•                                  City Of Evil

                                       *All songs written by Avenged Sevenfold except where noted.

    City of Evil is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold released on June 6, 2005 by Warner Bros. Records. Co-produced by Andrew Murdock, City of Evil contains a more hard rock and classic heavy metal sound than Avenged Sevenfold,s previous two albums, which showcased a predominantly metalcore sound. The album is also notable for the absence of screaming vocals. M.Shadows worked for months before the album's release with vocal coach Ron Anderson, whose clients have included Axl Rose and Chriss Cornell, to achieve a sound that had
    ''grit while still having the tone''.

    The album contains some of Avenged Sevenfold's most popular and famous songs, including ''Bat Country'', ''Beast and the Harlot'', '' Burn it Down , and '' Seize the Day'', all four of which were released  as singles between June 2005 and July 2006. City of Evil was very successful after its release, debuting at #30 on the Billboard 200 chart and certified as a platinium record by the Recording Industry Association of America in August 2009. It went on to sell over 1,500,000 copies in the United States, and 2,500,00 total worldwide, making it the best-selling album out of Avenged Sevenfold's discography as of 2010. Also, it is the band's longest studio effort , at 72:52 minutes.( 01:00:52)

    ''Betrayed'' is a song written for the death of tge lead guitarist of Pantera, Dimebag Darrell killed in a show by a fan in 2004.

    ''Bat Country'', '' Beast and the Harlot'' and '' Seize the Day'' , were also released as music videos, directed by Marc Klasfeld, Tony Petrossian, and Wayne Isham, repectively. The Rev performs backing vocals on the tracks ''Bat Country'', ''Strenght of the World'', and ''M.I.A.''

    The album title is derived from a lyric in the song, '' Beast and the Harlot''.


     *certified as a platinium record by the Recording Industry Association of America in August 2009


    Previously, Avenged Sevenfold had written and released two albums, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet in 2001 and Waking The Fallen in 2003, under theHopeless Records label.Although neither album was a smash hit, the latter has been certified gold by the RIAA. 
    Waking The Fallen attracted several major record labels to the band, and eventually they signed with Warner Bros. Records after consideration of several others.

    Musical Changes

    When they began to write the album, Avenged Sevenfold turned to their influences for a change in style. Realizing that none of their favorite bands were as heavy or extreme as them, they decided to change from metalcore to a more classic hard rock/heavy metal sound with few metalcore influences. "When we started working on this record, we said, 'You know what? None of our favorite bands are super extreme, they just write really good melodic songs that are still heavy," said singer M. Shadows in an interview.

    M.Shadows' vocals changes

    Shadows turned to Ron Anderson, a vocal coach that had previously worked with Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. Shadows was specifically looking to add a more gritty, raspy tone to his voice and worked with Anderson for several months on this before City of Evil was

    ''Ron taught me how to have that grit  to my voice while still having the tone. He brought all of that to the table and he brought that technique to my voice. I've worked with him for about a year and a half now, but I worked with him for nine months before the record,'' said Shadows, ''I told him that I want my voice to sound different from everybody else, but I wanted those characteristics in my voice...It was one of those things that we just wanted to go all the way with it.''

    After the release of the album rumors spread tha Shadows had lost his ability to scream due to throat surgery he had needed after Warped Tour 2003. Produced Andrew Murdock put down these rumors by saying '' When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet... Matt handed me the CD, and he said to me , 'This record's screaming. The record we want to make... is going to be half-screaming and half singing. I don't want to scream anymore... the record after that is going to be all singing.'''


    City of Evil features most of the songs that Avenged Sevenfold has made videos for. On May 4, 2005, they released a promotional video for "Burn It Down", which was done in the same way as "Unholy Confessions" from Waking the fallen (live footage with dubbed music). On July 28, 2005, their first professional video for a song on the album, "Bat Country", was released. It was directed by Marc Klasfeld. On February 6, 2006, "Beast and the Harlot" was released. This was a few weeks after it had been leaked on YouTube. It was directed by Tony Petrossian. Most recently, on June 30, 2006, the video for "Seize the Day" was released on Avenged Sevenfold's MySpace. The video was directed by Wayne Isham.


