- Warner Bros.
While Avenged Sevenfold’s look and sound have evolved drastically over the past decade, the one constant in the band’s career has been their ability to polarize people-and the band’s self-titled disc is inevitably going to make that division more pronounced. The confrontational pro-war opener “Critical Acclaim” sees vocalist M. Shadows channeling Axl Rose circa “Get In The Ring,” spitting loaded lines like “admitting lies can hurt,” a sentiment the current administration should adopt as mantra. However, that track is followed up by “Almost Easy,” a love song showing Shadows’ melodic pipes reaching a whole new level-and the rest of the album follows a similarly confusing pattern.
Although there’s plenty of technical showmanship on Avenged Sevenfold, songs like “Scream” show A7X honing Pantera-esque grooves while the country-tinged acoustic ballad “Dear God” sees Shadows making himself so vulnerable it’s hard to believe he’s the same guy who was calling out “pompous assholes” on the album’s first track. In the end, Avenged Sevenfold is so all over the map musically and lyrically, it’s difficult to decipher whether it’s pure genius or the most convoluted mess of music you’ll hear all year. Either way, we’re banking that if Dick Cheney has an iPod, Avenged Sevenfold will be at the top of his playlist.
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