Avenged Sevenfold - Sounding The Seventh Trumpet
Avenged Sevenfold's Sounding The Seventh Trumpet has got to be the most underrated record of 2001. And to some extent, understandably so. Avenged Sevenfold have a unique sound that is so unreal, to the point where it will shy away even some of the most experienced and learned hardcore connoiseurs. Maybe it's so good that most musicians just get jealous and act like they've never heard this record... wouldn't surprise me one bit. In any case, thankful are we who have seen the light in Avenged Sevenfold. This 52:15 minutes record has procured me just as much entertainment and inspiration as the rest of my private collection put together... I'm serious! This is one of those albums that will remain on my playlist for YEARS to come, even after their future releases; yes, I'm holding my breath. This Californian outfit will never cease to amaze me, from their pounding newschool riffs to their fast punk rock inspired passages; not to mention the Misfits-esque attitude that surrounds everything they do like an unhealthy aura. Now that I've properly introduced who Avenged Sevenfold are and what I think about them, it's time we get into the infinity of details which make up this masterpiece. Avenged Sevenfold represent an amalgalm of each different type of underground extreme music, put together with finesse and elegance. The record starts out with an instrumental song, To End The Rapture. which features beautiful sung vocals and piano, both are about to become recurring themes in the songs to follow. If you let your guard down, Turn The Other Way WILL scare the hell out of you since it swiftly fades in. It is a mostly mid-tempo track, with lots of guitar harmonics and stop-n-go parts. Here we are introduced to the spine chilling vocals of Matt Shadows... he hits again with those sung vocals near the end... ouch! Track 3 is named Darkness Surrounding, I am guessing it is the most popular Avenged Sevenfold song since it's how I discovered them on MP3.com, and it was also used as promotional material off both Avenged Sevenfold's and Hopeless Records' websites at some point. It is a good way for the uninitiated to get a feel of what A7X sound like. Reverend Tholomew Plague is let loose in a drum head smashing fury towards the middle of the song... always amazing! The Art Of Subconscious Illusion starts out in a very punkrockesque fashion, but soon returns to the usual A7X style. In fact I shouldn't say that, since punk rock parts are actually used a lot in their style. The conclusion to this song goes on and on in an epic fashion, with lots of climbing guitar bridges, they know how to put on the good kind of pain. Enter my favorite song off the record... Lips Of Deceit... epic guitar lines and oozin aaahs greet us as we are about to be blown to smithereens by one of the most punishing fast part ever written by a hardcore band. It's a shame it's so short... call me sado-masochistic, but I need more of this headbanging pain, and 40 seconds just isn't enough! Ahh... I can sense the band feeding off our pain as we mindlessly play this part over and over again. The rest of the track is just as mind-numbingly incredible, with more of those great Greg Graffin/Bad Religion inspired oozing ahhs... you've never heard the term "oozin aahs" before??? LEAVE THIS SITE AT ONCE! The second Greg Graffin / Avenged Sevenfold reference for me comes with the next song, Warmness On The Soul, an amazing ballad which might remind you of Guns'N'Roses' November Rain, but as far as I'm concerned, it's all about Mr. Graffin's American Lesion. An Epic Of Time Wasted is next, quickly sets the listener back into the fast mosh pace, and doesn't let go. Lots of varied parts all over. Breaking Their Hold was such a surprise! The riffs are definitely evil, much more so than any other actually. Just over 1 minute, this is one incredibly short track compared to 5 to 7 minutes average. Fast and twisted! Forgotten Faces is obviously a song about dealing with death, as the title and lyrics give it away. It's kinda short too, but very well composed regardless. Thick And Thin is another surprising song, which once again starts out with punkrock/NOFX style riffs, but fairly soon breaks it down really hard. I'm pretty sure the lyrics speak out against the drama bullshitters at hardcore shows, telling them to get the fuck out and that kids should stand their ground in light of their presence. Compared to the rest of the lyrics which are mostly of the poetic/abstract genre, this hardcore family/brotherhood song comes off as definite in-your-face material. I love it! Streets is definitely Avenged Sevenfold's nod to California hardcore... there's not one screamed part, not one metal riff, just balls out speed, clean guitar with bass following it one chord after the other. It comes off sounding a lot like something Ignite would do, especially if we think about their latest release. But it has the trademark A7X clean vocals, something that very few bands will ever manage to achieve. I have a feeling this song was written by a band previous to A7X, either way I applaud them for having put the song on the record, it's a great way to achieve variety, and it fits in with the rest very smoothly. Much could be said about the closing track, Shattered By Broken Dreams... it is a 7 minutes long epic song which starts out with a really emotional sung part, with clean guitar and relaxing percussions played in the back. It switches to pure metal after 2 minutes, punk rock at 5 minutes and a very "happy" finale... efficiently bringing Sounding The Seventh Trumpet to an end which will leave the listener puzzled beyond belief... "how the hell did they do that?" and reaching for the repeat button. There you have it, a complete review of one of my top discoveries of early 2002. I might be a little late with it, but it sounds like a lot of people were, since Hopeless Records managed to release the record succesfully a second time, in March 2002. Elitists might complain that Avenged Sevenfold made the move to this rather "commercial" label, after having been on such a great label as Goodlife Recordings, but truth is, this means more Avenged Sevenfold records are on the way!! Already they have released a new track on the new "Hopelessly Devoted To Yo" sampler, simply amazing new song, which proves their style is solid and that they can exploit it for years to come. At least I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!