    The album debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard 200 selling over 30,000 copies. Rolling Stone praised the guitar work, giving the album three out of a possible five stars. Johnny Loftus of Allmusic rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of five and commented''... Avenged sevenfold gets all the pieces right, and sound like they're having more fun here than in the scattershot approach of the first couple records''. British magazine Metal Hammer gave the album an eight out of ten rating with Katie Parsons concluding ''They have done it their way, they're having fun and who the hell can blame them?''.

    In addition, ''Bat Country'' was one of the breakout singles of 2005, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, and No. 1 on MTV's Total Request Live. The album was ranked No. 63 on Guitar World magazine'S ''100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time''. Additionally, the band won Best New Artist at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, beating out Rihanna, Panic! at the Disco, James Blunt, Angels & Airwaves and Chris Brown.

    Band Member

    M.Shadows - Vocals
    Synyster Gates - Lead Guitar
    Zacky Vengeance - Guitar
    Johnny Christ - Bass
    The Rev - Drums


    • Produced by Murdock and Avenged Sevenfold, with additional production by Fred Archambeault and Scott Gilman
    • Mixed by Andy Wallace
    • Pro Tools by John O'Mahony, assisted by Steve Sisco
    • Mastered by Eddie Schreyer
    • Additional vocal production by Synyster Gates and M.Shadows
    • Orchestration by Scott Gilman, Synyster Gates, and M.Shadows
    • Drum Tech - Mike Fasana
    • Guitar Tech - Stephen Ferrara-Grand

    Additional Musicians

    • Brian Haner, Sr. - additional guitars , pedal steel guitar, acoustic guitar solo left on '' Sidewinder''
    • Synyster Gates - Piano on the '' Beast and the Harlot'' , ''Sidewinder''
    • The Rev - Piano on ''Seize the Day''
    • Synyster Gates - Additional Vocals on ''Seize the Day''
    • Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ, The Rev - Additional Vocals on ''Strenght of the World''


    • Violinist - Samuel Fischer (Soloist), Mark Roberston, Songa-Lee Kitto, Sam Formicola, Bruce Dukov, Alan Grunfeld, Larry Greenfield, Liane Mautner
    • Violist - David Walther, Matthew Funes, Alma Fernandez
    • Cellists - Victor Lawrence (soloist), David Low, David Mergen


    • Choir leader - Jeannine Wagner
    • Choir performers - Zachary Biggs, Colton Beyer-Johnson, Josiah Yiu, Nathan Cruz, Stephen Cruz, C.J Cruz, Sean Sullivan, Alan Hong, Nico Walsh, Sally Stevens


    Burn It Down (June 12, 2005)
    Bat Country (September 26, 2005)
    Beast and The Harlot (March 6, 2006)
    Seize The Day (July 7, 2006) 

                                 Burn It Down Single

    "Burn It Down" is a song by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, the song was released as the first single from their third album City of Evil.

    As opposed to their other released videos from City of Evil, such as "Bat Country" which features a performance as well as a scenario running with the song, "Burn It Down" simply features the bands live performance of the song, however the audio itself is not live but the album track synced over the live video with the exceptions of the first and last few seconds. The song features a mix of guitar technique highlighted by the dueling arpeggios at the beginning of the song and the famous heavy metal technique the gallop in the first verse. The song is lyrically taking perspective from someone who has been betrayed time and time again, and will take no more ("Don't need you fuck camaraderie") and vows revenge ("Hatred fuels my blood"). The song "Beast and the Harlot", which is the previous song on the album, segues into Burn it Down.

    Burn It Down was also featured in the Saw III soundtrack.

    Band Member

    M.Shadows - Lead Vocals
    Synyster Gates - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
    Zacky Vengeance - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
    Johnny Christ - Bass
    The Rev - Drums, Backing Vocals

                                                            Burn It Down Vinyl

                                     Bat Country Single

    "Bat Country" is the title of a song by American metal band Avenged Sevenfold. The song was released in August 2005 as the second single from their third album, City of Evil. Avenged Sevenfold won 'Best New Artist' at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards for "Bat Country" and on October 1, 2009, the single was certified gold by the RIAA.

