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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 July 2010
When I was a lad I was devastated when the news came through of the death of Keith Moon. And who did the Who get in to take his place? Kenney Jones that's who. A no more than competent replacement.So after the tragic death of the drummer in this band, who do they get in? Only Mike Portnoy. And I don't know if this colours my view of this album or not, but on the first couple of listens I couldn't help concentrating on the drums - they are quite prominent in the mix - and wallowing in the tub thumping heaven that they transport you to. And that's not to say they overshadoe the rest of the band. On the contrary, I think that having Portnoy on board has caused the band to raise their game both instrumentally, lyrically and vocally. This is a serious rock record and I would think destined for many a "Best album of the year" nomination. I wouldn't call myself a fan of the band, I can't tell you the name of the singer without looking it up, but please take this as a compliment that as one who considers himself to have a large and eclectic record collection this is the best hard rock record I have heard for years, and you will see if you care to read some of my other reviews, that this is high praise indeed
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on 27 July 2010
Before you actually listen to the song Nightmare...skip to track 10 and listen to 'Fiction'. The combination of the piano, the drums and Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan's voice in combination with M Shadows' smooth vocals is beautiful and haunting beyond belief, especially with the knowledge that this was the last song that The Rev wrote and recorded for before his death. For the fans, it's easy to picture him as they are listening, insuring that he won't be forgotten within the first seconds of hearing the vocals.

I listened to the album track by track, the first I heard of it being the titular song Nightmare. It's gripping certainly and it has a charm about it similar to Beast and the Harlot and Bat Country. It's definitely on my halloween tracklist. The video (not included) will have fans remembering The Rev with a final shot of his drum kit as a tribute to him, bringing about the reality that he's not there anymore.

Buried Alive begins an intro that wouldn't sound out of place in a song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but then it quickly becomes full of what made Dear God and Seize the Day such good songs. It has quick, but smooth, changes from heavy to lighter and harmonious.

It sounds a little out of place, but it's still good: Danger Line. It has a similar intro to Blinded In Chains or even Burn It Down, but with a more hollow feel in the choruses where the guitar is less filling.

Save Me is the longest track at just over 10 minutes long, but it does anything but drag. Its feels like a medley of emotion and themes with rather melodic arcs cast in with heavy darker moments which have your ears on their metaphorical toes, not unlike Sidewinder on the City Of Evil album.

There are hints of the other albums in there, creating a familiar atmosphere for fans as well as bringing them new material, while new listeners just hearing them for the first time will find themselves with a veritable selection of different styles to hear, and have them developing a thirst to listen to the earlier albums. It is an ESSENTIAL purchase for the major fans, and I would say an essential purchase for the minor fans too, if only for a few select songs. It has a lot of elements that fans and non-fans alike will enjoy, but without losing the Avenged charm that everyone loves so much.
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2012
Wow. There have been very few albums of recent times that I can say that I have been truly engaged by. Personally, I am someone who has grown up listening to the various genres of metal and rock, and enjoy recreating a lot of my favourite tracks on guitar. I also have a quite vast, and varied collection of music, but generally, I need some form of guitar involved for it to catch my attention.

I knew a little of Avenged Sevenfold previously, having listened to City of Evil a fair amount, although would never have put them in my top bands from this record. But wow, what a mammoth jump this album is from that in comparison (I know there have been albums in between). A great opening track (although the most radio friendly perhaps), and an epic track to finish, with consistent high quality throughout without feeling samey.

There is a lot of variation here, and excellent musicianship from everyone in the band, as well as the more obviously superb guitar work and vocals. 'Buried Alive' is a great example of a tight, and well controlled song, essentially in two parts. A cleaner, thoughtful beginning, before unleashing a satisfying crunchy, heavy finish.

It's not all about speed and heaviness, but more meaningful, well written music. Yes it is often very riff driven music, but 'So Far Away' and 'Tonight the World Dies' are awesome examples how melodic the band is on this album, and truly showcases the singers vocal talent. Personally am not someone who is seduced by vocals, I prefer guitar driven most of the time, but was certainly compelled with the vocals on these songs in particular.

