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Rock - Released August 26, 2013 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released February 7, 2020 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released July 23, 2010 | Warner Records

Following the death of Avenged Sevenfold drummer James “The Reverend” Sullivan in 2009, the band marched on, enlisting the help of Sullivan’s drumming hero, Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy, for their fifth studio album Nightmare. Luckily, the sound of the band remains unchanged, and as one of the best drummers in the business, Portnoy picks up the reigns and rides the Deathbat's double kick in complete synchronicity with Gates, Christ, and Vengeance. Like their previous outings, the group incorporates a New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence throughout Nightmare while paying tribute to ‘80s hair metal with guitar god appeal; but playing retroactive music doesn’t seem to concern them, as long as they play it more skillfully than their forefathers. The group’s influences may be worn on their sleeves, (check out the chugging Metallica "One" breakdown in “Buried Alive,” or the Queensrÿche-style power-ballad “Victim”), but there is no denying that they have some of the best chops in the metal world. Songs shift from their trademark blistering assault to Black album ballads on a dime; M. Shadows continually amazes with his vocal acrobatics, and the opening riff of "Natural Born Killer" ramps up to an inhuman speed. "Save Me" ends the album as one of their most epic songs to date, in a proper 21 gun salute, as thunderous blasts and guitar divebombs interweave into a melodic, heartfelt “Tonight we all die young!” outro. It's a fitting tribute for their fallen 28-year-old comrade, and excellent proof of the band's ability. However, as great as Nightmare's finale is, the Alice Cooper-gone-blue “it’s your fuckin’ nightmare!” chorus on the title track is too cliché to be excused. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Hard Rock - Released October 26, 2007 | Warner Records

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Coming off a Best New Artist Award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, the members of Avenged Sevenfold returned to the studio, ambitious to create an exciting follow-up to City of Evil -- perhaps overly so, as their self-titled release focuses entirely too hard on pushing the songs into non-metal territory. Their signature, blistering Yngwie Malmsteen guitar arpeggios and lightning fast double-kick drums are still evident, but the overall heavy metal thunder is diluted by their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Left alone in the studio to record the album on their own, AS show their unbridled enthusiasm to be as inventive as possible as they run through a staggering amount of production enhancements: four songs have string arrangements; violinists, pianists, and vocalists make guest appearances here and there; "A Little Piece of Heaven" is a strange Mr. Bungle type number with sax, clarinet, trombone, and trumpet, and "Unbound (The Wild Ride)" throws in the most un-metal addition of all -- a children's choir. Some of these enhancements help take the songs to the next level but most detract, and give the sensation of inappropriately mashed-up styles, like listening to a Dream Theater album on a boom box while a nearby clock radio plays Charlie FM. Vocalist M. Shadows, who required surgery on his vocal cords after Waking the Fallen shows that his training with Ron Anderson (vocal coach for Layne Staley, Axl Rose, and Chris Cornell) has been for the greater good. Rather than screaming or doing the metal growl, he sings in a few gritty voices, showing an obvious Mike Patton influence, and actually sounds pitch-perfect. His skills, and the entire band's technical ferocity, is flawless as ever, but just gets lost in a cluttered vision. Perhaps the worst culprit of their excessive studio trickery is when a Cher-esque "Believe" pitch corrector/vocoder is introduced to the chorus of "Lost," essentially stomping out a fiery '80s speed-metal jam into lukewarm embers of passé electro. 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. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Rock - Released December 22, 2017 | Capitol Records (US1A)

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The seventh studio long-player from the veteran California-based metal ensemble, and their first new collection of music to feature ex-Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman behind the kit, The Stage sees Avenged Sevenfold rolling up their sleeves and delivering an ambitious concept LP. Dropped with little to no promotion -- WWE superstar and Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho leaked the album's original title, Voltaic Oceans, via his Instagram account a month prior to the release -- the narrative concerns itself with the Orwellian consequences of a world struggling to adapt to the myriad complexities of artificial intelligence -- there's even a spoken word appearance by celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Despite some forays into Floyd-ian space rock -- the soloing in the orchestra-driven "Roman Sky" is positively Gilmour-esque -- the 11-track set mostly sticks to the kind of propulsive, melodic carnage that fans have come to expect from the group, albeit with a progressive metal twist. Avenged Sevenfold may have expanded their sonic horizons, but The Stage is more Operation: Mindcrime-era Queensrÿche than it is Muse, and for all its opining on nanotechnology and interstellar travel, it still feels rooted in heavy metal tradition. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Hard Rock - Released June 6, 2005 | Warner Records

