Every so often an album comes out of nowhere and just captures your attention. City of Evil has taken control of my auditory canals and refuses to let go. However, it has been a journey getting to this point.
For the longest time, I avoided Avenged Sevenfold like the plague. It wasn't because of the music; it wasn't really for any worthy reason at all. Despite hearing all the rumblings of how good they were, I had a hard-coded preconceived idea of what I expected them to sound like. Considering how popular they seemed to be, I figured they were another post-hardcore/screamo band. Those things just keep multiplying, and so many of them sound similar that I can't tell them apart. There you have it, my main reason for avoiding these guys.
At some point, a few months back, I broke down. I gave into all the whisperings and mentions of Avenged Sevenfold. I went out and picked up City of Evil. What did I have to lose? An hour listening to it? And that's assuming I listened to the whole thing. Well, I made it through that initial time, and I haven't looked back. The disk has continuously found its way into my CD player and on to my playlists.
City of Evil is the first album to grab me like this since I first heard The End of Heartache by Killswitch Engage. Much like that album, I have fast fallen in love with the music contained on the little shiny disk.
Avenged Sevenfold completely smashed my preconceptions. What I thought they would sound like and what they actually do sound like could not be further removed. From the opening strains of "Beast and the Harlot" through the closing notes of "M.I.A." had me trapped by the ears.
Avenged Sevenfold has captured the sound and feel of the LA glam scene from the 1980s. They have managed to take that look and sound and brought it into the new millennium. The sound is definitely reminiscent, but it is so much more than a mere throwback to those old days of my youth. Instead of a shadow of a past that many would like to forget, they have taken that inspiration and forged new ground, delivering a rock album that is as stunningly original as it is familiar. Not an easy feat to accomplish.