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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
(Warner Bros.)
Two stars (Out of four)

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Comments () | Archives (239)

Absolutely disgraceful! How can you put your name next to that crap!? You didnt listen to the album. You watched the music video and a trailer for a video game. And that will OBVIOUSLY tell you everything you need to know about the album. You are whats wrong with society. Open up your freaking mind for once or sign up for competitive writing in the special olympics, retard.

I had to reread this review three or four times before I could believe that this was in fact Mr. Weiss' "review" of the album Nightmare.

I can only describe this piece as incomplete, insulting, and betraying of ignorance on the part of Mr. Weiss. Never have I seen the typical anti-metal buzz-word "satanic" applied so flippantly by a professional critic, nor a failure to research made so apparent. "Presumably" addressing the death of the Rev? Lyrics about alienation and angst? If one opens the CD case and removes the disk, there is a photograph of the band members embracing one another with the words Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan and the years of his life. Mr. Weiss, the entire album is a tribute to their fallen brother! The lyrics are their expression of pain at their terrible loss.

Furthermore, associating the music with a video game that promises to be violent and shows "frightening" militarism that is "pornographic" in its zeal is little more than an attempt to associate this music with violence. Setting aside what is in my opinion a flawed evaluation of the game, it is not as if Avenged Sevenfold had anything to do with the production of the game anyway. That more than 25% of your review is spent painting a terrifying picture of a video game that is in no way relevant to the music displays exactly how little credibility this review has.

Finally, to say that the only people likely to enjoy this record are "tormented teenage boys" was the most personally insulting element of this review. I am a teenage boy. I have listened to and enjoyed this record many times in the past few days. Am I tormented? Not in the least. What about my 60 year old father? He is neither a teenager nor tormented, yet he praised the album and has listened to it nearly as much as I have, despite primarily listening to country music!

Mr. Weiss, your review was, to put it mildly, incomplete and thoughtless. Indeed it was also insulting to me, to the other fans of Avenged Sevenfold, to the band themselves, and most importantly to the memory of the Rev. I for one hope to see this review removed. If not, I hope that you will approach your future reviews of such music with more care or, failing that, say nothing at all.

First off, I am a 28 woman, with a master's in nursing. Hows that for a demographic? Second, your review was onslaught of senseless and poorly written words. Did you actually listen to the album? Jeepers, get some taste.

Reading this review almost made e throw up,it was so bad. Fiest off he barely mentione this album was dedicated to the band losing there drummer. Obviously this guy is narrow minded and g-rated and really needs to broaden his horizons on music if he wants to be a music critic this guy is a joke!

nu metal sucks ! emo-metal visual sucks!
avenged 7fold sucks
long live to power metal , trhash metal , death metal and black metal!!!!!!!!

Not his fault, he doesn't know what it's like losing a friend you've known over 20 years. He can't see the deeper meanings in the best album up to date.

You obviously did not listen to this whole entire album or any of their previous ones. If you did then you would know that they have nothing to do with Nu Metal. Also, I can understand perhaps listing their influences ranging to everything from Mr. Bungle to Metallica (which I found that the song buried alive at one points sounds very similar to Nothing Else Matters, but maybe that's just me) but to compare them to other bands is just wrong. Comparing music is utter crap because each song is always going to be different in some sort of way and if you do actually compare you could at least do it with some one who actually sounds similar to them.

Also I mean you would think that that thing you call a brain inside your head would at least consider the fact that the reason they wrote such dark lyrics was BECAUSE the lost of their "Drummer" as you put it. They wrote dark lyrics because James "The Rev" Sullivan was not their "drummer" he was a brother. If you had done more research on the band you would have known that, you would have known that yes they're from Huntington beach CA AND that they have all been best friends since High School, that they have been a band for over 10 years and Brothers since before then. Might I also suggest that you before you make such a stupid review as this one, you might want to research weather the fan base is going to chew you up and spit you out for doing so.

And last but not least, although I'm excited for it, BLACK OPS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AN ALBUM REVIEW!!!

oh and I think the music speaks for itself when it hits #1 on the Billboard 200

I finally got the new album and I loved it. there were some not-so-good songs, but the majority of it was good. This reviewer just should not be reviewing music he knows nothing about. "synthetic?" Avenged is anything but fake. I've seen them in concert and they're even better live then they are on the album. If this reviewer doesn't like "synthetic" music maybe he should stop listening to justin bieber t-pain and every other pop-star out there, cause they all use auto-tune. So who's really fake? This is the worst review ive ever read, and this guy should be fired for saying that the reason an album is bad is because one of it's songs is on the commercial for a video game.

