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 Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare [Album Review]

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PostSubject: Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare [Album Review]   Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:24 am

Nightmare (Deluxe Edition) by Avenged Sevenfold


Reviewed by ZXoftheDarkness on June 5th 2011
Reposted on February 4th 2012

Album Artwork:
Genre - Hard Rock

Music Staff:


Avenged Sevenfold:
M. Shadows – lead vocals
Synyster Gates – lead guitar, backing vocals
Zacky Vengeance – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Johnny Christ – bass, backing vocals
The Rev - drum arrangement, lyrics, vocals on "Fiction" & "Save Me"

Additional Musicians:
Mike Portnoy - drums, percussion
Brian Haner, Sr. (Synyster Gate's Father) – guitars on "So Far Away", solo on "Tonight the World Dies"
The Whistler - Whistles on Danger Line
Sharlotte Gibson – backing vocals
Jessi Collins - backing vocals
David Palmer - piano, keyboards
Stevie Blacke - Strings, string arrangement
Stewart Cole - trumpet
Mike Elizondo - keyboards

Production Crew:
Craig Aaronson - A&R
Brent Arrowood - assistant engineer
Chad Carlisle - assistant engineer
Mike Elizondo - producer
D.A. Frizell - illustrations, treatment
Adam Hawkins - engineer
Ted Jensen - mastering
Jodie Levine - production co-ordination, contractor
Clay Patrick McBride - photography
Andy Olyphant - A&R
Paul Suarez - pro-tools
Jan Petrow - assistant engineer
Cam Rackam - paintings, portraits
Rafa Alcantara - art direction, photography, layouts
Travis Smith - cover art, tray card art
Joanna Terrasi - production co-ordination, contractor
Andy Wallace - mixer

Introduction: My thoughts going into this album were rather skeptical. For those who don't know, Avenged Sevenfold had the same line up for a very long time, M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ and The Rev. However, shortly before the album was released, the Rev passed away, the band then called on Mike Portnoy to temporarily replace the Rev for the album and for touring. After listening to the album many times over, it is one of the most heartfelt records I have ever heard. I could not have pictured a better tribute to the Rev (as this is what they decided to fashion this album after). The emotion emanating from this record is spectacular... Let's go through a track by track review of the record.

Song Titles:

No.TitleLength
1."Nightmare" 6:14
2."Welcome to the Family" 4:05
3."Danger Line" 5:28
4."Buried Alive" 6:44
5."Natural Born Killer" 5:15
6."So Far Away" 5:27
7."God Hates Us" 5:19
8."Victim" 7:30
9."Tonight the World Dies" 4:41
10."Fiction" 5:13
11."Save Me" 10:56
12."Lost It All" 3:57 (Bonus Disc Only)

Track 1: Nightmare:
This track starts off with a slow creepy intro with a form of bells, after about 25 seconds it kicks into some intense drumming, followed by in sync guitar work. It gets you hooked, draws you in, then the vocals kick in with a slight raspy tone but never the less it gets your your adrenaline flowing. The chorus however is slightly disappointing. "It's your fuckin' nightmare" is just slightly cheesy, and the chorus isn't as melodic as some of the other songs on this album. However, the guitar work and solos are stunning in this song as usual.
Track Rating: 7.7/10 (Good)

Track 2: Welcome to the Family:
This track is one of my favorite blood pumpers on the album. It instantly starts with some intense drumming with some great guitar, vocals, however the song becomes surprising, as throughout the song, the chorus gets increasingly melodic, it draws you in, then before you know it, the song is over. One of the more well done songs on the album. One of the top recommended tracks on the album.
Track Rating: 8.6/10 (Very Good)

Track 3: Danger Line:
I don't know what was with this song... It was nice, the instruments were top notch as usual, and the extra drum effects were a very nice touch, however something just felt like it was lacking... I don't know quite how to put it, it didn't feel like there was as much depth to this song as some of the other songs. However, it was better than the title track in that regard.
Track Rating: 7.9/10 (Good)