    Background And Content

    The song's main influence comes from Hunter S. Thompson's 1971 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the title itself also comes from a line from the book in which Raoul Duke, the alter-ego pseudonym of Thompson himself, is on his way to Las Vegas while being affected by various drugs, and thus hallucinates, seeing huge bats and manta rays in the sky. With this, he gasps to his companion and attorney, Dr. Gonzo, "We can't stop here. This is bat country."

     The following quote, also included at the beginning of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is referred twice throughout the song (at the beginning and the bridge before the last chorus) and is shown at the beginning of the music video.

    "He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." - Dr. Johnson

     Also referenced in the song, is a lyric derived from the final words spoken about Dr. Gonzo at the end of the film adaptation. The lyric is used at the end of the second breakdown of the song, as the final lyric of the song.

    "There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." - Raoul Duke

    In Popular Culture

    The song has been used in several video games including EA Sports' NHL 06, Madden NFL 06, SSX on Tour, Saints Row 2, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, as downloadable content for Rock Band and Rock Band 2, the iPhone application Tap Tap Revenge 3 and on the newer version Tap Tap Revenge 4. The song is featured on the soundtrack to the extreme mountain bike film New World Disorder 7: Flying High Again.

    The song appeared on an episode of the FOX TV series Bones entitled "The Superhero in the Alley". It is also appeared briefly in the film comedy Big Momma's House 2.

    Music Video

    The music video resembles parts of the movie Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. The video for this song shows various symbolic images and references to the above-mentioned Thompson book. The song centers around the band performing in a hotel room. There are also cuts to a scene in which the band is driving down a barren highway in a bat-winged Cadillac convertible, surrounded by a cloud of bats (who are being swatted by Zacky and The Rev). While in the car they see Johnny Christ on the side of the road trying to get a ride, and they pick him up. During the "soft" section, the band appears at a strip club, surrounded by snake-tongued strippers. Also, it's implied that the video is partially a hallucination.

    If one were to examine closely, the words on M. Shadows' shirt appear to change between "Why Disneyland" and "If you have Amsterdam". The shirt actually says "Why Disneyland if you have Amsterdam?" at one point in the song. It changes back afterward. During Synyster Gates' and Zacky Vengeance's guitar solo/duo, the bats that fly into the sky are sometimes not there. The regular people sometimes appear to have a disfigured face. During the video's commentary by Avenged Sevenfold on their All Excess DVD, the band says that the bats hallucination was actually due to a lack of funds. However, whether or not they were being serious or joking is not clarified.

    The music video, which was filmed around Las Vegas, still receives considerable airplay on many channels. As Shadows says, the band members live close to Las Vegas. Synyster Gates commented at 2:47, 'You put all of us in the car, and that's basically what you have.'

     Charts And Sales

    Peak Position

    Chart (2005-2006)Peak
    U.S. Billboard Hot 100 60
    U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
    U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 6


    CountryCertificationDateSales certified
    U.S. Gold October 1, 2009 500,000 +

    Band Member

    M.Shadows - Vocals
    Synyster Gates - Lead Guitar
    zacky Vengeance - Guitar
    Johnny Christ - Bass
    The Rev - Drums


    • Produced by Andrew Murdock
    • Music Video directed by Marc Klasfeld
    • Artwork by Cam Rackam

                                                    Bat Country Single

                                    Beast and the Harlot Single

    "Beast and the Harlot" is a song by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, the song was released as a single taken from their third album City of Evil. The song peaked at #19 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, #47 on the UK Singles Chart., and #1 on the UK Rock Chart in 12 March 2006.

    The actual song is about the fall of Babylon from the Book of Revelation (particularly chapter seventeen), from which many quotes are taken, such as "Seven headed beast, ten horns raise from his head", "hatred strips her and leaves her naked", and other references. The Harlot referred to in the song is Great Babylon, quoted in the song, "Fallen now is Babylon the great." On Avenged Sevenfold's All Excess DVD, Tony Petrossian, who directed the video, says that M. Shadows' lyrics for this song about the fall of Babylon is comparing Babylon to Hollywood, showing many Hollywood clichés such as the young, innocent boys being corrupted and losing their souls. In the music video the Harlot was played by actress Elizabeth Melendez.


    The song is one of the first songs recorded with singer M. Shadows' different vocal style avoiding unclean vocals as well as a more hard rock sound as opposed to their previous work, with heavy and fast riffs and a relatively normal song structure (with the exception of the guitar solo, which comes after the first chorus rather than the second, atypical of a three verse song).

