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4.3 out of 5 stars
City Of Evil [Pa Version]
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
...quite like A7X. Some consider them geniuses, others sellouts, and its mainly down to this LP (I've never really understood the concept of "selling out" - the bands we love do their thing, and we vote with our feet. Simple, no?).
So then, City Of Evil. This was the first A7X record I heard, I must have listened to it 100 times in the last 10 months, and I consider it an all time classic - right up there with Rage Against The Machine, Master Of Puppets, Mellon Collie et al. It's incredibly well played, structured, written and paced, and is the sort of thing you can really get lost in. It's one of the few records I've heard recently where I really can't fathom *how* they're playing what they're playing, and I love it. Yes, it is different to Waking The Fallen, but they're both classic albums in my opinion; that they're the work of the same band improves them both.
Heavy as hell but with barely a scream throughout it's 70 odd minutes, this is a powerhouse of solos, leads, duels, incredibly tight rhythms and unbelievable, innovative melodies. I have no shame in admitting I am, right now, a total fanboy. Open your minds people - whether its Metal, Metalcore, Classic Rock or whatever is irrelevant to everyone but bricks and mortar retailers who own CD shelves - to us music fanatics, it is simply awe inspiring.
You need to buy this, right now. Album of 2005, hands down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2006
City of Evil rocketed A7X into mainstream success and so, as is always the case, the fans are very split on this album. Accused by many of 'selling out' because of cutting out the screaming & also probably for atracting little emo girls as their fans (something vocalist M.Shadows said they were trying to avoid). However, that's rubbish. City of Evil's success is based purely on the fact its a GREAT album.

The fact is A7X still sound like they always did, still influenced by the greats (ie Maiden & other classic metal bands)but have got a more clean cut direction and some really great songs. Opener 'The Beast & the Harlot' gives a pretty good idea about what this albums about - completely over the top music in every way - speedy drumming, countless solos all over the place & those instantly recognisable high-pitched vocals... brilliant!

The next few songs follow the same trend and are really addictive, especially the live favourite, 'Bat Country' (it will get stuck in your head for days).

BUT, towards the end of the album something goes a little wrong. 'Seize the Day' strays into annoying ballad territory (unlike the brilliant, 'I Won't See You Tonight' from Waking The Fallen), and the others are just simply TOO long. 'The Wicked End' & 'Betrayed' don't need to be half the length they are and 'Sidewinder' only redeems itself with a... erm, 'quirky'/ weird latino guitar thing at the end which is surprisingly cool! The closer 'MIA' isn't bad, but its a bit of a struggle getting there through the overly-long songs beforehand.

But don't listen to my niggly little criticisms, City of Evil is a really great listen & is a bit different to alot of things around at the moment. There's bound to be a bunch of songs you'll fall in love with here & you won't stop listening to this album for ages.

