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Avenged Sevenfold | City of Evil | review | metal | Lollipop
City of Evil (Warner Brothers)
by Scott Hefflon
It pains me how terrible this CD is. Avenged Sevenfold floored me with Waking the Fallen, a CD I've played almost daily since I got it. AS and Dark Tranquillity I can listen to from end to end and hit repeat and make it through about three times before having to change the CD. (Pop metal fans often can't get passed underground metal's roaring and shrieking, but like sushi, once you develop a taste for it, you open up your palette to a wide variety of tastes you previously lumped under "ick, I don't like that."
City of Evil is a decent but unmemorable record, and that's all there is to it. It's total autopilot work. All style and flashy playing, but not a song worth investing in. The guys can sing and play circles around the Devil in that ol' "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" song, but it's all just notes here. Such a waste. Amazing guitarwork that many of us hope'll get American kids practicing again, cuz metalcore really made guitarists lazy this last decade, focusing on groove more than killer riffs. And this guy can really sing, ya know? He borders dangerously on full-on glam, like that Bang Tango breakdown in "Trashed & Scattered," but you gotta let the fucker belt it out, layer it, repeat it, whatever the hell he wants, cuz again, if he can inspire the kids to learn how to sing and not just yelp'n'whine'n'scream like that emo/screamo crap, it's about time someone showed those lazy little posers how it's done.
Sure, AS fancy eye make-up and tight black tees, but when ya play this well, you can dress like Twisted Sister for all I care.
So the real problem here is the lack of songs. A number of the songs have a bridge or fade out that glimmers and teases, but they're surrounded by filler, by amazingly-played knock-offs of what they've already proven they're capable of. Tons of people worship this band, and if ya heard this without hearing Waking the Fallen, sure, I can see being floored by the style. AS are the best, hands down, at this kind of metal. Sure, Def Leppard put out autopilot pop metal records, it just took them longer to hit their peak and slide. AS can outplay and out-sing Def Leppard on their best day, but Def Leppard at least wrote a few records' worth of great songs before getting lame. Avenged Sevenfold warmed up, put out one great record, then this brilliantly performed knock-off. Let's hope they get it, and can work hard so they don't become clowns like Tommy Lee, someone so clueless and surrounded by ass-kissers that he just doesn't get that he's way passed his prime and has now been a joke longer than he was cool. AS, love ya, but yer shit still stinks, and this songwriting is shit.