Track 4: Buried Alive:
The guitar in this song is absolutely stunning... everything is in sync, the melody, the guitar, the drums, the vocals, the solos are unbelievable. I also like how the tone shifts right after the solo into a more angry and intense feel. The guitar gets harsh and the vocals blare straight into your face. This is another one of my top recommended tracks on the album.
Track Rating: 8.8/10 (Very Good)

Track 5: Natural Born Killer:
Two words that describe this song briefly and concisely - Fast Paced. It seems as though everyone in the band is on steroids in this song. The instrumentals are killer (pun intended), and the vocals keep up with the instruments rather well. However, it seems a little close to Danger Line, but does not have that lacking feeling that I get when listening to Danger Line.
Track Rating: 8.1/10 (Very Good)

Track 6: So Far Away:
This was one of the few songs which I was not a fan of. This and Tonight the World Dies (Track 9 on this album) Seem like near clones of each other. The lyrics are touching, but there simply isn't enough in this song to make it that worth listening to. However, the guitar work contributed by Synyster's father helped make it stand on its own. However, Synyster's father also did guitar work for Tonight the World Dies, furthering my point.
Track Rating: 6.5/10 (Above Average)

Track 7: God Hates Us:
Easily one of the best songs on the album. It's very misleading at the beginning, with some soft guitar and what looks to be a soft solo coming up, then it instantly gets in your face with blaring guitar, then the vocals enter with a sheer scream "Total Nightmare!" that chills you to the bone. The only thing I did not like on this song that much was the main guitar solo, it seemed as if it was rather scattered and thrown together. But the rest of this song was astounding.
Track Rating: 9.1/10 (Amazing)

Track 8: Victim:
This song is purely melodic, nothing more and nothing less. It's classic Avenged Sevenfold. However, there isn't that much in this song to set it apart from others, the musicianship in all aspects is simply splendid though.
Track Rating: 7.6/10 (Good)

Track 9: Tonight the World Dies:
See Review For So Far Away.
Track Rating: 6.5/10 (Above Average)

Track 10: Fiction:
My favorite song on the record, easily the most deep, and something that Avenged Sevenfold has never done before. A full ballad song. This song is filled with piano that makes you feel uplifted, this is a great song to listen to if you have lost someone. Know this about this song, this was the last song the Rev wrote before he passed away. He passed away three days after he finished writing this song. This song was originally called "Death", but was renamed to "Fiction" by the rest of the band. What helps make this song even more compelling than usual is the fact that they restored some in production that the Rev had been testing for the song, and put them into Fiction, as a reminder that to the band, the Rev is still with them. In particular, when the Rev screams, "Let It Burn", it sends chills right down your spine. This song is in my top 25 songs list and I will never get tired of it. This song is probably the best tribute I have ever heard to anyone who has lost someone.
Track Rating: 9.7/10 (Absolutely Amazing)

Track 11: Save Me:
The longest song Avenged Sevenfold has ever done. This song is also my second favorite track on the album. When you listen to this song, you feel like you are on a chronological journey through your own life. Remembering your uplifting times and your downtrodden times, and how you made it through them all. I highly recommend this song. The instruments are amazing, and has an amazing melody.
Track Rating: 9.3/10 (Amazing)

Track 12: Lost It All: (Bonus Track)
This is the only song on the album that I actually don't like. It has nearly the same riffs as a song from one of their previous albums, (the song with the similar riffs is called "Girl I Know"). It seems like this song was just thrown in at the last minute, I was disappointed with this song, I was expecting something better for a bonus. The only highlight was that the instruments were good as usual, but not up to Avenged Sevenfold standards.
Track Rating: 5.1/10 (Average)

Overall Album Rating:
7.93 (Good)

Final Words:
I recommend only certain tracks on this album, not the full album, as there are some hit and misses, the songs that have melody and ballads are absolutely spectacular, and a couple face melting songs are present, but not as many as some of their earlier works. All in all however, this is an amazingly heartfelt record, and I couldn't have pictured a better tribute to the Rev.

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