With a sound that criss-crosses far too many genres and styles to be safely pigeon-holed, *Avenged Sevenfold *have also been ploughing through some truly disparate forms of extreme, heavy and melodic music over the last few years. It's set them apart from the pack, yet at the same time made them accessible to an audience that reaches much further than the hardcore scene or the Warped Tour crowd (which they played to this summer).
_‘Waking The Fallen’ _opens with a haunting (and that’s putting it mildly) AFI-esque introduction that gives you a little taster of the overblown operatic indulgences that follow. Legendary producer Mudrock adds a brilliant touch of *Faith No More *to set the tone, but whilst their previous album, _‘Sounding The Seventh Trumpet’, _may have appeared a little patchy in places with vocalist Matt Shadows trying maybe a little too hard with his ‘earnest’ melodic crooning, here the whole band have improved ten-fold.
In amongst some superb Slayer-isms and pinpoint Hopesfall-inspired metal there are some awesome moments of 80s heavy metal action. In _‘Chapter Four’ _I find myself looking around for a lighter to hold aloft during it’s double-barrelled *Guns ‘n’ Roses *solos, invisaging Matt Shadows standing with one foot planted on the amp, his hands held out in fevered passion.
Lyrically they may cover some pretty dark and morbid subject matter with titles like ‘Clairvoyant Disease’ _and _‘Desecrate Through Reverence’, while their artwork (which shows a deceased lady rising up from an abyss into the light) may actually harbour an implicitly positive message behind their otherwise death metal image.
There are many highlights to the album but the crescendo of Queen-like harmonies that build up in ‘Eternal Rest’ are where Avenged Sevenfold truly come into their own; its bridge intensifying their gothic tendencies with some fierce organ tones before their rabid blood-curdling Anselmo shrieks send your pulse racing again.
Their melodic metal may be slightly patchy and might take some getting used to, but it’s so different and incomparable that you’ll find yourself kung-fu kicking and singing along to it in a rock club regardless. Ok so maybe that's just me.
A very intriguing release from a very intriguing band.
7Mat Hocking's Score