Classic Review: Avenged Sevenfold - Sounding the Seventh Trumpet
Avenged Sevenfold are now worldwide superstars of metal, having sold millions of records and sold out arena's all over, but the band comes from humble beggings. Today we'll take a look back at the record that started it all for the Huntington Beach, California natives. "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" was released in July of 2001 after being recorded on November of 2000 on the small independent label, Good Life Records with a very small budget. Most notably this record features a different bassist than Avenged Sevenfold fans are accustomed to , Justin Sane rather than Johnny Christ, as well as a lack of Synyster Gates on lead guitar. Lets take a track-by-track look at "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet"
1. To End the Rapture - Nice Piano driven intro track with a storm soundscape in the back creating a nice atmosphere
2. Turn the Other Way - Great first track selection to introduce the listener to the bands signature sound, fast-paced, crushing drums, one of the earliest examples of sing-scream metalcore
3. Darkness Surrounding - The band showcases their heavily hardcore punk influenced side here, fast and free playing, arguably the first punk and metalcore hybrid
4. The Art of Subconscious Illusions - The song starts very punk oriented then veers into Pantera territory, some very good vocal melody with deep gutturals sprinkled in. the bands only song with a credited feature
5. We Come Out at Night - A very thrashy track with lots of groove in the back half , very apparent that Pantera is a main influence for the group, a pleasant piano outdo
6. Lips of Deceit - The opening sounds very much like what would go on to be Avenged Sevenfold's classic sound, a very H20, Rancid inspired middle section,
7. Warmness on the Soul - A very beautiful piano ballad at about the halfway point of the album, a good change of pace, a slight lisp from M. Shadows for whatever reason, a very sweet guitar solo as well
8. An Epic of Time Wasted - A very heavy track, some of the deepest screaming on the able, a theme of unconventional song structures is apparent by this time as there isn't a constant verse-chorus structure to each song which is refreshing
9. Breaking their Hold - A fast track with notable influence from Slayer and surprisingly death metal legends Death as well, the most standout bass playing of the record
10. Forgotten Faces - An excellent flow in track selection, perhaps a bit of a filler track but still a very solid song
11. Thick and Thin - Many parts of this track fit in with the Orange Country hardcore bands of the time such as Throwdown, great vocal patterning, fantastic drum beats, one of the most standout tracks of the record
12. Streets - Maybe the most forward punk track on the album, also displays some skate-punk tendencies, notably no screaming on the track further making it a straight punk song
13. Shattered by Broken Dreams - A softer more somber track to create the atmosphere of the ending of the album, picks up halfway through with some very raw screaming and whispers with a nice riff lay over heavy bass, nice rangy singing to close out the record on a strong note
In Conclusion, "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" deserves to be hailed and praised for how truly innovative it was. It may be hard to swallow for many detractors but Avenged Sevenfold were one of the very first bands playing metaclore and they did it in a way that nobody before or since has done. This record is filled with interesting tracks mixing influences you would have never expected to hear combined and they work extremely well nearly every attempt. This band has never been afraid to take chances, even their biggest critics can't deny that and even with their first record they were breaking conventional standards and doing something unique. While the world renowned guitar work of Synyster Gates is missed on this record it is still filled with quality musicianship and raw vocals. In all this was a vital record to the genre of metalcore and deserves more praise than it receives.