What better way to close out the album with 'Save Me' - an almost 11 min feast of intelligent, complex music that pulls the album together perfectly. I cannot speak more highly of this album, which makes a refreshing change to the majority of the music that is kicking around these days.
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on 5 November 2015
AVENGED SEVENFOLD or AX7 as they often use, started out as a metalcore band, abit too much KERRANG MAGAZINE for me, BUT on this album they became a straight forward MODERN METAL BAND. MIKE POURTNEY of DREAM THEATER joined them on drums for the album and tour, and DT are a million miles in music terms away from AX7. This is just a great MODERN METAL album, buy if you like any metal from any era.
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on 5 October 2010
This is not a bad album. the first 5 songs are of high standards, very powerful and inspired. the problem with this album is that there are too many ballads. Otherwise, Portnoy plays like there's no tomorrow and there are fewer 'pop-emo' refrains than the last album. I like what i hear but one would expect more from this band as from song number 6 and on, i find myself yawning...
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on 24 July 2010
This album is an amazing journey through the minds of one of the most talented bands I have heard.
Nightmare has a great mixture of fast tempo and ballad songs. There are echoes of previous albums in many of the tracks - which adds to the enjoyment of the album as a whole.
Avenged Sevenfold create some amazing arrangements for their songs and nothing on this album dissapoints.
The album takes you through what must have been a very emotional period for the band...and some songs are very heartfelt - Fiction (track 10) is one of the most beautiful songs ever created, and is even more special as it uses Jimmy's (The Rev) vocal and piano [RIP JIMMY], in fact Jimmy wrote the song 3 days before his death and called it his masterpiece
M.shadows, Zacky V, Johnny C and Syn gates are all on top form and a special mention has to go to Mike Portnoy who drums with heart and soul...
This album is special and will def be an album A7X fans and fans of GREAT music look back on and remember as a defining moment for the band, no doubt - The rev would be proud
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on 28 April 2014
After purchasing their latest album "Hail To The King" I just had to buy this which is just an awesome album with great riffs, if you like Heavy metal with great guitar riffs in than look no further!!!
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on 17 September 2010

Before I rant on about how much I love this album, I just wanna say (from a longterm fan kinda thing)... I just want to say this:
This culture surrounding dead artist is becoming a drag. Would you say the same thing when they walked the earth?

Ok so lets start from the top, Nightmare (the track) is a typical but awesome way to start an album off. Imagine 'Critical Acclaim' meets 'Second Heartbeat' and then gets cut up, something added...maybe 'Afterlife'. There is "You're ******* Nightmare."

This is the first Avenged album I personally can class as a Rollercoaster ride.

'Welcome To The Family' is very awkward (almost) don't expect it I guess. You get the typical emo slant on the chorus but then the man himself is doing his thing afterwards (Whispering). A great 'Pinkly Smooth' move perhaps.

Track 3 is weird as. 'Danger Line'. Hardcore but also maybe a tad of autotune. You can hear the progression in this band, they must have learnt from some awesome experiences...and some bad.

'Buried Alive' is very inspirational. Pantera meets Metallica. I can relate to this song. Musically - "Love or hate".

Track 5 ("Natural Born Killer")... starting to think this album is playing like a greatest hits. How Mr. S can sing some of these lines... you know, I think I would choke.

"So Far Away" is a real breakdown. If you can relate in a sense. For those who have lost the ones they love... Syn is not just a guitarist. A musician in his own right. This song is when I realised that.

"God Hates Us" - Heaviest thing A7X have ever wrote...I love it.

"Victim"... one of my least favourite songs on the album. A bit too 'U.Y.I' for me... fine if you like that album/band but I can't relate myself.

'Tonight The World Dies' carries on that theme. But kicks in like another song I like 'B.O.B****'.

'Fiction' is a masterpeice...can't explain why - just check it out.

