Review by Rick Eaglestone for MPM
Leaving a loyal fanbase waiting for 6 years can sometimes be to a bands detriment but it would seem the A7X Avengers are indeed a patient bunch and now is the time to see if the wait has been a fruitful one as California’s Avenged Sevenfold return with their most ambitious output to date “Life Is But A Dream”.
Anticipation levels already set to high are immediately matched but the albums opener and statement piece ‘Game Over’ which starts of with some wonderful classical guitar but the band floor the accelerator with subtle vocal undertones reminiscent of their debut album and sweeping tempo changes and ending how the track stated with melody and almost stage musical in delivery.
Crushing through next is ‘Mattel’ which again is layered with great soundscapes and exceptional vocal delivery and as the album moves into ‘Nobody’ which has a foreboding outpouring with machine like precision – this one has to be me highlight track purely for the number of times I have come back to it since I heard it and still think it was the prefect choice for the band’s first single.
Keeping up with consistency the band follow this up with second single ‘We Love You’ which musically gives another perspective but for some reason just doesn’t seem to gel with me.
The superb arrangements nuzzled throughout ‘Cosmic’ bring the album back into the forefront and then some, there are subtle prog elements and electrifying solos all back up with great drums patterns and piano melody and emotive vocals, this is paired excellently with ‘Beautiful Morning’.
Continuing with the surprises is ‘Easier’ which although contains some nice heavier parts, the vocal effects and prominent basslines and returning prog elements makes for another welcome addition, at the point of the record I am genially enjoying the musicianship and varying different directions it is pulling the listener into.
Ripped straight from the Rush collection is ‘G’ but Avenged Sevenfold still maintain a dominant Identity I particularly enjoyed the backing vocal contributions of both Taura Stinson and Brianna Mazzola before the album briefly goes into 70’s psychedelia on ‘(O)rdinary before piano laden ‘(D)eath takes over – Interesting little easter egg moment realising the first three letters of these tracks spell out GOD as lyrically, the album was inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus, with existentialism and absurdism being two major themes throughout the album.
Finally, the album concludes with the album’s title track the piano driven ‘Life Is But a Dream…’ which certainly be divisive but for me personally who watches a lot of black and white movies from the 20’s – 40’s I really enjoyed it a composition and overall, really enjoyed the overall maturity of it as collective.
“Life Is But a Dream…” track-listing:
- Game Over
- We Love You
- Beautiful Morning
- Life Is But a Dream…
M.Shadows – Vocals
Zacky Vengeance – Guitar
Johnny Christ – Bass
Brooks Wackerman- Drums