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Avenged Sevenfold is a Hard Rock / Metalcore band from Huntington Beach, California. They formed in 1999. The band comprises four members; M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, and Johny Christ, since the death of The Rev. Mike Portnoy covered for his spot for the album Nightmare and following tour. Arin Ilejay is their current drummer.
The band played the underground scene in America for several years before achieving more widespread recognition and success with their third studio album; City of Evil (2005). Their second album, Waking the Fallen, is certified gold. Their original sound was harsher, with extensive use of double bass drums and screamed vocals. Since then, the band has changed to be include more melody, but not sacrificed any of the instrumentist's brutal sound. The lead guitarist, Synyster Gates is also renowned for unleashing extensive and lightning fast solos.
Avenged Sevenfold's lyrics are inspired by a wide range of themes, including references to the dead/undead, biblical themes and strong themes such as assisted suicide. Also, at least one of their songs appears to be from a vampire's point of view, whilst A Little Piece Of Heaven is from the perspective of a man who killed the woman he was in love with, raped her corpse before she rose from the dead & killed him in the same way he killed her, at which point he returns from the dead and they decide to murder an entire wedding party & the guests so they can get married.
Avenged Sevenfold (or A7X, as they are often called) are amongst the most popular alternative/heavy bands among teens and young adults the world over, and were instrumental in the creation of metalcore, a genre that combines hardcore punk with extreme metal. Unfortunately, the band is currently in a state of turmoil as the Rev passed away on Dec. 28, 2009. In statements from the rest of the band they have said that they won't give up and are trying to rebuild their lives, no easy task as the five had been friends for most of their lives. The spot had gone to Mike Portnoy, as mentioned above for a few early tours, but recently the band has found Arin Ilejay of disbanded Californian metalcore band Confide.
The band members' original names are:
- Matt Sanders - M. Shadows
- Zachary Baker - Zacky Vengeance
- Brian Haner (Jr.) - Synyster Gates
- Johnny Seward - Johnny Christ
- Jimmy (or James) O. Sullivan - The Rev/The Reverend Tholomew Plague. (1981-2009)
The band's discography is:
- Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001)
- Waking the Fallen (2003)
- City of Evil (2005)
- Avenged Sevenfold (2007)
- Nightmare (2010)
They have shown examples of some Tropes:
- Aerith and Bob: M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ and...Arin Ilejay.
- Album Title Drop: City of Evil is dropped in "Beast and the Harlot".
- All Drummers Are Animals: The Rev was the resident Cloudcuckoolander. Watch him in any video.
- Always Identical Twins: Michelle Dibenedetto-Haner and Valary Dibenedetto-Sanders, who are Brian and Matt's respective wives.
- As the Good Book Says...: The band's name is lifted from Genesis 4:15, when God curses Cain not to be killed after he kills Abel by saying: "Shall Cain be killed, he shall be avenged sevenfold". Also, "Beast and the Harlot" lifts many pasages from Revelations 17 and 18.
- Awesome McCoolname: Their stage names.
- Berserk Button: Don't make jokes about Jimmy's death around a fan. Just don't.
- Bow Ties Are Cool: Zacky has a thing for this.
- Buried Alive: They have a song called Buried Alive.
- Butt Monkey: Johnny Christ seems to be this for the rest of the band.
You can't spell bass without ass.
- Call Back: The video for "Nightmare" has two, both referencing "Afterlife". One has a tarantula crawling on The Rev's drum kit, a Call Back to the tarantula on The Rev's face. The other is Zacky dancing with a skeleton, where he was dancing with his girlfriend in "Afterlife".
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Rev.
The Rev: There's one tattoo on my body that I can't show, that...Sometimes at night I feel like demons are attacking me, and I claw at it and try to get it off me. I might get it covered up. But I don't know, I don't even know why I brought it up. Next.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Trashed and Scattered from City Of Evil.
- The Dead Can Dance: The song "Dancing Dead", of course.
- Easter Egg: Watching certain parts of All Excess, the DVD, will unlock a number of hidden videos.
- Especially "Unholy Confessions".
- Epic Rocking: They are known to do this on occasion, but most notably on the album City of Evil, on which only one song is under five minutes and four are over seven, and most recently with "Save Me" from nightmare at almost eleven minutes.
