Sunday, 7 September 2008

CD Review: Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, by Avenged Sevenfold (2001)


Avenged Sevenfold's debut CD is an interesting mix of relatively unsophisticated, raw heavy metal talent, combined with some surprisingly complex song arrangements. On the better tracks, the band demonstrate outstanding potential and a level of ambitious innovation that is relatively unique. They play with grand melodies and effective pace changes that most new bands would not venture near. This is all the more impressive given that at the time of recording, the members of Avenged Sevenfold were 18 years old.

The vocals of M. Shadows are one of the distinctive features of the band's sound. On most tracks, he alternates screaming with singing in a brave style that may alienate many. When it works, it is terrific, and on the magnificent Darkness Surrounding, Shadows ends the song by overlaying his screaming and singing voices on the same lyrics -- the result is powerfully hypnotic.

Lips of Deceit is another stand-out track, introducing a memorable staccato lead guitar hook early in the song. The band's relative inexperience shows in their failure to the return to the hook later in the song, but that is a minor quibble.

The other band members do their job effectively and without any fuss or grandstanding. The guitar of Zacky Vengeance generally drives the songs forward without much emphasis on solos (Synyster Gates appears only on the opening track). The Reverend on drums and Dameon Ash on bass provide a strong foundation for all the tracks but for the most part remain respectfully in the background.

The long song list consisting of 13 tracks and about 55 minutes of music is remarkably consistent and generally devoid of fillers. Sounding the Seventh Trumpet is a strong entry onto the heavy metal stage, and a CD full of promise.


Band:

M. Shadows - Vocals
Zacky Vengeance - Guitar
Synyster Gates - Guitar
The Reverend Tholomew Plague - Drums
Dameon Ash - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10)

1. To End The Rapture - (no rating, short intro)
2. Turn The Other Way - 7
3. Darkness Surrounding - 10
4. The Art Of Subconscious Illusion - 8
5. We Come Out At Night - 7
6. Lips Of Deceit - 9
7. Warmness On The Soul - 8
8. An Epic Of Time Wasted - 8
9. Breaking Their Hold - 6
10. Forgotten Faces - 8
11. Thick And Thin - 8
12. Streets - 7
13. Shattered By Broken Dreams - 7

Average: 7.75

Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Donnell Cameron and Avenged Sevenfold
Mastered by Ramon Breton and Avenged Sevenfold

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