Avenged Sevenfold have overcome one of the biggest obstacles that a band can endure, the loss of a band member. The unexpected death of drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan put the band's latest album on hold, almost threatening not to be released at all. But instead, the band found it as a tribute to their fallen band member by releasing the album that still included The Rev's vocals and we are all grateful for it. "Nightmare" is the band's strongest, most powerful and moving album to date.
The new album starts off strong with the title track "Nightmare." It's a heavy piece of music that acts as an introduction to the rest of the album. Mike Portney from Dream Theater steps in on drums, and while he doesn't try to replace The Rev, Mike adds his own style to the songs. The military march of "Danger Line" quickly changes with guitar intro by Synyster Gates. Mike's drums and Synster's guitars try to push the vocals of M. Shadows, but instead his vocals slow the song's finish. Avenged Sevenfold allow the songs to build on their own as in "Buried Alive." Starting off with a mellow guitar solo, the song ends as an "in your face" hard rocker. The band's power is in their heavy metal sound that's on display in the songs "Natural Born Killer" and "God Hates Us." They balance these metal rockers with a few slower ballads (So Far Away, Victim and Tonight The World Dies) to show us how their song-writing has grown. The piano provided by David Palmer becomes the centerpiece of "Fiction," before the band returns to their metal roots on the epic album closer "Save Me."
"Nightmare" was released at the end of July on Warner Bros. Records. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts selling over 160,000 copies in its first week. Avenged Sevenfold are currently on tour as part of the Uproar Festival with dates all the way until October before heading overseas. Visit the band's website (avengedsevenfold.com) for more information.