4 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2006
Orange Country five piece metal outfit Avenged Sevenfold really do deliver with this; their third and best album yet. "City Of Evil" is every bit as ambitious as the band's mission to take over the world of music, and they seem to be doing a good job. With an impressive new image and an already large yet still growing fanbase, A7X have come into their own with this album.
City Of Evil sees the band's biggest evolution yet, from 2003's "Waking The Fallen," which while more commercial than their debut album "Sounding The Seventh Trumpet," still included the screamy hardcore vocals which were very prominant in the band's first release. City Of Evil is the most accessible album yet, and although is the most commercial by far, the band has not dumbed down their music in any way. If anything, City Of Evil sees the band push their musicianship further than ever before. Guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance really can pull off impressive metal solos, whether it's classic metal doubled guitar leads, Slash-esque solos with feeling in "Seize the Day," or the very impressive flamenco acoustic guitar shredding in "Sidewinder," it's nice to see some talented guitarists playing accessible music for a change. The drumming as also outstanding; flashier and tighter than ever before.
The songwriting here is like classic metal meets Guns n' Roses meets American punk rock. It feels new, but it's the product of five talented guys growing up on a diet of a whole host of different bands and styles.
Vocalist M. Shadows is what makes the band that little bit extra special. For this album he recieved vocal tuition from the man that coached Axl Rose (incidentally, Guns N' Roses are Shadows' favourite band). If you've heard "You Won't See Me Tonight Part 1" from Waking The Fallen, this is how Shadows sings the majority of the time now. His vocal melodies are much more tuneful, and there vocal harmonies in absolute abundance. Harmonies seep around practically all of the vocal lines to emphasise and accentuate. There has clearly been a LOT of time and effort invested into constructing these complex vocal tracks.
Some A7X fans have been disappointed with the direction the band have taken with this album. It is simply evolution. There are only so many albums a band can release before moving onto different areas of a genre. Especially with musicians as talented as these.
While practically all the tracks on the album are excellent, the standout tracks are: "Bat Country," "Trashed And Scattered," "Sidewinder," "Seize The Day".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2005
I'd never heard of A7X until I listened to Zane Lowe on Radio 1 a couple of weeks back. Bat Country was his single of the week and I must admit it gave me goose bumps, so much so I went and got the album off Amazon. I've never given a review before so here goes ...
Let's start with naming a few influences I have found on this album. Everyone says Metallica (God know how many times they have been referred to in these reviews) and yeap they're there, but I don't find that element of their tone and structure as nearly as apparent as bands such as Helloween and Annihilator. The melodic leads, tight drumming and pace take me back to Keeper Part2 and Never,Neverland. I can see Maiden in there, but Shadows vocals somehow remind me of what the Galactic Cowboys tried to achieve in the early 90's, with melody on metal. The influences I found on this record are far and wide. Hell, I swear Rod Stewart sings the lead in Seize the Day, or is it the Stereophonics. Oh and I need to mention Pantera (because of the driving rhythm of some of the tracks), as well and Guns and Roses, mainly for some Slash like solo's.
There we go. I've pretty much named some of my favourite bands of all time. But does it work? Let's start with the positives. Fantastic technical capability, instrumentally very well produced. Some gripping riffs, storming solos, kick ass drumming. But for me the differentiator for this band is way the vocals/backing vocals overlay the main track. There's a lot of 'feel' there and some fantastic harmonies.
And few negatives ....... Most of the tracks lack an identity. That's because A7X chose to over complicate what should be simple arrangements. I've felt it before when I listened to Dream Theatre. Just when you thought they had something really good going they'd change the song. In fact the album could have been just one song for me. We have a saying in my job. KISS - keep it simple stupid. An A7X don't. Shame. Also, the vocals have, in my opinion, been lost to the music. It's clear Shadows has talent, but you cannot make one sentence out in many tracks, which is a great shame, as this also adds to the lack of identity mentioned earlier. It's not the way he signs it, just the production.
Summing up, this album should have been a five but got a four. It was going to be a three but Bat Country is such a storming track, it lifts the whole albums. Next time round - more songs, shorter songs, kept simple with clearer vocals and these guys will be mainstream. Big time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2005
If you are a previous fan of A7X you may be wondering how this album can possibly stand against the brilliant "Waking The Fallen" but seriously this rocks way, way harder. With "City Of Evil" it almost feels like they've gone back to the drawing board of how metal should be played and stuck a new twist on it. The screaming is all gone (and lets face it with every one and their grannies screaming out lyrics these days is anyone gonna miss it?) and is replaced by much more melodical, heartfelt singing. Shadows has clearly noticed that "screamo" bands are a dime a dozen these days and has wisely led the band in a new direction preventing them from being pigeon holed into flash in the pan genre. This is the main difference between from their previous efforts but in my opinion this decision has paid off sevenfold (sorry). The music itself remains absolutley superb, yet still different from their previous outings. There are a lot more guitar solos this time round (Shadows and Vengeance are clearly capable of playing the guitar extremely well and have finally lived up to their full potential on this album). The Reverand's drumming is once again top notch and will put amazed and envious faces on drummers everywhere, Christ's bass playing fits in perfectly with the speed of the drumming and together they make up a damn good rhythm section. Highlights on this album for me include "Trashed And Scattered" and "Bat Country" but I don't believe there is a bad song on this record. If listened to repeateadly it could be accused of being repetitive but in my experience not until the 8th hour in a row! There are more epics on this record also like the mighty "I Won't See You Tonight (Part 1)" and with the brilliant Maiden influenced "Strength Of The World" ringing in at just over 9 minutes this is Avenged Sevenfold at their most heart felt epic best. You ain't heard nothing yet!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
