Metal Inspirations Abound
It seems that â€šÃ„Ãºcoreâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has become the hip suffix to add to everything. Metal-core, fashion-core, the list goes on. Good quality metal bands of the 70s and 80s such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Megadeth have been all but forgotten, except as t-shirts at Hot Topic. Fortunately, acts like Avenged Sevenfold, and their major label debut entitled City of Evil are trying in their own way to bring back the musical style of early power metal. After having two successful albums on Hopeless Records, Avenged has moved to Warner for their next outing. Tracks tend to be catchy, with musicianship that at times sounds musically similar to early Maiden, with wailing guitars, solos that blow the eardrums, and simple, precise drumming. There is also an underlying pop-punk influence that will come out, adding to the versatility of each song.
The weakest point of this album is by far the singing. M. Shadows voice is boring at its best, and grating when itâ€šÃ„Ã´s at full throttle. At times it sounds like he is still trying to find his voice. Sometimes he sounds like heâ€šÃ„Ã´s trying to emulate Glenn Danzig, while at others he has a Megadeth-esque whine, and none of them work well. The opening track, â€šÃ„ÃºBeast and the Harlot,â€šÃ„Ã¹ has such a powerful groove; itâ€šÃ„Ã´s unfortunate that the singing brings it down so far.
Without a doubt City of Evil is going to do well, with great melodies and musical hooks that will appeal to fans of metal, punk, and everything in between. Unfortunately, to listen to the best parts of the album, the listener is subjected to atrocious vocal work.