Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare

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Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare
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Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare
Hard Rock
Warner Bros. Records
July 27th, 2010
Release length: 1:06:54
Myspace
Website
Nightmare is just one of those albums that many feel inappropriate around, and that would be due to the tragedy linked to this album. Prior to the album’s recording, one of the band’s members, “The Rev”, had passed away. In the wake of this, the recently musical identity challenged band issued this release and, yet again, find themselves in some kind of crisis as to what they wanted to sound like. This was an album that originally was going to be avoided out of respect to the dearly departed, however due to the influx of requests to review this specific release, here it is. It pains to speak ill of the dead, regardless of what intention, but you asked for it.

Honestly, Nightmare is not that bad an album. The music here takes a much darker turn compared to the band’s more upbeat materials, and it really benefits them greatly. One of the drawbacks to the band has been the higher, nasally vocals that really sounded horrible against the music being played, which called for a stronger vocal performance period with less of an Ozzy meets Axl Rose style. However, right from the start on this release, the vocals are toned down in pitch most of the time, which gives way for a stronger performance all around from the band. The music here is also far simpler. “Danger Line” winds up being he perfect example of this, as the guitars here feel really restrained and limited, relying on the drums and vocals to really push the song along, and with the way both are performed on this album, it does a decent job at doing that for the most part, but at the three minute plus mark, the song will start to wear thin, especially when the march beat kicks in from the drums, and the trumpet in the background randomly kicks in for practically no real reason at all against some haunting keyboards and a suiting guitar solo.

While the band seems to have found themselves nicely with this album, they also have discovered a new act to take away from. “Buried Alive” features a slight guitar intro that is very vaguely reminiscent of the intro to “The Speed of Darkness” by The Crown, however that is a stretch. The real let down about this song would be it’s clear Metallica worship roots, solely in the bridge between the chorus and verse that is barely altered and can have the entire chorus of “The Unforgiven” performed to match with the original Metallica track to near perfection. This is also not the only time you’re going to hear some Metallia influence in the album, but luckily this is the only time you’re really going to hear it to this extreme.

There isn’t much negative to say about Nightmare. The band really mixed things up for this release as far as their sound went, and a good amount of it sounds good on this final product. The only issues that haunt this release would be the way the guitars sound, leaving a hollow sound at times within songs. outside of the aforementioned “Buried Alive”, there are other slower tracks that just wind up being a little too thin in the long run, such as “So Far Away”. The song is solid for what it is, but ultimately just sounds hollow musically. Aside that, the song “God Hate Us” brings everything back to Avenged Sevenfold‘s old Metalcore roots with a very random, out of place breakdown that moves horribly slow and just really hurts the song by killing the flow it gives to the listener. Of course, one cannot ignore “Victim”, which is the most out of place song on here. Outside the somewhat heavier sounding guitars during the chorus, this is easily one of the most generic, stereotypical Alternative Rock ballads to be recorded in recent years, and honestly doesn’t offer much to the listen other then a chance to take a nap thanks to all that.

Nightmare proves to be a good album that is full of solid musical ideas. The problem here is that, like the other releases, it often falters from the songs being way too drawn out, as well as simply being repetitive. Had many of these songs been cut down in length, then this would be a whole other story. But, even with all that said, Nightmare shows Avenged Sevenfold progresing the right way, and there’s a great dark aura around the entire album as far as the atmosphere goes that simply enhances the listening experience. This one is worth a shot, but it’s nothing to get too crazy over thanks to the dramatic Metallica inspirations through the album that actually take away from the band’s somewhat original sound of ozzy meets Guns N’ Roses.

01. Nightmare – 6:17
02. Welcome to the Family – 4:06
03. Danger Line – 5:26
04. Buried Alive – 6:41
05. Natural Born Killer – 5:15
06. So Far Awar – 5:27
07. God Hate Us – 5:19
08. Victim – 7:30
09. Tonight the World Dies – 4:41
10. Fiction – 5:13
11. Save Me – 10:57
Overall Score: 5.5/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.