Top positive review
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Waking The Mind
on 14 March 2004
Im not going to beat around the bush, this is one of the greatest albums I have ever heard. EVER! 'What makes it so good?!' I hear you cry. Well, to put it simply, its one of those albums where you don't have to skip to the good bits, because its ALL good. Many albums these days are made up of a few great songs amongst a collection of tiring fillers. Not here. Every track is a classic and every track is different.
A7X are incredibly talented musicians (guitarist Synyster Gates being the prime example) and singer M.Shadows voice is so varied you would think they have about 4 singers. One second he is belting out note-perfect melodies, the next he screams paint off the walls, the next he delivers a bone crunching roar. The variation is the foremost feature of this album. It encompasses styles like Slayer's thrash, Hatebreed's breakdowns, Cradle Of Filth's screams, Finch's singing, Metallica's solos and AFI's emotion. There really is something for everyone.
Beginning with the atmospheric intro 'Waking The Fallen' which leads straight into the first single 'Unholy Confessions' and then 'Chapter Four', two easily accessible songs to suck you in. Once you're hooked track 4 'Remenissions' and 5 'Desecrate Through Reverence' will lock you in for good. Its an epic journey of hardcore, emo, punk, gothcore and straight guitar skill; true stadium classics. Following this 'Eternal Rest' rips your f**king eyes out with blistering thrash solos, a Metallica-esque riff, an epic gothic chorus and breakdowns to make Hatebreed soil themselves in fear.
If your ears haven't melted yet live favourite 'Second Heartbeat' and 'Radiant Eclipse' blow you away with their epic proportions (both approx. 7mins), skillful drumming and sing-ability. Following this you have what is essentially a 15min song. 'I Won't See You Tonight Part 1' is an epic rock ballad in the vein of Metallica's 'Nothing Else Matters', but more upbeat. Its truly one to have the crowds weeping in the circle pits. This leads straight into 'Part 2', which is possibly the heaviest song on the album. Its a true brain shaker and will have you beating the crap out of the nearest thing available. Both these songs lyrics appear to be about the death of a friend and the different styles seems to encompass the different emotions. Part 1 is slow and sad to signify grief, whereas part 2 is blistering rage to denote pain and anger at the loss. These songs are beautifully deep and showcase the true talent of this band.
The journey ends with the wonderfully gothic 'Clairvoyant Disease' and the truly stunning final track 'And All Things Will End'. The final track's varied style appears to encompass the entire album format, with chugging riffs, emotional melody, beefy drumming, guttaral roars and an incredible solo which will have you reacing for your air guitars.
To sum up my lengthy review; (sorry about that, just so much to say!) this band is set to be one of the greats. One second you're headbanging like its 1985 and thrashing the air guitar, the next you're swept away on an ocean of melody and emotion. This is truly an album for now, a mix of classic metal and modern hardcore, showcasing group of incredible talents. There is truly no stopping the goths from the O.C.