'Save Me'; like other A7X (last tracks inparticular) they never shut up... and it's a marathon. Love it.

So there you go a quick A7X review, with love no doubt... quick note; Mike rocks.
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on 1 August 2010
It is said that this is Avenged Sevenfold's heaviest album to date, what with the tragic loss of The Rev it is definately their deepest, not heaviest though.
The opening track 'Nightmare' enters with a creepy almost fairytale chiming which smashes into the avalanche drums of Mike Portnoy (although The Rev actually wrote all the drum parts before he died). It is a typical Avenged song with dueling guitars, sweeping solo and angry riffs, the main difference though and this is true with the whole album is that is is so well produced, which is more than can be said for their last album. Everything is cleaner, crisper with the final mix perfect. Showing that they have really refined their sound.

When 'Welcome To The Family' crashed in after the title track I knew the quality from the title track was going to be continued; good riff and verse with a typical melodic chorus it has to be said.
'Buried Alive' is a good track, with a bluesy clean guitar intro then a soft, melodic dual harmony, this is followed by good simple riffage in the chorus, it features one of the best solos Synyster Gates has ever done I think. They rest of the solos just seem a bit forgettable to me.
'Natural Born Killer' has an intro you find reminiscent of 'Waking the Fallen', backed up by a heavy verse which is pure groove, with a very cool solo by Gates again. Shadow's vocals are very impressive on this too.

'God Hates Us' is the heaviest song by far, it is like a window on what direction the band could've taken after 'Waking the Fallen', with relentless double-bass pedaling with very early Avenged style riffs, and of course the re-appearance of Shadow's screaming which hold up well. Again its a very groove driven track which I think they are very good at doing.

Now to 'Fiction', written totally by The Rev on piano, this is the track I think that would've been completely different had he still been alive. It was originally titled 'Death' about someone moving on, The Rev was meant to be narrating this, the lyrics seem even more emotional considering the circumstances, they are now seen as his last message to his friends. They left his vocals on the track which I think shows how much he meant to them including a part near then end which was his singing on the demo where he he hadn't got the lyrics sorted fully, Shadows singing with him, I have to admit when the vocals came in I was reminded of Barney the dinosaur when I was a kid singing "You love me, I love you...", but oddly I love it; very powerful. The Rev shows how good a singer he was though in between the verses, it it is one of my favourite tracks for sure just for the sheer emotion of it, and the excellent piano. It shows just how good a musician he was.
'Save Me' is a perfect end, drawing in at 11 minutes, it is like a more evolved version of 'A Little Piece of Heaven' with intricate guitar, minor to major key changes and powerful drumming and vocals to match this, ending with the very apt line "Tonight we all die young".

So I think they have got it right this time. It has echoes of both 'City of Evil' and 'Waking' but showing continued evolution. I'm still trying to warm to tracks like 'Tonight the World Dies' and 'So Far Away' without much luck though, I feel that they are there for The Rev and would've been different/not there at all if her were still alive.
They've difinately evolved thats for sure, Its up to you if you think this is a good move though. I think it is and I hope they continue to make music.

Songs to listen to: 'Natural Born Killer' 'God Hates Us' 'Fiction' 'Welcome To The Family'
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on 24 July 2010
I pre-ordered this album, it came on the saturday in stead of monday, great postage. It starts of with nightmare a superb song with a good solo. Then it leads into Welcome to the family, which starts with a drumming pattern then a brilliant riff. Danger line is like the old avenged sevenfold and ends with a nice drumming ballad. Then Natural born killer is one of the slightly heavier ones of the album. So far away is a quitter one that starts with drums and acoustic guitar and then bass and others come in. Then God hates us comes on which is also one of the heavier ones. Next three quitter ones come on Victim, Tonight the world dies and Fiction, on Fiction the rev and m.shadows sing this ballad. Then a 10 minute song comes on quite louder this one is called save me is brilliant. So overall this is a great album. R.I.P Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan, you will be missed.
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