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Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare: Review

July 27 is the release date for the upcoming Avenged Sevenfold album entitled Nightmare. Due to the recent death of the band drummer, Dream Theater’s legendary Mike Portnoy has stepped up for the role. On his part, he insured the band and the fans that he would do his best to stay true to The Rev (former drummer) and keep it as an Avenged Sevenfold album. And no doubt, this is an Avenged Sevenfold album, for better or for worse.

The Music (rating: C+)

  1. Nightmare
  2. Welcome to the Family
  3. Danger Line
  4. Buried Alive
  5. Natural Born Killer
  6. So Far Away
  7. God Hates Us
  8. Victim
  9. Tonight the World Dies
  10. Fiction
  11. Save Me

The album is very much like the band’s later material. There are spurts of metalcore screaming, but for the most part the music could very well have been put on either of the last two albums. But overall, it is more mainstream than their previous works. In fact, it is probably the  most mainstream metal can go. Still, it stays true to their style and loyal to the fanbase.

My issue with the album is not with the style, but with how much they limit themselves within their style. Nightmare is over an hour long, but there is extremely little variety or depth to the album; it could barely hold its ground on the first listen. The problem here is the same with that of City of Evil, in that there are so many songs with vital musical similarities that it heavily dilutes the album’s content. However, the songs are a definite step down from the aforementioned album.  There is not a single song which is wholly enjoyable. In fact, an approximate total of five minutes in the whole album is worth listening to.

I, as well as many Dream Theater fans, was hoping that the addition of Mike Portnoy to the studio would make a difference. He did what he set out to do, which was fill in for the loss of The Rev. Basically, anything Portnoy could have done to save this album was left out. The drumming is simplistic and standard. There is no doubt signatures of Portnoy throughout, but instead of adding to the album they merely say “Hey, it’s me, Mike”. As much as I love Dream Theater, I must say that my expectations for the drummer were much too high for my own good.

However, Portnoy is not all to blame, as the rest of the band did nothing above standard. The guitar riffs are flashy, but nothing new at all. Most of them feel forced, as if the guitarists are running thin on ideas. The solos are none to be proud of as well. Not much is done on behalf of the bassist, and the vocalist is nothing special (sometimes even irritating). Interestingly enough, the only song I like is “Fiction,” which I later found out was The Rev’s last song. Sad to say, he could not be around to save the rest of the album.

Although I feel terrible for what has happened to Avenged Sevenfold, for the sake of music I must say that the album is sub-par. All the songs are much too alike for their own good, and too many of them are filler. There was only one band member that stepped up to the plate; may he rest in peace. Nightmare is an album to be avoided. But if there is one thing to be taken from this album, it is “Fiction”.

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  1. Brian
    July 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    this album was anything but sub-par, why would the band let portnoy rework The Revs drumming while Fiction is a great song other songs like Nightmare and Welcome to the Family are amazing and likely will become hits

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