I don't understand where the review actually occurs, though I appreciate the reviewer's attempts to describe their opinion on the album. Good to see the LA Times sticking up and making a follow-up post describing the outrage caused by the uninformed review above. Unfortunately, not nearly enough to convince me to ever visit the site again.

My review of your review is 0 out of 5 stars! It dosn't even bother me that you don't like the album, but at least give a legitimate review rather then the crap you spewed out. Guess you should stick with reviewing something like the James Taylor album.

As a 24 y/o female, I find this review biased and totally untrue. I love a7x and this album is awesome. To say that only "tormented teenage boys" will appreciate it is very close-minded. I'm a generally happy person but I can still appreciate this work. Besides, they lost their drummer dude. Show some sympathy

This review has failed

Is this some kind of joke? There is no way this can be an actual review. It's written by someone who apparently hates metal? I'm a teenage girl, and I'm definitely not tormented, and I love this album. Do I fit your demographic? Seriously, this is more about Call of Duty and a gory music video. If you don't like it, don't play the game or watch the video! It's as simple as that. Next time you write an album review, make sure you actually, you know, listen to the album and stop hating on one band because you don't care for their genre. How dare you insult this band (and me) in such a manner. Get a life.

This album is actually one of the best in my opinon. I think that the songs really let the listeners know bout how they all hurt after losing The Rev, and Mr. Weiss you really need to find a new job. Reveiwing isn't your suit, considering you obviously have no idea on what you're talking bout.

Wow...I am truly upset by this review. If it can even be called that. I feel that "Nightmare" is much more that what is depicted here and if the person writing this review had a little more insight into the band and how they originally wrote then re-worked some of the lyrics after Jimmy's death, they'd understand what makes it so special. Putting things in there about "COD: Black Ops" and the "Nightmare" video isn't even related to the actual music that you listen to when you play the CD.

This "review" is just a waste of time and space, in my opinion. Let them grieve for their friend and band mate as they see fit. I feel, that this was the perfect representation of doing just that.

Wow...you are the worst example of a music critic. You are not supposed to be biased! When I think of who you are, I imagine a faded gray-haired mid-aged man with no sauce on his plate of life...just dry chicken bones...nothing happy, nothing exciting.
You suck..
This album certainly was too much for you to review. I wish I could insert a voice-clip of Donald Trump and his famous catchphrase..you might know what is...and I hope one day you hear it echo in your narrow mind.

"satanic screams" (Laugh out loud.)

This was written by someone who has no taste in good music. Go listen to Justin Bieber and wish you have a girl friend in your mother's basement.

Man, you did it wrong, soo wrong!

I'm not tormented, nor am I a teenager, and this is a thouroughly enjoyable album.
Clearly you are not a great fan of metal, nor do you know anything about it, or you wouldn't be comparing this to something by Linkin Park. And "satanic screams"? Give me a break.
Please go back to reviewing Eminem's Recovery and save us from your garbage.

You are an idiot my friend. And I mean that in the most demeaning way possible. Obviously you know nothing about music. I bet Nickleback got 4 out of 4 stars huh.

Now look here Jeff Weiss. I don't care if metal if this genre isn't your favorite or if you would choose another pop idol over this band but don't trash on them. I don't think wasting around 1/4 of your review talking about the promo video for Call Of Duty : Black Ops. This band has lost a band member, more specifically a brother while writing this piece of work. Satanic screams? Avalanche drums? I don't think your hypothesis of THREE songs makes the full album review. The song Fiction is pure strings and piano so I don't think you know what you're talking about. You can look at nearly every comment and see that everyone disagrees with you. Linkin Park similarity's? Are you deaf? I don't see the remote trace of Linkin Park in this whole piece. I suggest actually listening to this before you post a hate message about a great band

Wow, you should probably stop writing music reviews, since you clearly have no taste in music, or you're generally just close-minded musically. Which, obviously they shouldn't get someone with this little knowledge of the different genres of music to write a review on what is an amazing album, especially for this genre/style. I agree with many others on this one. One of the worst reviews I have ever read. By the way, the video for Nightmare is practically dedicated to The Rev. His first drumset, the tattoo, the last drumset he played on... Not like you would know anything about that, clearly. I think this should be your last review on music you know nothing about, because this is not showing anything good about you & your review writing.

It's an insult to Avenged Sevenfold, their fans, etc.


Also, I'd like to add that nowhere on this album, aside from ONE song, called God Hates Us (Do you even know what that is?), do I ever hear screaming of any sort.

Tormented teenage boys? Last time I checked, I didn't have a penis. Why bother even writing this piece of garbage when all you were gonna do is be negative? This is Avenged's most heart felt album ever nd the fact that most of the people I know cried when they first heard it proves that you didn't bother to listen to it. Isn't that part of your job? You should be fired nd locked in a basement.

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