Avenged Sevenfold's first two albums had a clear influence from heavy metal, but the California combo also freely incorporated emo, screamo, and post-hardcore elements. The mixing and matching meant 2003's Waking the Fallen had as many sighing harmonies as it did harmonized guitar freakouts. And yet City of Evil, the band's third record and Warner debut, is absolutely rife with the imagery and pacing of classic metal. Look at that artwork. It features a skeletal swordsman flying a steed with steaming nostrils over the urban inferno of the title; tattoos, demons, and a skull with flapping wings adorn the lyric book. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence is immediate and prevalent, from the maniacally rippling percussion throughout to the triumphantly whining lead guitars in the chorus of "Blinded in Chains," or the soaring melody in "Burn It Down" that meets its match in Metallica-styled verses. The downshifts into guttural roars are largely gone, replaced by better-integrated atmospheric stretches or the tighter songcraft of a track like "Bat Country," which intersects punk and pop influences in a manner similar to My Chemical Romance. At over seven minutes, "Wicked End" is a late-album standout. Vocalist M. Shadows rips through couplets like "We've grown in numbers, six hundred sixty-six/War breaks, a sign of the end, eternally expelled/Look to the sky for knowledge, the stars align tonight," guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance trade off blistering solos, and there's a full choral interlude in the center, complete with an angelic host and sighing cellos. Which is all totally metal, and refreshingly unmarred by attempts to fit too many jumbled genres in. City of Evil's ballads are a little trite, and even its double-bass raging doesn't necessarily break new ground. But 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. ~ Johnny Loftus
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Rock - Released October 28, 2016 | Capitol Records (US1A)

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Rock - Released September 21, 2018 | Warner Records

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Hard Rock - Released June 6, 2005 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released August 23, 2013 | Warner Records

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Hard Rock - Released October 30, 2007 | Warner Records

Coming off a Best New Artist Award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, the members of Avenged Sevenfold returned to the studio, ambitious to create an exciting follow-up to City of Evil -- perhaps overly so, as their self-titled release focuses entirely too hard on pushing the songs into non-metal territory. Their signature, blistering Yngwie Malmsteen guitar arpeggios and lightning fast double-kick drums are still evident, but the overall heavy metal thunder is diluted by their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Left alone in the studio to record the album on their own, AS show their unbridled enthusiasm to be as inventive as possible as they run through a staggering amount of production enhancements: four songs have string arrangements; violinists, pianists, and vocalists make guest appearances here and there; "A Little Piece of Heaven" is a strange Mr. Bungle type number with sax, clarinet, trombone, and trumpet, and "Unbound (The Wild Ride)" throws in the most un-metal addition of all -- a children's choir. Some of these enhancements help take the songs to the next level but most detract, and give the sensation of inappropriately mashed-up styles, like listening to a Dream Theater album on a boom box while a nearby clock radio plays Charlie FM. Vocalist M. Shadows, who required surgery on his vocal cords after Waking the Fallen shows that his training with Ron Anderson (vocal coach for Layne Staley, Axl Rose, and Chris Cornell) has been for the greater good. Rather than screaming or doing the metal growl, he sings in a few gritty voices, showing an obvious Mike Patton influence, and actually sounds pitch-perfect. His skills, and the entire band's technical ferocity, is flawless as ever, but just gets lost in a cluttered vision. Perhaps the worst culprit of their excessive studio trickery is when a Cher-esque "Believe" pitch corrector/vocoder is introduced to the chorus of "Lost," essentially stomping out a fiery '80s speed-metal jam into lukewarm embers of passé electro. 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. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Rock - Released August 23, 2013 | Warner Records

Following the release of "Carry On" for the Call of Duty Arms: Black Ops II video game, Avenged Sevenfold returned to the studio with new drummer, Arin Ilejay of Confide, to record 2013's Hail to the King. In a press announcement, vocalist M. Shadows announced they would be attempting to go back to their Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin roots, and at the surface, the idea of dumbing down their music to sturdy classic rock grooves made a lot of sense, since many of the compositions on their last two albums had become overwrought with studio overdubbing. Unfortunately, once they tried to take inspiration from other bands, they mimicked them so well that they lost their sense of identity in the process. "Doing Time" came straight out of the Guns N' Roses songbook, "This Means War" is a direct rip of Metallica's "Sad But True," and "Crimson Day" could be any number of '80s hair metal power ballads. By the album's second half, Avenged Sevenfold can't help but let loose their guitar shredding theatrics a bit, and their personality starts to shine through as the tempo quickens and tracks take flight to unabashed heights. "Heretic" and "Coming Home" are still firmly indebted to their roots (specifically, Megadeth and Iron Maiden) but they are exciting metal numbers, and they set the stage for the colossal "Planets,", which incorporates motifs from "The Planets" suite by 20th century composer Gustav Holst and includes all the arpeggiated soloing and operatic yowling you could ever want. If this sounds ridiculous, that's because it is, but it's undeniably more fun to hear the members pushing themselves and showboating than doing mock covers. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Rock - Released July 21, 2017 | Capitol Records (US1A)

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Rock - Released December 8, 2017 | Capitol Records (US1A)

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Rock - Released July 26, 2010 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released January 17, 2020 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released December 17, 2010 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released January 27, 2015 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released May 2, 2011 | Warner Records

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Rock - Released September 17, 2018 | Warner Records