Avenged Sevenfold - City Of Evil

With artwork consisting of naked women, red devils, an apocalyptic wasteland with skeletons and devastation and a band photo showing five mean and moody characters it's safe to say that Avenged Sevenfold live, breath and worship at the altar of rock. This is a band who love the imagery and devil worshipping ethos which many metal outfits take for granted. You take it with a pinch of salt as it's probably very tongue in cheek, but you've got to admire their tenacity. "City Of Evil" is an album which will please the most dedicated head banging adolescent as it's an absolute labour of love for the appropriately named Avenged Sevenfold.

"Burn It Down" has tommy gun delivery drumming from The Reb, hardly pausing for breath as his primal instinct and determined sense of intensity remains unbridled. The gruff, macho vocals of M Shadows are well suited for lines such as "Hatred fuels my blood. I'll burn ya down (you can't help me)". He's not a man to forgive easily is he? Regardless of such vitriolic bile from the furious frontman there's a sweetness to the melody with a nostalgia for Thin Lizzy, Metallica and even The Darkness with Sinister Gates on lead guitar, a Slash styled genius.

"Trashed And Scattered" has language not advisable for the faint hearted amongst us. It's very much of the old school variety with a speaker vibrating bass so heavy Johnny Christ must be shaking as he plucks the strings. The track is well structured, commercial musically (but certainly not lyrically) with a rap interlude and axe wielding guitars a plenty. "The Wicked End" is more of the same but less bombastic and more tuneful. It's a seven minute epic, ambitious, arguably pompous with lavish strings and a choir, very stirring and effective. Lyrically it's doom, loom and dread with references to so much destruction and vengeance that you feel exhausted by the end of it.

The most moving track on the album is "Betrayed", a fitting tribute in memory of Dimebag which really does the ex-Pantera member proud. It's apparent in the lyrics how much he will be missed with the fitting epitaph of "Just did it for the love, and people healed through us". You could describe this as a worthy power ballad with echoes of Korn.

"City Of Evil" is a metal album no fan of the genre can do without. Avenged Sevenfold can do without. Avenged Sevenfold is a name we'll know even better when the rest of the world catches up to them.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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