Groovy thrash riffing is predominant on the fifth album released by Avenged Sevenfold. Nevertheless, the album is characterized by a unique mixture of styles and the powerful vocals of singer M. Shadows.
Tracklist - Nightmare
- 1.Nightmare (Album Version)
- 2.Welcome To The Family (Album Version)
- 3.Danger Line (Album Version)
- 4.Buried Alive (Album Version)
- 5.Natural Born Killer (Album Version)
- 6.So Far Away (Album Version)
- 7.God Hates Us (Album Version)
- 8.Victim (Album Version)
- 9.Tonight The World Dies (Album Version)
- 10.Fiction (Album Version)
- 11.Save Me (Album Version)
EMP Editorial Team (05.07.2010)
Avenged Sevenfold’s courage cannot be emphasised enough. It’s not a stretch to say that the band’s decision to soldier on through the adversity that befell them with the tragic passing of Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan and to grab the bull by the horns and record and release a new album verges on the heroic. It comes as standard that the average A7X song takes more twists and turns than most bands manage in an entire album, but the first half of Nightmare sees the band reigniting the complex blood’n’thunder feel of City Of Evil. Welcome To The Family showcases A7X’s love for SoCal punk rock with a Metallica-sized stomp, Buried Alive is part ballad and part arena-ready metal anthem and the title track is a tour de force of quality riffs and unshake-able vocal lines. The musicianship levels are once again skyscraper-high and you’ll find reminders that Synyster Gates is this generation’s ultimate guitar hero throughout. The second half of the album, including the near-11-minute closer, Save Me, is, understandably, a sombre affair. There’s no way around it, the last three tracks are gruelling due to their intensity and melancholic feel, but the therapeutic effect this will have had on the band is something that will be celebrated in the future. In this respect, one has to feel for M Shadows. Though his vocals are as powerful as ever, having to record in the wake of losing a lifelong friend must have been the most gut-wrenchingly difficult thing he’s had to do in his whole life. The lyrics throughout Nightmare are so soul-bearingly raw that at points it can make you genuinely uncomfortable. ‘This can’t be real, I’ve lost my power to feel’ he grieves on the soulful tones of Victim, while So Far Away sees Shadows wondering, ‘How do I live without the ones I love?’ It’s when the emotion and lyrics collide like an uppercut to the throat that things really kick up a notch. The piano breakdown in Danger Line genuinely sounds like Shadows could burst into tears at any second as he sings, ‘I never meant to leave this world alone/I thought that we’d grow old’. On the flipside of the coin, God Hates Us sees him record the angriest vocal take of his career in the aural equivalent of him offering to take the man upstairs outside for a kicking. Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy’s genius throughout the whole album isn’t only to play at the highest possible standard, it’s to pay tribute to The Rev’s unorthodox and unique style. That A7X have continued as a band is reason enough to applaud them. That they’ve managed to create a body of work that still kicks as much ass as they always have through these conditions, should see them rightfully recognised as one of the best bands of their generation, and Nightmare as the ultimate tribute to a fallen friend.
EMP Editorial Team (20.08.2010)
Highly anticipated after the sudden death of drummer Jimmy Sullivan, Avenged Sevenfold are back with their sixth record “Nightmare”. Like AC/DC when they released “Back in black“ five months after replacing their vocalist, A7X just have written the album of their career. They show impressive: Metal doesn’t die, it mutates. This album is great. This album is true. This album is epic and a fitting tribute to Sullivan. The band answers their loss with honest, heartfelt emotion without losing the trademarks like sinewy lead guitars and Metallica-esque riffs. “Welcome to the family“, “Danger line“ and “Natural born killer“ deliver more of the almost metallic onslaught that all the fans adore. As hard as this record pummels you, it caresses the listeners. There are mid-tempo songs like “Tonight the world dies“ that evoke blood, sweat and tears. Or “Save me“, one of the most epic songs on the record, where Shadows sings “Tonight we all die young“. “Nightmare” is almost impossible to appreciate. Maybe: Better than “Back in black”.