    The song's rapid main riff was voted as the 14th greatest riff ever by the guitar magazine Total Guitar in March 2007. Total Guitar wrote: "The main riff to Beast and the Harlot is a great piece of dropped-D riffing with Zacky and Synyster cleverly placing the second part of the riff across the beat to create an aggressive syncopated feel, once again avoiding all the usual metal clichés."

    The song is featured in the soundtrack of the video games Burnout Revenge, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Smash Hits and Rock Band 3. The version in Guitar Hero II is a cover version, while Smash Hits and Rock Band 3 feature the master recording. The song was also featured in The Real World Road Rules reunion. The cover art for the single of the song was done by Avenged Sevenfold's close friend Cam Rackam.


    Shadows and the songwriting crew drew heavily from Biblical literature, history, and old literature, including, as previously mentioned, segments of the Book of Revelation, as well as Dante's Divine Comedy of Hell. Historically, the sexually deviant queen of Babylon provided the basis for the song, as well as the recurring theme of sexual temptation in the music video.

    The seven headed beast with 10 horns, which is referred to many times in the song, is the anti-Christ. Since Babylon collapsed, ("fallen now is Babylon the great") presumably because of its moral deficiencies, it can be assumed that Dante and Shadows were correct.

    The black tar which represents the departed soul in the corrupted victims in the video is derived from Dante's 5th Malebolge in Hell. The demons wreck the sinners (in that case, those who betrayed the church) with hooked spears.

    Band Member

    M.Shadows - Lead Vocals
    Synyster Gates - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
    Zacky Vengeance - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
    Johnny Christ - Bass, Backing Vocals
    The Rev - Drums, Backing Vocals


    • Produced by Andrew Murdock
    • Artwork by Cam Rackam

                               Seize The Day Single

     "Seize the Day" is a song by Avenged Sevenfold, the song is released as the fourth single from their third album City of Evil. "Seize the Day" has been released on July 27, 2010 as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2 along with "Nightmare" and "Scream".

    Music Video

    Directed by Wayne Isham, the video depicts a couple, of which the man is the frontman and vocalist of Avenged Sevenfold, Matt "M. Shadows" Sanders, and his wife (real life girlfriend at the time) Valary DiBenedetto, in love and expecting a child. Matt's friends (the rest of the band) come to his house and invite him to go out with them, which is later revealed to be a robbery. They go and rob a liquor store. In the process, Matt gets caught by the police while the others drive off, leaving him behind. Matt goes to jail and his wife comes to visit him. They get into a fight. While driving home, she is killed in a traffic accident. A funeral scene follows, and her casket is lowered into the ground. Synyster Gates is shown playing the song's guitar solo on top of her casket, but is also in the crowd. In this scene, a lady can be seen holding an infant, presumably Matt's prematurely born child saved during his mother's death. After the funeral, Matt is in jail suffering and remembering all the good memories he has of his wife. At the end of the video, Matt is at her grave, and the rest of the band comes over to him along with a small boy. Matt picks up the boy and they all walk away.

    The video tells a story, similar to the Guns N' Roses' video 'November Rain'. M. Shadows said, "It's not us driving around in cool cars and just chilling, you know? It has a story and Guns N' Roses did those videos the best. It wasn't about looking cool and being flashy, it was about being real and showing the scenario and being true to the video."

    "We wanted to do a more emotional video this time", Shadows explained. "We have a lot of strippers and stuff like that in our other videos, so we wanted to be much more serious. It's about taking the people you love and holding them close. You make some mistakes in life and that can all be taken away from you in two minutes, so you have to think twice about your actions. It's about seizing the day and keeping those you love close and not messing up."

    Rumors circulated that the boy at the end of the video was actually Shadows' and Valary DiBennedetto's, but the boy in the video was Wayne Isham's son.

    Band Member

    M.Shadows - Lead Vocals
    Synyster Gates - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
    Zacky Vengeance - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
    Johnny Christ - Bass
    The Rev
    - Drums, Piano, Backing Vocals


    • Produced by Andrew Murdock
    • Music video directed by Wayne Isham
    • Artwork by Cam Rackam

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