Kerrang! have ranked what they think to be the 20 Greatest Avenged Sevenfold songs.
20. BURN IT DOWN (CITY OF EVIL, 2005)
How’s this for a firestarter? The first single released from 2005’s game-changing City Of Evil wasn’t just an exuberant signal that Avenged were leaving metalcore behind in favour of a more gleeful brand of heaviosity; it’s one of the most breathlessly enjoyable cuts in their catalogue, full stop. Slamming together the 100mph six-strings and harmonised vocals of ’80s power metal, the sexiness of Sunset Strip sleaze, and the sort of fist-pumping groove Pantera could get behind, Burn It Down was an unequivocal statement from youngsters finally ready to step out from the shadows and get the party started.
10. SECOND HEARTBEAT (WAKING THE FALLEN, 2003)
If the most notorious parts of Waking The Fallen hinge on A7X’s progression from melodic metalcore into more traditional heavy metal, Second Heartbeat offers an alternative crusted up with snotty punk influence. Despite a sprawling, seven-minute runtime, there’s barely a moment’s respite as the 100mph guitars and thudding percussion provide the foundation for Shadows’ alternately snarled/soaring lament of lost friends – perhaps referring to departed early bandmates Matt Wendt, Justin Sane and Dameon Ash. Although there’s plenty of unbridled ambition at play on the album version – the unhinged composition blueprinting a vision that wouldn’t be fully realised for a few more years – the shorter, sharper demo version featured on 2011’s WTF: Resurrected might be even better.
1. A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN (AVENGED SEVENFOLD, 2007)
Could any other band have seen a A Little Piece Of Heaven so steadfastly through from twisted concept to its bold, beautiful realisation? We think not. More Broadway musical than mosh-pit beatdown, this isn’t just A7X’s most thematically unforgettable composition; it’s one of the most musically distinctive in all of pop culture. Drawing liberally from the palette of soundtrack maestro and regular Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman (and bringing aboard his preferred players: ex Oingo Boingo guitarist Marc Mann and keyboard whiz Steve Bartek), they unleash a suite of classical instrumentation and wailing choral vocals in service of a truly fucked-up eight-minute vision that sounds largely unlike anything else in their songbook. The actual narrative – involving a spurned lover who murders his girlfriend before spiralling into necrophilia, undead revenge and a truly unholy matrimony – is best experienced through the Rafa Alcantra directed music video. One viewing and it’ll burrow permanently into your brain. A sick, symphonic masterpiece.