Avenged Sevenfold (album)

Avenged Sevenfold
Studio album by Avenged Sevenfold
Released October 30, 2007
Recorded 2007 at Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, California, Eldorado Recording Studios, and Burbank & Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California
Length 53:30
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold chronology
City of Evil
Avenged Sevenfold
Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough
Singles from Avenged Sevenfold
  1. "Almost Easy"
    Released: September 18, 2007
  2. "Afterlife"
    Released: January 29, 2008
  3. "Dear God"
    Released: June 15, 2008
  4. "Scream"
    Released: July 14, 2008

Avenged Sevenfold is the fourth studio album by Avenged Sevenfold, released on October 30, 2007 by Warner Bros. Records. The album, originally slated for an October 16 release, was delayed by two weeks in order to provide more time to complete bonus material and production for the record, including the making of the animated music video for the song "A Little Piece of Heaven". The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200.[2] On September 23, 2008, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album has also been released on vinyl. The band supported the album with a tour, beginning a day before the release of the album and ending in 2009.

Although critical reception to the album was mixed compared to previous releases, Avenged Sevenfold won the Kerrang! Award for Best Album in 2008. In addition, the album was included in Kerrang's "666 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". As of 2014, it has sold over 960,161 copies in the United States and 152,123 copies in the United Kingdom.[3]


Avenged Sevenfold revealed the track listing for the album on their YouTube profile on August 9, 2007, as well as their text messaging service, A7X Mobile. The band has also posted a teaser on a recent YouTube blog featuring an excerpt of vocalist M. Shadows screaming in the studio.

On August 17, 2007, a clip was posted with about 2 minutes of their first track on the new album, "Critical Acclaim" on the band's YouTube. The single was later uploaded in its entirety on YouTube and released on the iTunes Store on August 28.

In the weeks leading up to the album's release, a series of ten video clips, called "webisodes", were recorded featuring "Wolfie the Fox". The first webisode was released on August 24, 2007; a 3:41 clip that was posted on the band's YouTube channel. The clip consists of a pre-recorded phone message from "Wolfie the Fox" and a few scenes of their process of making "Critical Acclaim". Each of the subsequent webisodes was similar in content. The clips featured a short mock-interview between M. Shadows and Wolfie the Fox, various band members during the making of various tracks for Avenged Sevenfold, and other background videos. About eleven days before the album's release, the Wolfie Trailer was posted on YouTube. In it, Wolfie sings "Critical Acclaim" and talks about the MVI version of the new album. The webisodes can all be viewed on the band's Myspace and YouTube pages.

By September 9, 2007, news leaked of the completion of a music video for the song "Almost Easy". It was directed by P.R. Brown, known for his collaborations with Mötley Crüe and Marilyn Manson, among many others. On September 12, 2007, the release date of the single "Almost Easy" was announced and was released six days later on September 18 to purchase via digital download.

The month of October was a busy one for the upcoming album. On October 3, Kerrang! released an article in which M. Shadows and Synyster Gates were interviewed about the new album. This day also saw the release of a live performance of "Almost Easy" at the Warped Tour 2007. Originally the band intended to release this footage if viewers watched the official music video for the track on YouTube 150,000 times. Though the goal fell short at 120,000 the band still released the footage. Another live video, featuring the third track "Scream" performed in Liverpool, England was posted on YouTube on October 11. The song was also heard during a commercial for the Scream Awards on Spike TV. M. Shadows can clearly be heard singing, "You know I make you wanna scream," which is an excerpt from the chorus. "Scream" was performed live at the 2007 Spike TV Scream Awards on October 23. Also, LoveLine played the radio premiere of "Afterlife" and "Almost Easy", which was guest hosted by M. Shadows and The Rev. Three days before, the Keyclub revealed an animated music video for "A Little Piece of Heaven".

To promote their new album, Avenged Sevenfold started their US tour on October 29, headlining in Los Angeles, CA at The Wiltern. Their opening acts were Black Tide and Operator.

On October 30, 2007, Avenged Sevenfold was released in stores worldwide.

Music style

The album is more experimental than their other material. It also shows less characteristics of metal heard on their other albums as it moves away from the metal characteristics they have used before.[1][4] It has been considered as a hard rock[1] album with elements of symphonic rock.[5] It also has some elements from gothic rock[1] and country music.[5] It also is considered experimental music.[6] The band worked with brass and string sections on "A Little Piece of Heaven", an avant-garde metal song inspired by Broadway show tunes, in which horns and orchestral strings replaced the band's lead and rhythm guitars.[7] The album features The Rev doing co-lead vocals and backing vocals on songs like Critical Acclaim, Scream, Afterlife, Lost, and A Little Piece Of Heaven.

Reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The A.V. ClubB[9]
Entertainment WeeklyB[11]
Metal Hammer8/10
Rolling Stone[13]

Upon release, Avenged Sevenfold was met with mixed reviews. Metacritic accumulated an average score of 56 out of 100 based on thirteen reviews on the website.[8]

Jason Lymangrover of Allmusic had given the album a rating of three stars out of five and wrote "While their willingness to experiment is admirable, despite the fact that they've gone overboard with their overdubs, the overabundance of studio polish leaves one to wonder if it's not because the songs just aren't as strong this time around".[4] A more positive review came from Andrew Earles of A.V. Club who commented "The catchy Stone Temple Pilots vibe of 'Scream' is enough to put the band back on the charts, but that could happen with more than half of this album…And it probably will". He graded the album a B.[15]

The album wasn't without its more hostile responses. A much more negative review came from Dave de Sylvia of Sputnikmusic summarising "Avenged Sevenfold resemble a poor man's Hardcore Superstar" and rated the album one out of five.[14] Andrew Blackie of PopMatters rated the album two out of ten and dismissed it as being "Unoriginal, overlong even at a ten track setlist, and riddled with banality..." He even went far enough to add "...the disc is even being released the day before Halloween, could it get more corny?"[16]

Despite the mixed reaction the album won the Kerrang! Awards Best Album-award in 2008.

The USC Trojans Marching Band performed the song "Almost Easy" at the Rose Bowl halftime show on January 1, 2009.[17]

Track listing

All songs credited to Avenged Sevenfold.

No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Critical Acclaim"  Matt Shadows, The Rev 5:15
2. "Almost Easy"  The Rev 3:55
3. "Scream"  M. Shadows, Vengeance, The Rev, Christ 4:47
4. "Afterlife"  The Rev 5:54
5. "Gunslinger"  Gates, Shadows, Rev 4:11
6. "Unbound (The Wild Ride)"  Rev, Shadows, Gates 5:11
7. "Brompton Cocktail"  The Rev 4:13
8. "Lost"  Vengeance, Shadows, Gates, The Rev 5:02
9. "A Little Piece of Heaven"  The Rev 8:01
10. "Dear God"  Gates, Christ, The Rev, Vengeance, Shadows 6:33
Total length:


"Critical Acclaim" was the first single from the album. A 2-minute and 15-seconds teaser was posted on the band’s MySpace to tide fans over until the iTunes release date, but on August 20, 2007, Avenged Sevenfold uploaded the full version on their MySpace. The full song was released on iTunes August 28, 2007.[18]

Introduced by a twenty-two second long organ melody followed by a harmonized guitar solo, Critical Acclaim is based around two aggressive guitar riffs—one which is repeated during the verses, the second one after every chorus and before and during the third guitar solo—which pushes back the band’s musical direction much more to the one during their earlier career. This rough song is slightly reminiscent of their metalcore sound, but it more closely shows signs of a more matured hard rock sound.

The song’s lyrical meaning is a criticizing attack on people who, according to the band, are in their turn criticizing the soldiers of the United States of America for engaging in the Iraq War conflict, without trying to find a solution to end the ongoing war. Avenged Sevenfold lead singer Matthew "M. Shadows" Sanders has close friends who have experienced military service in Iraq.

James "The Rev" Sullivan, the band's drummer, provides the vocals for the chorus of the song, as well as some background vocals and screams. After The Rev's passing in 2009, all live performances of this song still feature his vocals (the studio recording of said vocals is played through the speakers) as a way for the band to honor him.

"Almost Easy" was the first official and second overall single from the album. The song was officially released on September 18, 2007 through online music stores such as iTunes, URGE. The song was written by The Rev. In the second chorus the whole band sang simultaneously - all 5 members combined their voices for more of a choir sound, which was shown in the MVI that came along with the album.

The song was included on the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack. It was also available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as of March 6, 2008 and featured again as part of the Avenged Sevenfold track pack for Guitar Hero 5. The song is also featured in Rock Band 2 and Need for Speed: ProStreet. In December 2008 it was announced that the USC Trojan Marching Band would perform the song at the Rose Bowl halftime show on January 1, 2009.[19][20]

The band released a video for "Almost Easy" with director P.R. Brown (Mötley Crüe, Marilyn Manson). The video debuted on Fuse's The Sauce on September 24, 2007 and MTV2's Unleashed on October 1, 2007. The video shows the band playing on a barren wasteland whilst they appear to be aflame. Over a ridge, a huge crowd of hundreds of people appear, walking in a zombie-like fashion towards the band, only to stop at a large gaping hole and jump downwards, into what appears to be Hell. Special effects show some parts where the people have skulls for faces. At the end of the video, when the last person jumps down the cavern, the camera zooms out from the band, showing that the hole the people were jumping into was actually the eye of the band's recognizable logo from the album cover, the "Deathbat".

