• Avenged Sevenfold

    Avenged Sevenfold is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band 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. On September 23, 2008, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album has also been released as a vinyl. The band supported the album with a tour, beginning a day before the release of the album and ending in 2009.

    Avenged Sevenfold is the last full-length studio album produced by the band before The Rev's death which occurred on December 28, 2009, just two weeks before the band was to commence recording their follow-up album Nightmare. His vocals are recorded in all of the songs on the album. Although critical reception to the album was mixed compared to previous releases, Avenged Sevenfold won the Kerrang! award for Best Album in 2008.


    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.


    During production the band had taken great freedom in exploring different genres and styles of rock and heavy metal music. A noticeable difference between Avenged Sevenfold and City of Evil is that some of the songs take a slower pace and tempo to suit a more hard rock approach, a decision that was met with mixed responses within the fan base.

    "Critical Acclaim" is the opening track on the album and features a gothic style organ in the intro. During the band's tour this song was a very frequent opener. "Almost Easy" is the second song on the album and features a thrash metal style reminiscent of City of Evil. The song also contains a keyboard overdub played by Greg Kusten. Other songs on the album contained overdubs for extra detail such as "Unbound (The Wild Ride)", which featured a background choir (this song has never been performed live), String quartet orchestras are featured in "Afterlife" and "Brompton Cocktail", the latter which was written by The Rev. "Scream" also contained overdubs in its bass line for extra detail. "Lost" made use of a vocoder and the song "Dear God" is a country rock ballad.

    The most experimental song on the album is "A Little Piece of Heaven", which was originally written by The Rev while he took a break from the recording sessions. It is an avant-garde metal song but is influenced by Broadway show tunes and the work of Danny Elfman, using primarily brass and stringed instruments to take over most of the role of the lead and rhythm guitar. The song tells the story of a man and woman in a happy relationship, but when the man proposes to her, she laughs in his face. Out of anger the man kills her. Soon after that, the man realizes that he loved the woman so much, he couldn't cope with the fact that he killed her, so he resorts to necrophilia. Eventually, the woman comes back from the dead, takes back her body, and kills the man the same way he did to her. She winds up forgiving him and they both get happily married in the afterlife. It is one of the band's darker and more humorous songs lyrically and is a fan favorite. Although it has never been released as a single, the band released an unofficial animated video of the song, which plays during live performances.


    Upon release, Avenged Sevenfold was met with mixed critical reaction not only from critics but also within the fanbase. Metacritic accumulated an average score of 56 out of 100 based on thirteen reviews on the website.

    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". 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.

    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.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?"

    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.

    Track Listing

    1. "Critical Acclaim"   M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, The Rev  
    2. "Almost Easy"   The Rev  
    3. "Scream"   M. Shadows  
    4. "Afterlife"   The Rev  
    5. "Gunslinger"   M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, The Rev  
    6. "Unbound (The Wild Ride)"   M. Shadows, The Rev, Synyster Gates  
    7. "Brompton Cocktail"   The Rev  
    8. "Lost"   Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, M. Shadows, The Rev  
    9. "A Little Piece of Heaven"   The Rev  
    10. "Dear God"   Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ, M. Shadows  


    YearTitleChart positions
    US Hot
    Mainstream Rock
    2007 "Critical Acclaim"(August 28, 2007) - - - - -
    "Almost Easy" (September 18, 2007) 106 3 6 67 1
    2008 "Afterlife" (January 29, 2008) - 11 20 197 1
    "Dear God" (June 15, 2008) - - - - 3
    "Scream" (July 14, 2008) - 9 26 - -


    • The Making of Avenged Sevenfold
    • The Making of Avenged Sevenfold (animated short)
    • "A Little Piece of Heaven" (animated music video)
    • "Crossroads" B-side (song)
    • Studio tour
    • Producer for a Day
    • Pre-encoded MP3s for all tracks
    • Future Avenged Sevenfold updates (e.g. songs, videos, etc.)
    • Making of "Afterlife" video
    • "Afterlife" (live) from the band's new CD/DVD

    Band Member

    M. Shadows
    vocalsSynyster Gates – lead guitarZacky Vengeance – guitarJohnny Christ – bassThe Rev – drums


    • Produced by Avenged Sevenfold
    • Engineered by Fred Archambault and Dave Schiffman, assisted by Clifton Allen, Chris Steffen, Robert DeLong, Aaron Walk, Mike Scielzi, and Josh Wilbur
    • Mixed by Andy Wallace
    • Mastered by Brian Gardner
    • Drum tech by Mike Fasano
    • Guitar tech by Walter Rice
    • Fan Producers for a Day (MVI) by Daniel McLaughlin and Christopher Guinn

