Released: August 26, 2003
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino
How do you take your band from being unknown and overlooked, and turn it into one of the most respected acts of the hard rock scene today? Look upon Avenged Sevenfold and their newest masterpiece “Waking the Fallen” for the answer to that. A7X’s newest cd rivals classic albums from Metallica, Slayer, and Iron Maiden to become one of the greatest metal cds of the new millennium.
The huge draw of A7X is their incredible combination of clean, melodic vocals which become deep and powerful at a moments notice, mixed with excellent musicianship which can fire out songs reminiscent of Pantera, Slayer, and Metallica without thinking twice. Everything that represents first-rate, memorable hard rock/hardcore is present in this cd, but the production on the CD isn’t top notch by any means, even though Mudrock tweaked the knobs here. Even though it isn’t perfect, somehow the raw sound works to A7X’s advantage, and it doesn’t detract from the overall sound at all. Some might say it even adds to it.
Song-wise, there isn’t a single disappointment on the entire cd. Each song offers a unique reason to love the album, ranging from metal “ballads” to headbanging breakdowns of pure adrenaline. “I Won’t See You Tonight” just happens to be one of the greatest metal anthems of all time, without a doubt. Each and every time the song plays, someone always sings along to it, or asks who the band is. It’s a sure sign of quality and shared appreciation amongst music lovers, and most bands will never reach this point of excellence in their short life spans.
This is the album that got these guys later signed to Warner Bros., and after a short time listening to it, you can see why. The album is un-f*cking believably good, and is absolutely one of the best cds to drop in 2003. 7fold is heavy enough to satisfy the metal purist, but also melodic enough to draw in a much bigger and welcoming audience. It’s funny to hear that most of the people who learned about A7X heard them first through playing Madden 2004, but in retrospect it was a genius marketing move to be on that soundtrack. The next album due out later this year will be something a lot of people will be waiting in line for, including myself. Not bad for a band who no one heard of last year. 5.0/5.0 Vin Cherubino