It’s the album which defined the band, and some will say the album which made them arguably the biggest Rock band in the world right now!
10 years on from the original release, Avenged Sevenfold have re-released the album which defined them as a band, and the sound which is distinctive of them now.
‘Waking The Fallen was my favourite album to write because there was no thought or care in the world it just allowed for this breathing ground of creativity from us which was uncohibited’ Synyster Gates
‘Waking The Fallen, to me is a record that sounds 10 years old, but I like that, there’s a lot of records where people try to mess with, remix and master and it ruins them. I think the record is what it is, and it’s as big as it because of all the different flavours and all the different nuances of it.’ M Shadows
With the re-release of this album, comes a 30-minute documentary from the band.
This documentary runs us through the first few years of A7X as a band, and how they came to be a band and briefly about where they are now.
This album was a defined sound, with strong melodies and interesting arrangements. The fans though is really what helped it to grow, and as the band themselves said ‘This album perpetuates the cult following of the fans, into somewhat of an underground psychotic fanbase.’
It begins with Zacky and Matt starting out sending demos to punk and hardcore labels from all over the world, and eventually got signed to ‘Good Life Recordings’ based in Belgium, who paid for Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, The band’s First album. But they were only given $2,500 and had to put the same amount in out of their own pocket to use a specific studio they wanted. They eventually met Larry Jacobson, who became their manager due to loving To End The Rapture (First song on Sounding The Seventh Trumpet).
Matt and Zacky talk about how they and Jimmy knew they were in the band until the end! And that Syn (who they always refer to using his real name of Brian) joined them just after hearing Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, as he was in a band at the time called Pinkly Smooth with Jimmy.
They talk about their luck with bassists and how they just couldn’t seem to find one. Their original one (Matt Wendt) decided that he wanted to go to college instead of continuing with the band. After going through two more (Justin Sane and Dameon Ash) They finally decided to let Johnny in! Johnny had been bugging the guys knocking on the garage door at Matt’s parents house while they were practising, he was always hanging around and jamming with the guys, so they got him in eventually for the final tour of Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and Johnny quit high school – he didn’t need asking twice!
They kept playing shows all over California, even to 20-30 people a night. It was during this time that Hopeless Records kept seeing their name on flyers all over the city which drew their attention to the band, and eventually they bought the rights to Sounding The Seventh Trumpet. The owner of Hopeless Records absoloutely loved it, with the pink rock elements and screaming elements. He saw something in the band which at times others maybe didn’t.
So, coming to the time of Waking The Fallen, the guys were still writing in Matt’s parents garage. They wrote anything at any time. It was, as Synyster Gates Described it – Haphazard Chaos.
The album was heavily influenced by Punk Rock, Thrash and Heavy Metal and the band at the time were listening to a lot of Pantera, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth etc. While writing the record, but were also huge fans of Misfits, NOFX and Dead Kennedys.
The Goal was for them to become the Heaviest and most melodic band at that time. They didn’t want heavy breakdowns and screams all the time, Matt’s voice leant itself to being heard on the record.
The band ‘took the sub-genre to a hew height at a time there was no word of mouth via the internet, no YouTube, no Google Searching bands. It was just handing out flyers, playing the breakfast slot at Warped Tour, then standing around in the sun for the next 10 hours handing out demos and flyers, then packing up and driving to the next show.’ – Zacky Vengeance
They returned from that tour then ended up selling the famous Henry Fonda Theater, which at the time to them was huge, and it’s where they ended up filming the video for Unholy Confessions. A song which ironically they played twice at the gig and once before anyone got there, when they played it the second time at the show, they told the crowd and they went even more crazy!
The band signed a deal with Warner Bros and it was then the idea of shooting a video arose, there was a video made for the song which the band weren’t happy with so it didn’t do out, they said it was a great video but they always pride themselves on integrity, from artwork to songs to videos. And they wouldn’t let anything go out they weren’t 100% happy with. So they just used the raw gig footage which is the video you would see on TV today. (You can see the alternative video on the DVD)
In conclusion to this the band wrap things up by saying that anytime they go back to playing anything from Waking The Fallen the fans love it. Eternal Rest still seems fast as fuck and they played it at their last South American Dates, their fans loved it.
‘Unholy Confessions is STILL a crowd favourite. It’s crazy after all this time we’re playing a few songs from Waking The Fallen on the biggest stage of all (When they headlined Download Festival 2014.)