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Avenged Sevenfold: Waking The FallenWaking The Fallen (2003)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: FortyMinutesWestFortyMinutesWest
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Heavy fucking metal! If it was possible for me to write a three word review, I’d leave it at that; but I’m obligated to write a full review, so here you go. Avenged Sevenfold first caught my eye when I was browsing through the pamphlet/zine that came with the first “Plea for Peace” compilation. The Good Life Records band was compared to Guns n Roses, Queen, and Social Distortion. I don’t know where the Social D comparison came from, but their first album “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” was one of the most eclectic releases I’ve heard in a long time. Hopeless was also impressed, as they quickly snatched the band up and released the album.
So that leaves us here, two years after the original version of “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” was released. “Waking The Fallen” is definitely a more focused effort than their past material, and it takes strides away from metalcore. I’d have to say that this album is a lot more melodic as well, with Matt’s singing taking more of a center stage this time around. His voice sounds better as well, as his range has improved. The almost opera-like backing vocals make their return, but they are better utilized than before and they really add something to the songs. Make no mistake though, he can still belt out a throat destroying scream with the best of them. The guitar playing also seems to be more refined, with intricate dual guitar work and blazing solos. This album is basically a combination between the many different varieties of metal. You get the Slayerish solo at the beginning of “Eternal Rest”, the power metal meets Metallica vibe of “Chapter Four”, the melodic death metal of “Second Heartbeat”, and who could forget the Iron Maiden influence that is very apparent throughout this disc. The only thing that is missing is a straight up punk track, ala “Streets”. I really enjoyed this band’s take on Bad Religion style punk, and I was hoping for another song like that. You can’t have everything, I suppose.
One of my few complaints here would be the new version of “Second Heartbeat”. I don’t know why they had to mess with a good thing, the version of this song on “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was virtually flawless and it is probably my favorite Avenged Sevenfold song. The new version is still very good, but the urgency that was so prevalent in the original is gone. I can’t really figure out what has happened here, it seems slower yet heavier, but this is only a minor complaint. Avenged Sevenfold is a band that is really doing something different and as such they’ve managed to distance themselves from the pack. A lot of bands attempt to mix metal with other styles, but they often fail because they try to do more than they’re capable of doing. Not this band, every stylistic change on here goes off without a hitch.
Expect to hear a lot about this release very soon, and for once I can say this: believe the hype.
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