From the very beginning Waking The Fallen is encased by a very mysterious air. It being the second instalment in the career of Huntington Beach rockers Avenged Sevenfold, it is important that this album leaves its mark among the metal world and ensures the band is one to watch out for. And with the most simplistic of intros – a merge of demonic screams and some seriously low-end bass guitar and drum work, it leaves the listener both intrigued and slightly creeped out. The ending few seconds hears front man M Shadows tear out the words ‘no one can touch us’. Throughout this album, that statement is proved accurate over and over again.
The intro leads onto the brilliant ‘Unholy Confessions’, with an unforgettable riff and a chorus that will have fans singing along whenever they hear the first few chords. With its fluent style and dark lyrics, it’s a definite single-worthy song.
‘Remenissions’ and ‘Chapter Four’ deliver some great moments. With thrashy musicianship and exciting riffs, they harbour some very eerie concepts about religion and the end of the world, with the words, ‘I don’t know the answers but neither do you’. Both are songs that are sure to get a crowd and your head moving.
‘Desecrate Through Reverence’ holds the title for having the darkest riff on the album, which bleeds into some great guitar work (delivered by lead guitarist Synyster Gates) and devil-like screaming. It is also the song you will be most guilty of head banging to, with one of the best choruses the band have ever created, ‘Darkened eyes you’ll see, there is no hope, no saviour in me,’ is one of the best lines of the album. The song blends into ‘Eternal Rest’- without doubt the heaviest song on the album. From the get-go, it’s straight in your face with a pounding and thrilling guitar solo and some of the most brutal and evil vocals you will ever hear. The song is pure genius, passionate, intense and melodic at the same time. In all honesty ‘Desecrate...’ and ‘Eternal Rest’, although both great songs in their own right, would have been even more amazing if they had formed to make a near eleven minute song, which would have worked very well for the album.
Both ‘I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1’ and ‘Second Heartbeat’ could be considered the very best song on the album. Both filled to the brim with desperation and a passion un-matched by other bands. The latter of the two being the heaviest, with an addictive riff and chorus that seeps through the song to make it so great. With some incredible drumming, that is both fast and inventive. Along with a ferocious guitar solo saved for the very end of the song to end on a high. It sweeps through with pace and style.
‘I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1’ is an entirely different song. It starts off with an incredible piano piece that ends as the music blasts off into some melodic and fervent guitar work. The usually up-beat music is replaced with a simple drum beat and soft yet devastating vocals that showcase just how powerful M Shadows’ voice is. Unless you can’t appreciate what a spectacle of a song this song is, it will have you choking up before it’s even finished. It is simply one of the most beautiful songs ever made with some of the most beautiful lyrics ever written.
The last few tracks, ‘Clairvoyant Disease’ and ‘And All Things Will End’ may not be the best tracks on the album, but they do nothing to deter away from the power and greatness of it.
On every track within Waking The Fallen, the arrangements are so near perfect that you have to wonder just how talented the band is. And how they can make songs with arrangements so great, lyrics so dark and devastating and music that is simply at times breath taking. The mix of shouting and singing is nothing new in the music world, but Avenged Sevenfold seem to have created their own brand of it and mastered it.
What separates them from other bands is their willingness to try new things. They have the perfect formula for an album and present the music so brilliantly. The amount of talent and creativity shown on each of the twelve tracks within the album proves that they are the band to look out for and also, that no one can touch them.
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- Amy Parker