While writing my post last week about Musical Imagery, I really wanted to discuss the band Avenged Sevenfold, but ultimately held out on them in favor of Paramore. However, it's interesting that it came down between those two bands to discuss in that post, since I have a similar history with both of them. I discovered both of them via music video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In fact, of all the bands I've been introduced to through gaming, those are still the only two that I've actually went out and bought their albums after the fact. After getting into those bands, I also took a look back at their older stuff. And with both bands, I found their early work to be completely unappealing, so it's probably for the best that I got into them later in their careers.
Unlike Paramore, I wouldn't call myself a particularly big fan of Avenged Sevenfold. I only own two of their albums, City of Evil and Nightmare, and of those two albums, while I can certainly listen to them all the way through, there's only a handful of songs on each that I would actually say that I like. However, that handful of songs just happen to be so good that they've kept this band in constant circulation with me for years now.
Their first song that got me hooked was "Beast and the Harlot". The guitars on that song were just alluring. They sucked me right in and haven't let me go since. I loved the song so much that I went out and bought the album without even hearing any of their other work. I don't do that often, but it really payed off this time.
Their guitars have such a haunting style to them, and their drummer is just absolutely incredible. Their singer admittedly takes a little getting used to, though. He has a strange, almost nasally sort of voice, but it works for them. It's certainly better than their earlier stuff, when he used to just scream all the time. Thankfully, he doesn't do much screaming these days. But this is a band that has really evolved their style and matured with every new release, and the quality of their music has increased substantially as a result as well.
This leads me to their latest album, the emotionally fueled Nightmare, which really is their best work to date. The opening track, "Nightmare", kicks us off with a real bang. It has such a rock-and-roll haunted house feel to it, which sounds like it should be cheesy. And honestly, listening to some of the lyrics (especially the chorus), it really is sort of a cheesy song. Yet this song is just amped up with so much energy and kicks so much ass that you can't help but fall in love with it.
And their ass kicking continues through the next few songs as well, before the album suddenly decides to dial it down and sooth us over a bit with softer, more melodic tunes. This part of the album is where it sort of drags a bit. It's not that the songs are bad, it just sort of goes on for too long at this slower pace. However, all of that is made up for and then some when we make it to the final track.
"Save Me" is truly an epic. It really is the culmination of all of the very best that this band has to give wrapped up in a single song. At over ten minutes in length, you never want it to end, yet it always manages to fly by so quickly. This enchanting song starts off slow and builds up to a momentous display of passion. It's an awe-inspiring finale to an otherwise decent album, and one that only gets better with every listening.
It bares saying again that this song is epic. In fact, this one song alone was what I originally had in mind while writing my Musical Imagery post, as this song has done a number on my imagination. But I felt so bad leaving it off that it actually inspired an entirely new post in the process. So if you get the chance, check this song out and let me know what you think. Even if you're not necessarily a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, it has a certain appeal to where I'd still recommend at least giving this song a shot.