may seem a bit strange, once you get used to it [like Buried Alive] it's simply amazing.
"Tonight The World Dies" - This song also represents another artist. However, this time, it's not Metallica. The introduction actually reminds me quite a bit of David Bowie. Is that bad? Nope, it's perfect for the song, and is yet another great track on a great album.
"Fiction" - The last song to be written by The Rev; it was originally titled "Death" - and he died three days after he wrote it. "Fiction" was his "masterpiece, " and it lives up to that title. My eyes were watering as I listened. The track not only features the deceased drummer's vocals, it is also the only Avenged Sevenfold song to have no guitar. The most beautiful song on the album.
"Save Me" - The longest Avenged Sevenfold track to be written. Clocking in at a total of 10:57, this isn't a Free Bird. The eleven minutes just flew by, and I enjoyed every second of it. Any band who has the ability to keep you entertained for eleven minutes in a single song has talent, and it definitely shows on this album.
The Final Verdict: Go buy this album. Right now. Heartbreaking lyrics, blistering solos, great drum lines, anything you could ever ask for. The best Avenged Sevenfold album to be released.