's self-titled 2007 album is a very mature blend of many colors, elements and styles making the overall feel of this work a sort of alternative heavy metal rock and roll.
Although, aggressive rhythms are present ("Critical Acclain" is perhaps the best example from start to end, but any song that features a guitar solo does so with a heavy metallic backgrop), a lot of this record ventures more towards tempos other than fast and hard. What's great about this approach is not just merely the embracing feel of this direction, but that these new whisky-smooth concoctions retain and maintain its sharp edge as a result.
" blares out a great horn section and features a duet with a female guest voice.
" sports a string section, and "Unbound (The Wild Ride
)" not only throws in a little piano into the mix, but also adds a group of background vocalists so large that it nears choir-like status.
All of these songs come off sounding better for it.
" and "Dear God
" (the "aawww" ballad of the album) are probably the two songs that benefit most from these additives, this time by way of accoustic and slide guitar.
Don't be fooled ; however, by the "Gunslinger
" title. A wonderful work of art here, the motif is actually a metaphor heralding fidelity - the idea that M.Shadows has stayed faithful on the road by keeping his gun in his holster. Actually, to bring up the lyrical aspects of "AX7" the ideas expressed on most of these songs are of a mature and sound mind, being careful not to be preachy (again, in "Critical Acclaim
") but offering an honest point of view worthy of respect. The music of the album is parallel to these thoughts even to the core of AX7's playing style.
The theme of each song is driven more from the bass than the rhythm guitar even though none of the music is bass-driven.
Rather, what this approach does accomplish is shine a light on the high end parts.
" starts out with featured melodic lead that doesn't dissipate when the rest of the band jumps in.
" is perhaps a better example with an ascending lead fill between the verses. Even the melodic choruses shine more because Shadows and the boys aren't competing for your attention.
" does feature a masterpiece and it's "A Little Piece
". Not only is everything afformentioned showcased here, but the level to which this composition accomplishes is so sky high.
An all emcompassing song in an all emcompassing album, "Avenged Sevenfold
" is a very satisfying work of Sunset California Strip steak heavy metal.