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Album review: Avenged Sevenfold's 'Nightmare'

AVENGED-SEVENFOLD_240_ The major labels may continue to wither, but they won't go out without a bang. After all, there's no other way to explain the recent promotional tie-in between the new Avenged Sevenfold track "Welcome to the Family," and its ideological brethren, the ultra-violent video game, "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

Set to a string of explosions, helicopters and assault rifles clutched by solemn young men with shaved heads, the unabashed militarism is frightening and almost pornographic in its zeal. Whether you appreciate the veteran hard rock/metal hybrid depends on your tolerance for spiraling guitars, avalanche drums and satanic screams. Or your inclination to the aesthetic spelled out in the video for lead single "Nightmare," with its bloody and cackling children, experimental surgeries and morbid obsessions. Consider it Edward Gorey as re-conceptualized by Hannibal Lecter and Korn.

Metal doesn't die, it mutates, and sonically, Avenged Sevenfold has cribbed from the usual suspects: Linkin Park and the Nu-Metal school, a little Black Sabbath, and the Orange County punk-thrash that inevitably influenced its formative years. The sincerity is palpable even if the style seems synthetic, particularly on "So Far Away," which presumably addresses the untimely death last year of their drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan.

With imagery haunted by death and lyrical allusions to alienation and angst, Avenged Sevenfold's fifth full-length is almost impossible to appreciate unless you fit the prime demographic: tormented teenage boys.

— Jeff Weiss 

Avenged Sevenfold
"Nightmare"
(Warner Bros.)
Two stars (Out of four)


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Comments () | Archives (239)

This is a horrible review. I've read better stuff written by four year old's. First of all it only talks about two songs and spends most of the time talking about the videos. I get that not everyone will like the album but seriously if your gonna write an album review, write it about the freaking album!!!!!!! I give this review 0 out of 4 stars jackass

Avenged Sevenfold is not "Satanic" and never will be. Whoever this "Jeff" person is, he's reviewing the album as if it was Death Metal. I'm a Death Metal listener so don't bash on me saying "they're not satanic" because I've never said that.

We wrote reviews with far more knowledge and eloquence in my high school newspaper. This guy listens to Michal friggin' Buble probably. How does he have a job?

For some reviews done by knowledgeable music journalists:

http://www.musicreview.co.za/2010/07/28/review-avenged-sevenfold-nightmare/

http://www.primaryignition.com/2010/07/28/avenged-sevenfold-review/

If you think this review is bad, you should read Iann Robonson's review of the album. This major corporate tool Mr. Robinson labeled A7X as "corporate metal." The dude who worked on MTV ! Yes.
So, as you can see, there are worse reviewers than this one. And this one is REALLY bad. I think he likes himself some Black Eyed Peas.

DID THIS GUY EVEN LISTEN TO THE CD?????!!!!!!

One of the worst reviews I've ever read.

Saying the Prime demographic is "Tormented teenage boys" is an insult to all the A7X fans, including me. I have a wide music taste and appreciate any music where you can feel the artist(s) put their heart and soul into their work. This album is one of the best examples of that. If you can't appreciate different genres of music, because obviously you don't enjoy metal, why are you doing music reviews?

Mr Weiss.. not so wise

I thought journalism was supposed to be a tough field to get into? Why is this guy writing a review for this album for a major newspaper? I might as well start writing reviews for the only genre of music I don't listen to: Country. Seriously, why hire a guy who dismisses anything with screaming to write a review for a metalcore album? Metalcore is a genre filled with bad albums, but this is definitely one of the best metalcore albums, and possibly A7X's best yet.

Wow this guy has to be embarrassed, everybody (A7x fans and non A7x fans alike) have completely trashed this review. This review might be as bad as the one on the "News Review". You might want to think about another profession cause being a music critic doesn't seem to be working for you.

I think Graeme Lunn's review in the previous comments should replace by this garbage.

I second THAT!! Graeme Lunn's review was lightyears beyond Jeff Weiss's ability to comprehend in music! Jeff, just hit copy over his comment and then paste!!! Its really easy! then send Graeme a Thank you LETTER!

Hey, Jeff. I'm a 31-year-old HR director at the hospital where I work. So much for the "prime demographic" theory, eh? Here's MY theory: You're one of these musically closed-minded individuals who listens to whatever mainstream radio shoves down your throat. As a result, you lack the ability to appreciate new ideas, and in this case, true talent. What a shame.

Is this a video game review or music review? Because this has to be the worst explanation of what an album has to offer. Avenged sevenfold is one of the most all around talents up to date!

You're entitled to not enjoy the album, but to say a song "presumably addresses the untimely death of their drummer" really dampens your credibility. It would take three seconds on Google to learn the reason behind all of the death and angst on the album - their drummer died.

I appreciate negative reviews, but sir, at least pretend to be a valid source of information and not a teenage boy in my classroom who refuses to read the book in front of him out of some misplaced rebellion.

How can this even be called a review? Maybe you should learn how to write proper reviews before you go vomiting up your biased garbage.

One, Call Of Duty had NOTHING to do with the album. Sure, Welcome To The Family was used in a video that featured the game, but that doesn't mean half of your "review" should point that out.

Two, of course the album was themed with death! They just lost their drummer, their friend, their brother. Do a bit of research as to why it was such a dark album.

Three, obviously your opinion is completely wrong. This album touches so many people, no matter their age or gender. Again, with a little research, you could see how diverse this fanbase really is.

Speaking of research, maybe you should Google "how to write a CD review" while you're at it.

Lastly, your "review" is almost impossible to appreciate unless you fit the prime demographic: lazy, cranky bigots who aren't open to music.

I'm borrowing a quote from a friend that perfectly sums up how I feel about this review.

