Monday, August 2, 2010

A7X's Nightmare Is Darkly Brilliant

A7XWith Avenged Sevenfold's (A7X) Nightmare close to stealing the top spot from Eminem and putting metal back on the top album chart, it's impossible not to be curious beyond the hit single Nightmare, which was released in May. Make no mistake. The album represents.

So does Mike Portnoy, the drummer enlisted to fill in for James "The Rev" Sullivan, who died three days after finishing the song Fiction. He will stay on with the band through 2011 and then is expected to return to Dream Theater. But one never knows...

"Finished tracking drums with MP. They sound fucking amazing. Jimmy will be proud," wrote Zacky Vengeance on Facebook in February. "Jimmy's also smiling knowing that Mike Portnoy has a deathbat forever tattooed on him. To show Mike that A7X is deeper than just a band I got one to match his."

The emotion attached to loss of The Rev runs deep, especially given the track Fiction includes his vocals on a song originally titled Death. It was renamed Fiction, which was one of The Rev's many nicknames. It's impossible not to become lost in it, knowing the story behind it.

And that in itself leaves some casual fans wondering if Nightmare is an amazing album or if the circumstances have colored its success. Hardly. A7X have produced an album as epic as any metal album before it, with an amazing mix of everything they learned since Waking The Fallen. Its influence will be long lasting well after the tour.

Several A7X songs change up effortlessly, including Buried Alive. If you're new to A7X, you'll have to be patient for them. If you are a fan, you already know what to expect from the lyric video released ahead of the album. This live clip cuts right to the chase.


Along with Buried Alive and Nightmare, God Hates Us, and Natural Born Killer stay around long after the headphones are put down. Lost It All, which was released on the Deluxe album, is one of my personal favorites along with Fiction. Even Save Me, the longest song on the album running at almost 11 minutes, is also a powerful song with blends, mixes and tempo changes.

Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare Represents With A 9.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

I'm not going to say Nightmare unseats The Black Album with Metallica sometimes credited with inventing progressive thrash with it, but there is no denying that Nightmare is a masterpiece. The tragedy of this family's loss has only made them stronger as they are determined to live. And in doing so, we expect more great things from A7X.

Not every song will likely be appreciated, but the album is worth picking up just for Save Me (and I don't even like long songs). You can find Nightmare (Deluxe) on iTunes. Amazon has the original album, Nightmare. Just make sure you pick up Lost It All. It belongs.

"Now I think I understand, how this world can overcome a man." — foREVer.
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