On 6th June 2005 – Avenged Sevenfold Released their third (and breakthrough) Album City Of Evil
Named after a fictional place and taken from lyrics to the opening track Beast And The Harlot – it debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard album chart. In August 2009, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA. To date, it has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide. – It featured their hit single Bat Country which was one of the breakout singles of 2005, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, and No. 1 on MTV’s Total Request Live. Four of the bands most popular songs – Seize The Day, Bat Country, Beast And The Harlot and Burn It Down, were released as singles between June 2005 and 2006.
If there is one thing that Avenged Sevenfold truly have excelled at over the years it’s their story telling. The stories this band tell through their music is just amazing. The tone for the album is set right from the first few notes of Beast And The Harlot, in the fact that it’s taking a more melodic route than previous releases – (2001’s Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and 2003’s Waking The Fallen) which both had a more Metalcore approach, whereas City of Evil is more of the classic heavy metal and heavy rock sounds. To a point that Matt worked on his vocals for this particular album with legendary vocal coach Ron Anderson, who worked with most notably Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden.) In a quote from Shadows he states
“Ron taught me how to have that grit to my voice while still having the tone. He brought all of that to the table and he brought that technique to my voice. I’ve worked with him for about a year and a half now, but I worked with him for nine months before the record, I told him that I want my voice to sound different from everybody else, but I wanted those characteristics in my voice…It was one of those things that we just wanted to go all the way with it.”
After the release of the album rumours spread that Shadows had lost his ability to scream due to throat surgery he had needed after Warped Tour 2003 (I for one can vouch that he hasn’t having seen him perform twice! amazingly I might add!). Producer Andrew Murdock put down these rumours by saying
“When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet…Matt handed me the CD, and he said to me, ‘This record’s screaming. The record we want to make…is going to be half-screaming and half-singing. I don’t want to scream anymore…the record after that is going to be all singing.'”
The route the album took, with the more heavy metal and heavy rock approach is what the band decided on for all their future releases Avenged Sevenfold (2007), Nightmare (2010) and Hail To The King (2013).
In fact what we get is an absolutely amazing album – It’s an album with 4 of my personal favourite A7X songs on too! (Beast and The Harlot, Bat Country, Trashed and Scattered and my all time favourite… Seize The Day)– As someone who got into this band through a friend in 2008, while I was still finding my way and deciding for myself what sort of music I liked, this band for me just made it click, and I put it down to the four songs I mentioned earlier. Just listening to some of the stuff the guys made their instruments do just astonished me. The drumming Speed of The Rev was just incredible, a task which (current drummer) Arin Ilejay is now trying his absolute best to replicate and to do justice in his own way. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance just totally knock it out of the park with some of the guitar riffs and solo’s, while Johnny Christ holds his own with some really catchy bass lines.
Part of me is sad that I never got to experience the hype of this album when it was being released or in full flow, but I’m so grateful that I got to hear it in full and absolutely fall in love with some of the songs, and be able to relate to some.
Thank You Avenged Sevenfold for leaving such a great legacy with this album 10 years on! and I look forward to the release of the new album (currently tentatively pencilled in for a 2016 release)