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Avenged Sevenfold: Sounding the seventh trumpetAvenged Sevenfold: Sounding the seventh trumpet

20/12/07  ||  Hanging Limbs

In the wake of Avenged Sevenfold’s new album and recent burgeon to stardom, it is important to hear where the band came from. Most people know Avenged Sevenfold from their two most recent albums, which favor clean vocals to screaming and heavy, melodic rock to scathing metalcore. It’s hard to listen to the newer stuff and not feel like A7X is holding something back. The musicianship and potential is there, but the fire is nowhere near the raging inferno it should be. Their debut disc, “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet”, lets that savage beast loose.

This review covers the re-release from 2002, which adds “To End the Rapture (Heavy Metal Version)”. This intro track is an 80’s throwback that showcases new guitarist Synyster Gates, who plays his instrument a lot better than he chooses names. The album came out around the start of the emo boom. Metal was “dead”. Bands like The Juliana Theory, Jimmy Eat World, and The Starting Line were the new punk. Victory Records was still stuck in the 90’s. Harsh vocals were far from accepted by mainstream rock audiences. It was no easy sell to put out an amalgam of punk, hardcore, and metal that featured throat-mincing screams

Remember, this was before the metalcore rage.

“Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” will appeal to fans of the early albums by aggressive hardcore bands like From Autumn to Ashes, Hopesfall, and Atreyu. Most of the songs are hardcore with thick, chuggy riffs and fire-throat screams. Melodies and pop sensibility came later in A7X’s career, as most of these songs are NOT catchy. The creeping hardcore riffs are energized by punky deftness in many of the verses. Metal slips into the picture via sinister riffs in tracks like “The Art of Subconscious Illusion” and “Lips of Deceit”, which are two of the better tracks on the disc. All of the tracks are convincingly heavy thanks to the huge metal influence, ferocious vocals, and spotlight-stealing drumming – that guy can really wail on his kit!

Aside from combining punk, metal, and hardcore to near perfection, A7X nail the art of the mid/late-song catharsis. “Turn the Other Way” starts with over two minutes of slow and mid-paced hardcore, then features a clean chorus with some catchy crooning. Calling it a chorus is deceptive, since it only repeats once and the song’s atypical structure is unwelcoming to a true chorus. “We Come Out At Night” revisits its sung “chorus” at the end of the song, but in a synthy, dramatic fashion. It is one of the album’s finest moments for sure.

If there is one complaint about the album, it would be a lack of lead guitarwork. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the intro didn’t have one of the best solos I’ve heard in the genre. Unfortunately, the guitarist who plays alone on the rest of the tracks was not too fond of solos. The riffs and rhythms are great, but some tasty licks would have been super.

It’s sad to hear this album today knowing how inconsistent and far less appealing they have become. “Sounding the Seventh Trumpet”, like many great albums that came before it, set the standard for the trendy, derivative bands that followed. Few, if any, were able to capture the energy, emotion, and dedication that run through every track on this album. Whether or not you enjoy A7X’s debut comes down to taste, but if you are a metalhead that has a soft spot for aggressive punk and hardcore, give this album a listen. Then listen to “City of Evil” and cry.


  • Information
  • Released: 2001 (2002 re-release)
  • Label: Good Life Recordings (Hopeless Records re-release)
  • Website: www.avengedsevenfold.com*
  • Band
  • M. Shadows: vocals
  • Zacky Vengeance: guitar
  • Synyster Gates: guitar on track 1
  • Justin Sane: bass
  • The Reverend Tholomew Plague: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. To End the Rapture
  • 02. Turn the Other Way
  • 03. Darkness Surrounding
  • 04. The Art of Subconscious Illusion
  • 05. We Come Out at Night
  • 06. Lips of Deceit
  • 07. Warmness on the Soul
  • 08. An Epic of Time Wasted
  • 09. Breaking Their Hold
  • 10. Forgotten Faces
  • 11. Thick and Thin
  • 12. Streets
  • 13. Shattered by Broken Dreams