- You have to consider, they were working with Mike Portnoy, and Dream Theater are known for having Epic Rocking songs.
- Even the Guys Want Him: M. Shadows has this reputation.
- Evil Laugh: Matt seems fond of these. Also The Rev throws in a few during A Little Piece Of Heaven and Afterlife.
- Fading Into the Next Song: "Beast and the Harlot" ends with a little bit of guitar violence (if it can be termed as such), which then takes a backseat for the drum opening of "Burn It Down".
- Genre Shift: Avenged Sevenfold does this twice, with "A Little Piece Of Heaven" suddenly being composed mostly of brass and showtune instruments and is composed in a style more similar to Danny Elfman than any of their previous songs, then immediately following with another one with "Dear God" having more in common with a country song than a metal one.
- Grief Song: So Far Away, which was written for Syn's grandfather. When Jimmy died, the lyrics changed to being about him. Fiction is also about Jimmy, despite being written and sang by him....
- Guyliner: A few of them have used it, but Brian uses it consistently.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: The group as a whole has this relationship with eachother, but special mention goes to Brian, Matt, and Jimmy, and within that trio, Jimmy and Brian. Bit of a Downer Ending there.
- I Love the Dead: "A Little Piece of Heaven"
- I'm a Humanitarian: Again, "A Little Piece of Heaven".
- Intercourse with You: "Girl I Know."
- Last-Note Nightmare: "And All Things Will End".
- "Nightmare" may also qualify.
- Metal Scream: Quite a few songs start with or have these. The Beast And The Harlot, Bat Country, Natural Born Killer, to name a few. He also does this quite often with the first two albums.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and Waking the Fallen were in the 8 range, with their later material usually bordering on 7, sometimes going down to 6.
- Mood Whiplash: God Hates Us, an angry metal song that brought back their former metalcore sound comes between So Far Away and Victim on the album.
- Buried Alive starts out as a slower song and changes into a metal song after the guitar solo.
- Mr. Fanservice: All of them, but especially Matt and Brian.
- Murder Ballad: Again, "A Little Piece of Heaven"
- Nightmare Face: Made by multiple people in the video for "Bat Country". Also, when the girl comes back as a zombie and that...one face in the background of hell in "A Little Piece of Heaven".
- Not to mention the videos for Almost Easy and Nightmare. Hell, you can just about expect every other video to have at least one of these.
- Power Ballad: Many.
- Preorder Bonus: The track "Lost It All" can only be acquired through pre-ordering the Nightmare album on iTunes.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Critical Acclaim."
- Soprano and Gravel: They tend to work with female guest singers to achieve this effect.
- Subverted in The Art of Subconcious Illusion, which has Matt's wife Valary doing screaming vocals.
- Shout-Out: Many:
- The idea of a two-part suicide song with the first part being told in a soft, ballad-like song followed by an intensely heavy part 2 told from the point of view of a surviving friend should sound a bit familiar to any 90's thrash metal fan.
- The music video for Nightmare is told from the point of view of an amnesiac person being strapped in to a hospital bed and carried through the halls of a hospital with nightmarish things happening around him.
- The song and video for "Bat Country" are both confirmed to be based on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This should be obvious to anyone who's seen the movie or read the book, even if the title of the song didn't give it away.
- Title Drop: "The Beast And the Harlot" features this as well as an Album Title Drop. And that's just one example.
- Together in Death: "A Little Piece Of Heaven". Kind Of. The guy kills the girl at the beginning and does things with her corpse. She Then comes back as a zombie and murders the living hell out of him, after which they are both in hell, and he begs her to forgive him. She does, and they come back as zombies. Then they decide to murder an entire church full of people with chainsaws and whatnot during a REAL wedding and force the priest to wed them. They then live happily ever after as a murderous evil zombie couple.
- Vocal Evolution: M.Shadow's screams and singing sound differently from album to album. Just compare Art of Subconscious Illusion to Chapter Four. And listen to his singing on their first album to their latest album.
- War Is Hell: The song MIA.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Synyster Gates
- Yandere: The guy in 'A Little Piece of Heaven'.