Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold

Are they sell-outs or did they buy in at the right time? Prior to this release, A7X sold one million copies of City of Evil, dominated MuchMusic and MTV’s airwaves and headlined Warped Tour and Ozzfest. Their second major label debut, Avenged Sevenfold picks up where the Orange County metal glam rockers left off, with the loss of M. Shadows’ scream, light doses of guitar shredding and occasional heavy/fast drum beats making for a light and airy take on metal. While the majority of this album has the same grit and harshness as before, something isn’t right. Take "Lost,” which could have easily been pulled from City of Evil, and place it next to "A Little Piece of Heaven” to see the faults of this album. Taking on a theatrical theme, the record adds trumpets, trombones, clarinets, haunting, laughing voices and an organ right out of the Ringling Brothers’ circus tent. The circus packs up and leaves town with the Toby Keith-like "Dear God,” which comes across as country homage, thanks to a fiddling banjo and steel guitar. The only real consistency on this album is the similarity to City of Evil, but the "experimental” songs indicate the lack of dedication to creating good metal songs. (Warner)