"Afterlife" was released as the third single from the album. The song itself features a string orchestra and was written again by The Rev. It was voted the best song of the new album on the band's homepage. The single and a live-action music video were released in early 2008. The song is about a man who dies early and finds himself in heaven. Upon entering, he realizes that he has too many things to do on Earth, and to go back and make it right he has to escape from the afterlife. (This part was mentioned by Zachary "Zacky Vengeance" Baker, the band's rhythm guitarist, in the "Making of 'Afterlife'" video).

The music video is directed by Wayne Isham. The violin parts in the album version of the song were cut out of the video, along with the bridge of the song, which features The Rev's vocals. The music video, released on March 12, 2008 consisted of the band performing, on a small stage, a white room with black radiance and shows clips of M. Shadows running shirtless, Zacky Vengeance dancing with a woman, lead guitarist Brian "Synyster Gates" Haner holding a skeleton head in a sea of lit candles, The Rev lying down with a Spider on his face, and bassist Jonathan "Johnny Christ" Seward holding a flock of doves which he sends flying off all at once later in the video.

The song was available as downloadable content for Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5, and was featured in the video game NHL 09. It was released for Rocksmith on October 30, 2012. The song is also available on the game Rock Band Track Pack: Volume 2.[21]

"Dear God" was the fourth single and a notable deviation from the band's usual heavy metal style, taking on more of a country feel. Johnny Christ has stated that the inspiration for the song came from the band's friendship with country act Big & Rich. Their influence can be heard in the background vocals of MuzikMafia member Shanna Crooks.[22]

The music video intersperses parts of the band's live shows, with candid footage of the band backstage in the studio and on their tour bus. The video faded the audio out of the song several seconds after the vocals of the song ended, therefore shortening the length of the song from its original 6:33 span. Shots where a live crowd is singing along with the song was shot at the same concert in Long Beach, California, where their live concert/album DVD, Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough, was shot. The crowd was notified of them being on the video prior to the band coming on stage. The song was played prior to the band coming out and was not actually part of the concert. The video was released to the U.S. on September 30, 2008. It was the last music video to feature Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan before his death.

"Scream" is the fifth and final single which reached number nine on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 26 on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart.[23] It is the second of five singles by Avenged Sevenfold written by M. Shadows. This is also the last single to feature The Rev on drums. It was released on July 27, 2010 as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2 along with "Nightmare" and "Seize the Day".

On October 31, 2008, Avenged Sevenfold mentioned that fans of the band were eligible to make their own music video for the song. The video had to be submitted to YouTube before November 30, 2008. The winner and five runners-up of the contest were announced on December 15, 2008. The winner received a new MacBook Air computer that came with Avenged Sevenfold videos, music, and other items from the band. The winning video was also featured on the Avenged Sevenfold website, MySpace page, YouTube account, and Facebook account. The five runners-up in this contest received a copy of the DVD and CD Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough, signed by the members of the band; in addition, a merchandise pack was also rewarded to these runners-up.[24]



Year Title Chart positions
US Mainstream Rock
US Modern Rock
UK Rock
2007 "Critical Acclaim" - - -→ - -
"Almost Easy" 106 3 6 67 1
2008 "Afterlife" - 11 20 197 1
"Dear God" - - - - 3
"Scream" - 9 26 - -



Avenged Sevenfold
Session musicians


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  2. Katie Hasty. "Eagles Fly Past Britney To Debut At No. 1", Billboard.com, November 7, 2007. Last accessed November 7, 2007
  3. Jones, Alan (September 1, 2014). "Official Charts Analysis: Royal Blood's debut LP lands at No.1 with 65,812 sales". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved November 23, 2015. (subscription required (help)).
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  13. 1 2 "Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
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  17. "Avenged Sevenfold — Critical Acclaim". discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  18. ""USC Trojan Marching Band to Perform Avenged Sevenfold's "Almost Easy" During Rose Bowl Halftime Show"".
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  20. http://www.gamespot.com/rocksmith/videos/rocksmith-avenged-sevenfold-dlc-trailer-6399142/
  21. "Avenged Sevenfold tries out new sounds".
  22. Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - Avenged Sevenfold, Billboard.com, retrieved 12-14-2008.
  23. http://www.avengedsevenfold.com/screamcontestall/
  24. 1 2 3 Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - Avenged Sevenfold Billboard. Retrieved on 12-14-2008.
  25. "AVENGED SEVENFOLD". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 November 2015.

External links

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