"I have a severe allergy to idiots and stupid people and anyone else that does or says stupid crap for no reason."

Next time you want to review a metal album, you need to do your homework about what a metal album should be. Nightmare is an amazing album and should be winning all kinds of awards and the only thing that will stop it are morons like you who wouldn't know good music if they heard it. Your "album review" has almost nothing to do with the album itself. Sure you mentioned a few songs in passing, but there was no in depth discussion about any of them. What about the chilling sound of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan's vocal track being used on Fiction? Or the fact that every single thing on the album was done in his memory? Did you even stop to think about how hard it was for those guys to finish an album that they began writing with their brother just to make sure that his last contributions to the band reached their fans? All you seem to care about is the fact that ONE song was used in Call of Duty: Black Ops. And, as a long-time fan of both Linkin Park and Avenged Sevenfold, saying that the A7X album 'cribbed' from them is completely idiotic. Especially when you give no proof at all of the statement. Where is there a rap/metal combination at all on this album? My suggestion to the LA Times is that the next time they have a metal album that needs to be reviewed, they give the assignment to someone that actually knows what metal is. Maybe then we'll get a decent review instead of a handful of throw-away statements that have almost nothing to do with the album in question. Stop focusing so much on what video games decide to use a song and actually listen to the song instead. The lyrics might just make you use that brain that I'm assuming you have.

Realy, worst review ever. Ultra violent video game (cod black ops) guess you're a noob to the game world, there's like the minimal amount of blood and no dismemberment. As for sadistic screams, the rev wasn't exactly a saint. The music is played from the heart. The music wasn't written for the rev but by him(a7x.com). The music tributes fallen soldiers and such the album's production was the tribute. This reviewer should stick to chick flicks and such seeing as how he was so sensitive and all...

Did you listen to any of the songs? I can understand people not liking shadows voice ( even though i like it), but the guitar and drums are unbelievable on this record

Being the tormented teenage boy that I clearly have been labeled, I would like to say that this album is simply excellent. I'm not quite sure wether it was the "satanic screams" or quite possibly the "avalanche of drums" that sucked me into this album, or maybe a combination of the two. It could possibly be the fact that I am a tormented teenager with an endless sea of troubles which left me no where to run but to this album as my scapegoat. In reality, this album is simply excellent. Regardless of Jefferys inaccurate depiction of the album, if you have not already done so, go out and buy it. It's worth every penny.

Sooo...I'm 22, enrolled in the pre-law program at the university I attend, a rabid a7x fan, and a girl. Do I still fall into that category of tormented teenage boys?? Not only was your poorly written review an insult to the band and the family of the recently deceased Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, but it's insulting to me as well. You obviously despise the genre of metal in general, and used this poor excuse of a review as a means to attack the fanbase and artists so passionately invested in it. Here's an idea, go comment on something you actually understand...like PETA or Greenpeace. I doubt you even listened to the album, your review revolved around music video and "Call of Duty" anyway. At least change the title of your "review" to something relevant, like "Why I Wish Metal Would Die."

What an absolute terrible, and unprofessional review. By the sounds of this article, you didn't even listen to half the songs, let alone all of them. You cannot review an album soley based on two songs you have heard from a video game, and a music video. That's just very closed-minded and lazy. And the fact that you didn't even try to research the reason behind this album and why it's so emotional is terrible since you bashed them for the entire reason behind the reason this album is the way it is. This album is so emotional, and it pulls on your heart strings because you can feel the grief in the music for their fallen brother, it has nothing to do with being satanic or for 'tormented teenage boys'

I'm twenty-three years old and a Veterinarian Technition from Australia and I have been listening to Metal and Rock from a very young age which is fortunate for me, and I have been in love with Avenged Sevenfold since mid 2000, and to even compare them to any band like Linkin Park is absolutely ludacris! They aren't even remotely the same music. Perhaps you should sit back, and enjoy music more and not be so close-minded about what you listen to then you may feel, and understand/enjoy the reason behind the lyrics and the music.

I feel that this review was not a fair assment in the least. I feel that the people that are chosen to review albums must be able to put aside thier own personal taste in music to give a fair impartial review. I have listened to the entire album and your review is not fair in the least. The obvious emotion poured into this entire album should be able to make the most traditional of people see the anguish that they feel for the loss of their bandmate and brother, James "the rev" Sullivan. I also am personally insulted by the statement that i must be a "torrmented teenage boy". I am a proud African-american, I live in what was voted "one of the 100 best places to live" and i attened one of the "top 100 highschools" in the country. I have a loving family. Besides my inability to get a girlfriend, I love my life. I am far from some "torrmented teen boy". So when reviewing music, please keep your opinions of the music and its fans impartial. Thank you

Let's hope Jeffery can appreciate this sort of music when he graduates from middle school and becomes a tormented teenage boy. I determined from your inability to write more than 2 sentences actually relevant to the album that either you are currently in the seventh grade or your abilities as a writer peaked there. I learned more about "Call of Duty' than I did the actual album being reviewed. I am inclined to believe you didn't even listen to this album, presumably because you were too busy listening to "california girls" on repeat and participating in some sort of exercise involving a rope around your neck and depraved self abusive sexual gratification.

Since your review lacks any sort of structure resembling an actual review and you saw fit to grade something you did not understand and assign it a number value without any justification for doing so, I give your review a half star out of four stars.

P.S. Times editors, THIS IS WHY NOBODY IS READING NEWSPAPERS ANYMORE.

I disagree with this review on many levels. This album is definetly not for anyone who does not like alternative music. However, for those who do, such as me who is not a teeneage boy, appreciates the album. I am actually a mid twenties female and enjoy this albm as well as any other avenged album. Therefore, Jeff you are wrong abot most aspects of your review. Give it another listen.

 
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