Though Nightmare isn’t the 70-minute shredfest that some fans might have wanted, it is the band’s best offering to date. It features hard-hitting riffs, deep lyrics, wailing solos, skilled acoustic picking, and seemingly infinite replay value. Avenged Sevenfold was pushed to the edge of circumstance, but instead of folding, produce a masterpiece. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, though, Nightmare serves as a tribute to The Rev and doesn’t find the band getting too caught up in sorrow to produce anything worthwhile. In fact, it’s quite the opposite — Avenged Sevenfold channeled the whirlwind of emotions surrounding The Rev’s death and created an album that is wide-ranging, theatrical, intense and unforgettable. But it’s not just the circumstances that make this album legendary — it’s a masterpiece in its own right. If you don’t pick up this album, you will be missing out on one of today’s best rock bands in its indisputable prime.