City of Evil is technically a very different album to Waking the fallen. It has dropped the screaming and the sound is much more intense and in a way perfectly mainstream material, but has this made it a bad album?
NO NO NO NO NO!!
City of evil is a corker, it is fantastic if not a little daft(the WOAHH YEAHHS! in burn it down for example).
The guitaring is more complex than in waking the fallen, that is hard to believe i know but you have to listen to the way that basically all the way through the songs is one continuous guitar solo. The drumming is fast paced and technically excellent with drum solos(especially in "blinded by chains") that seems only The Rev(yes thats his name) can pull off, as ive certainly not heard anything like it before.
The album is different, but different can be good, even groundbreaking as this album is definatly that.
If you want "crash, bang, wollop" mixed with harmonic singing and musically technicallity of a much more experienced band, then this is for you, even if you dont want that then buy it anyways cause its awesome.
Is it better than Waking the Fallen, its the same but in so many different ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have been eagerly awaiting this album for a while having discovered previous album Waking The Fallen last year. I have not been disappointed, Waking The Fallen rocked like nothing else on this Earth and i am pleased to say City of Evil rocks just as much! A7X are technically awesome and uber-inventive! CoE is a diverse album with amazing guitaring, cool vocals blitzkrieg drumming, melody and much more coming at you from every angle! To conclude, A7X are essential, get on this now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Over the years this band has been writen of by most of the rock community but in my opinion i cannot see why. They have gone from strength to strength and i feel that this is there best album. The drumming is fast and sharp, the guitar work by syn is amazing and the varied vocals by m shadows makes this album an all together classic. I own all three of their albums and this is the best. Once you listen to it once or twice your are hooked on it and beware it is very addictive. All of the songs are excellent but the ones that really stand out are 'MIA' 'Beast and the harlot' and 'bat country' This is a good avenged sevenfold album to start with and i also recommend the previous two. By this album and stop reading the reveiws....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2007
I had never heard of A7X until I heard 'Bat Country' on a friend's PC. I bought all of their albums based on that one first hearing. City of Evil is an album which does not contain a bad track. As someone who has listened to rock and HM for many years and has seen all the greats, Rush, Metallica, Megadeth, Queensryche, ACDC, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, etc, I was very pleased to come across a band who were heavy and melodic at the same time. Great riffs and superb melodic neo-classical guitar work. Helloween meets Megadeth! What a relief to discover that there are still bands out there who can play! Buy this album!! Now!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2005
I have to admit, ive been an avenged sevenfold fan since i heard the fantastic Waking the Fallen. The band sure do know how to write a fantastic rock song on that album, it had epic guitar riffs, crazy drumming and perfect harmonic singing.
I approached City of Evil with a sense of dread, how could A7X improve on such an awesome album, well i still havent decided whether its a better album than Waking the Fallen but im sure as hell sure that its one of the best albums on my shelf at home.
Heres a track by track review.
Beast and the Harlot - This song sets the tone for the album, insane pace, harmonic vocals and a fantastic riff. This song is a great opener.
8/10
Burn it Down
More ridiculous pace and addictive riffs. Not my favourite song but a great one nonetheless.
8/10
Blinded in the Chains
Probably my least favourite song on the album, tries too hard to sound like iron maiden, doesnt really succeed.
5/10
Bat Country
The standout song of the album, amazing guitar work, incredible vocals and a chorus so catchy you'll be humming it for days, this song deserves more attention than its getting cos its so much better than all this bullet for my valentine crap.
10/10
Trashed and Scattered
Another awesome metal song with an awesome chorus, this song needs to play the chorus more because thats what makes a great song. But it truly is an awesome song nonetheless.
10/10
Seize the Day
A great rock ballad but it could be better, a great guitar solo though. Sounds like guns and roses.
8/10
Sidewinder
It took me a few listens to get used to this one, but its now firmly one of the best songs on the album. The spanish guitar bit at the end is truly inspired. Love it!
10/10
The Wicked End
Another Maiden wannabe, does a better job than blinded in chains though. a good song overall
8/10
Strength of the World
Another ballad, drags on a bit too long but catchy vocals and a great guitar solo make this stand out.
9/10
Betrayed
The nearest thing on the album to Remenissions, my favourite Avenged song, an absolutely fantastc opening make the rest of this song seem a bit crap but still great
9/10
M.I.A
A great ballad that makes me think of medievel battles etc (although he may sing about gunshots at one point) A good anti-war song that makes for a good closing song for the album
9/10
If you like screamo/hardcore metal buy this, i guarantee you will like it, theres something for everyone.
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