L to R: Johnny Christ, Synyster Gates, M. Shadows, Zacky Vengence, and the Rev
Avenged Sevenfold is a Hard Rock / Metalcore band from Huntington Beach, California. They formed in 1999. The band comprises four members; M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, and Johny Christ, since the death of The Rev. Mike Portnoy covered for his spot for the album Nightmare and following tour. Arin Ilejay is their current drummer.The band played the underground scene in America for several years before achieving more widespread recognition and success with their third studio album; City of Evil (2005). Their second album, Waking the Fallen, is certified gold. Their original sound was harsher, with extensive use of double bass drums and screamed vocals. Since then, the band has changed to include more melody, but not sacrificed any of the instrumentist's Hard Rock based sound. The lead guitarist, Synyster Gates is also renowned for unleashing fast solos.Avenged Sevenfold's lyrics are inspired by a wide range of themes, including references to the dead/undead, biblical themes and strong themes such as assisted suicide. Also, at least one of their songs appears to be from a vampire's point of view, whilst A Little Piece Of Heaven is from the perspective of a man who killed the woman he was in love with, raped her corpse before she rose from the dead and killed him in the same way he killed her, at which point he returns from the dead and they decide to murder an entire wedding party and the guests so they can get married.Avenged Sevenfold (or A7X, as they are often called) are amongst the most popular alternative/heavy bands among teens and young adults the world over, and were instrumental in the creation of the new wave of Metalcore, a genre that combines hardcore punk with extreme metal. Unfortunately, the band is currently in a state of turmoil as the Rev passed away on Dec. 28, 2009. In statements from the rest of the band they have said that they won't give up and are trying to rebuild their lives, no easy task as the five had been friends for most of their lives. The spot had gone to Mike Portnoy, as mentioned above for a few early tours, but recently the band has found Arin Ilejay of disbanded Californian metalcore band Confide.The band members' original names are:
Matt Sanders - M. Shadows
Zachary Baker - Zacky Vengeance
Brian Haner (Jr.) - Synyster Gates
Johnny Seward - Johnny Christ
Jimmy (or James) O. Sullivan - The Rev/The Reverend Tholomew Plague. (1981-2009)
The band's discography is:
Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001)
Waking the Fallen (2003)
City of Evil (2005)
Avenged Sevenfold (2007)
Hail to the King (2013)
They have shown examples of some Tropes:
Aerith and Bob: M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ and...Arin Ilejay.
Always Identical Twins: Michelle Dibenedetto-Haner and Valary Dibenedetto-Sanders, who are Brian and Matt's respective wives.
As the Good Book Says: The band's name is lifted from Genesis 4:15, when God curses Cain not to be killed after he kills Abel by saying: "Shall Cain be killed, he shall be avenged sevenfold". The Cain and Abel story also serves as the basis for the lyrics of "Chapter Four" off Waking the Fallen.
"Beast and the Harlot" lifts many passages from Revelations 17 and 18.
Butt Monkey: Johnny Christ seems to be this for the rest of the band.
Zacky Vengeance: You can't spell bass without ass.
Call Back: The video for "Nightmare" has two, both referencing "Afterlife". One has a tarantula crawling on The Rev's drum kit, a Call Back to the tarantula on The Rev's face. The other is Zacky dancing with a skeleton, where he was dancing with his girlfriend in "Afterlife".
Early Installment Weirdness: "Sounding The Seventh Trumpet" is mostly a Hardcore Punk album. Johnny isn't in the band yet, Synyster Gates' guitar solos are nowhere to be found (besides "To End The Rapture" on the re-release) since he joined the band just after finishing recording, The Rev is pretty much doing fills constantly for the whole album, M. Shadows barely sings (And when he does, well...), and "Streets" is a leftover punk song from one of M. Shadows' first bands.
Epic Rocking: They are known to do this on occasion, but most notably on the album City of Evil, on which only one song is under five minutes and four are over seven, and most recently with "Save Me" from Nightmare at almost eleven minutes.
You have to consider, they were working with Mike Portnoy, and Dream Theater are known for having Epic Rocking songs.
Genre Shift: Avenged Sevenfold does this thrice, with "A Little Piece Of Heaven" suddenly being composed mostly of brass and showtune instruments and is composed in a style more similar to Danny Elfman than any of their previous songs, then immediately. Another one includes "Dear God", which has more in common with a country song than a metal one. Then there's also "Gunslinger" — which can best be described as a blend of country, blues, and rock. They also do this a few times on the "Nightmare" album: particularly with the strictly piano-based ballad "Fiction" (which was the last song Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan wrote, and the one song on the album to feature his vocals) and the heavily blues-based "Tonight the World Dies" (with slide guitar to boot). Then, on "Hail to the King", the album ends with the blues ballad "Acid Rain".
Loudness War: Every album is brickwalled, though Nightmare and Waking The Fallen have the most obvious clipping.
Hail To The King inexplicably averts this.
Meaningful Name: Justin Sane, their second bassist, who attempted suicide via drinking cough syrup, and ended up in a mental institution for a long time, with it becoming apparent that he'd suffered brain damage.
Metal Scream: Quite a few songs start with or have these. The Beast And The Harlot, Bat Country, Natural Born Killer, to name a few. He also does this quite often with the first two albums.
Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and Waking the Fallen were in the 8 range, with their later material usually bordering on 7, sometimes going down to 6. "Nightmare" (the song) teeters somewhere between a 7 and an 8. While a couple other songs, like "God Hates Us", are a pretty solid 8. The Hail to the King album lowers the hardness down significantly. "This Means War", the heaviest song on the album is only about a 5 (or maybe a 6, if you want to be generous). The power ballad "Crimson Day" dips down to 2 - while the blues-heavy ballad "Acid Rain" drops all the way down the one. The rest would be about a 4 or 5.
New Sound Album: Avenged Sevenfold started as a pure Metalcore on "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" before adding more clean vocals on their sophomore album "Waking the Fallen". But their biggest change came on "city of Evil" which contained only clean vocals and musically mixed old school Thrash metal with the melodic ferocity, breakdowns, and pop punk/post-hardcore elements of modern day Metalcore. Their self titled album continued with this, although it was much more polished which rankled some fans, as well as having many examples of an out of genre experience such as the Danny Elfman style "A little piece of Heaven" and the country ballad "Dear god". "Nightmare" was released after the death of their drummer "The Rev" and so was more sad and reflective, as well as featuring a piano ballad called 'Fiction" and full on return to pure Metalcore (screamed lyrics and all) on "God Hates Us". Finally, there's "Hail to the King" - which has been described by lead singer M Shadows as "more blues rock-influenced and more like classic rock and classic metal in the vein of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin"
The song and video for "Bat Country" are both confirmed to be based on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This should be obvious to anyone who's seen the movie or read the book, even if the title of the song didn't give it away.