Though heard before in their podcast Metal Hammer have put our friend Terry Bezer’s review of “Nightmare” in their newest issue that’s on stands now and it’s even more touching to read then it was to hear.
If you want to listen to the podcast review which is basically the same, head here.
Cali rockers offer a stunning tribute to The Rev.
“Avenged Sevenfold’s courage cannot be emphasized 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 unshakeable 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, once 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 ever had to do in his whole life. The lyrics throughout ‘Nightmare’ are so soul-bearingly raw that at points it can make you 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 to applaud them. That they’ve managed to create a body of work that still kicks as much ass as they have always through these conditions, should see them rightfully as one of the best bands of their generation, and ‘Nightmare’ as the ultimate tribute to a fallen friend.”
Thanks to Cheryl from DevilBearRock for typing this up for us!