    Additional Musicians

    • Programming by Jay E on "Critical Acclaim" and "Scream"
    • Piano and Organ by Jamie Muhoberac on "Critical Acclaim", "Unbound (The Wild Ride)", 'Lost", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Piano by Greg Kusten on "Almost Easy"
    • Upright bass by Miles Mosley on "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Cello by Cameron Stone on "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Violins by Caroline Campbell and Neel Hammond on "Afterlife," "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Viola by Andrew Duckles on "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Background vocals by Zander Ayeroff and Annmarie Rizzo on "Unbound (The Wild Ride)"
    • Percussion by Lenny Castro on "Brompton Cocktail"
    • Choir: Beth Andersen, Monique Donnelly, Rob Giles, Debbie Hall, Scottie Haskell, Luana Jackman, Bob Joyce, Rock Logan, Susie Stevens Logan, Arnold McCuller, Gabriel Mann, and Ed Zajack on "Unbound (The Wild Ride)" and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Alto sax by Bill Liston and Brandon Fields on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Clarinet by Bill Liston and Rusty Higgins on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Tenor sax by Dave Boruff and Rusty Higgins on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Bari sax by Joel Peskin on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Trumpet by Wayne Bergeron and Dan Foreno on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Trombone by Bruce Fowler and Alex Iies on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Additional vocals by Juliette Commagere on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
    • Lap, pedal steel and banjo by Greg Leisz on "Gunslinger" and "Dear God"
    • Additional vocals by Shanna Crooks on "Gunslinger" and "Dear God"
    • Additional vocals by Jaime Ochoa on "Critical Acclaim"
    • Scream on "Scream" by Valary Sanders

                               Critical Acclaim Single

    Critical Acclaim is a song by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. It is the first song from their self-titled album.


    “Critical Acclaim” is the first single from Avenged Sevenfold’s self-titled album. A 2-minute 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.

    Introduced by a twenty-two second long organ melody followed by a majestic, 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, still without staying close to their original metalcore sound, but instead showing signs of a more matured heavy metal 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 M. Shadows has close friends who have experienced military service in Iraq.

    The Rev provides the vocals for the chorus of the song, as well as some background vocals and screams.

    The song is available as downloadable content for the music video game Rock Band.

    Band Member

    M. Shadows - VocalsSynyster Gates - Lead Guitar, backing vocals
    Zacky Vengeance - Guitar, backing vocals
    Johnny Christ - Bass, backing vocals
    The Rev - Drums, co-lead vocals

                                                      Almost Easy Single

    "Almost Easy" is a song by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. It is the second song as well as second single from their self-titled album.


    The song first premiered at a concert in Indonesia during Avenged Sevenfold's 2007 Southeast Asian Tour.The song was officially released on September 18, 2007 through online music stores such as iTunes, URGE.The song was written by the band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. 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 their self-titled album.

    The song was included on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack. It was originally planned to be on the 2007 Transformers soundtrack; however, it was not finished in time.

    The song is 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.

    Music Video

    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 bands recognizable logo from the Avenged Sevenfold album cover, the "Deathbat". The band stated in an interview with Fuse host Steven Smith on Steven's Untitled Rock Show that the inspiration for the video came from a Wendy's commercial they saw in Asia in which a large crowd is running toward the same hamburger.

    M. Shadows then said "wouldn't it be cool if we (Avenged Sevenfold) were playing in a fiery blaze and a bunch of people were running towards us" an idea that eventually became the video. As of March 2012, it has 11,142,419 views on YouTube.

    Band Member

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

    Cla Mix

    On the Diamonds in the Rough album an alternate mix of "Almost Easy" is included. This version, mixed by Chris Lord-Alge (hence the name), included triggered drums, louder guitars and pianos.


    Chart (2007)Peak
    UK Singles Chart 67
    UK Rock Chart 1
    Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
    Modern Rock Tracks 6
    U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100 6

                                                            Afterlife Single

    "Afterlife" is a song by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. The song is released as the third single from their self-titled album. The song itself features a string orchestra and was written by the band's drummer, 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 music video is directed by Wayne Isham who has shot videos for bands like Bon Jovi, Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe. As a side note, in the album version, there are violin parts in the intro and later in the song, both of which are cut out of the video, along with the bridge of the song, which features The Rev's vocals.

    The song is available as downlodable content for Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5, and is featured in the video game NHL 09.

    Music Video

    The music video (legally released on March 12 by Avenged Sevenfold and Warner Bros.) consists of the band performing, on a small stage and shows clips of M. Shadows running, Zacky Vengeance ballroom dancing, Synyster Gates in a candle-lit room with a skull in his hand, symbolic of the play Hamlet, Johnny Christ holding and then releasing several pigeons but they were portrayed as doves, and The Rev lying down with a tarantula crawling across his face and body. The intro, prior to the band coming in, is cut out of the music video, as well as the bridge of the song with a portion of the solo. The removal of this content took the length of the song down to 4:02 long. Parts of the song were also removed in the Beast and the Harlot and Bat Country music videos.

    Lyrical Meaning

    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 Zacky Vengeance in the "Making of 'Afterlife'" video) In years since the death of The Rev, fans have discovered the irony in that Jimmy wrote the song, being in the position he is now.

    Chart Positions

    This is so far the highest charting single released after the first singles from both albums, Bat Country and Almost Easy, by charting in the top 20 on both rock charts. This has since been surpassed by singles "Welcome to the Family" and "So Far Away."

    Chart (2008)Peak
    Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 11
    Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 20
    UK Rock Chart 1

    Band Member

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

                                        Dear God Single

    Scream Single

    "Scream" is the fifth and final single from Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album. It has reached number nine on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 26 on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart. 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.

    "Scream" was released on July 27, 2010 as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2 along with "Nightmare" and "Seize the Day".

    Music Video

    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 runner ups 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 runner ups 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 runner ups.

    Band Member

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

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