Nightmare (Avenged Sevenfold album)
|Studio album by Avenged Sevenfold|
|Released||July 27, 2010
(See release history)
|Recorded||November 2009 – April 21, 2010 at The Pass and Phantom Studios|
|Genre||Heavy metal, hard rock|
|Avenged Sevenfold chronology|
|Singles from Nightmare|
Nightmare is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, released on July 27, 2010 through Warner Bros. Records. It was produced by Mike Elizondo and mixed in New York City by noted engineer Andy Wallace. Nightmare is the first Avenged Sevenfold record without James "The Rev" Sullivan performing drums on all the songs due to his death in December 2009; however he did write parts that were used for the final recordings, making this the last album he would write on, The Rev's vocals are still on the album as a tribute to him. This is the only album to feature ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who performed as the drummer for the album in his place, also played with the band for all their tours through the end of 2010, due to his separation with Dream Theater. They have since hired Arin Ilejay to drum in Rev's place. The album has been certified Gold by the RIAA in the United States. The album debuted at number 1 in the Billboard 200. As of May 2014 the album has sold 818.000 copies in the United States.
Writing and recording
In late 2009, two years after Avenged Sevenfold released their self-titled album, and four years after they had issued their breakthrough studio set, 2005's City of Evil, the band started working on their next record, their "most personal and epic that will definitely take you on a very dark journey." Around late 2009, the band worked on the album's production until the death of their drummer.
On December 28, 2009 the body of James "The Rev" Sullivan was discovered inside his home. This incident made the band suspend work on the album for some time. In the later months, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater (a major influence on The Rev and the rest of the band) agreed to finish recording the drumming tracks for the album:
|“||Even under normal circumstances, I would've been happy to help the guys out in any way I could as I think Avenged Sevenfold are a great band; But under these incredibly sad and tragic circumstances, I must say I am truly honored to have been asked to play with them and I didn't even have to think twice about saying yes. [...] These guys are a true family and it is an incredibly emotional experience to be here with them for the first time without their lost brother. But they have welcomed me into the family with open arms and there's a real excitement to make the record they had set out to make. I am treating my participation on this album with the utmost respect for Jimmy's memory and am remaining as true as possible to the drum parts that he wrote for the songs and the record he wanted to make. [...] Although I wish I could stay on board with Avenged Sevenfold in a more permanent capacity; I will need to resume work with Dream Theater to start a new album at some point in 2011. However, I will be able to join my brothers in Avenged Sevenfold for at least the duration of their touring throughout 2010, and hopefully this will give them the time to continue to heal and get comfortable back on the road.||”|
After a couple of months, more notices about the album became available; a short message from Zacky Vengeance was posted on the official Avenged Sevenfold Twitter on April 17, 2010: "Tracking is complete. There are no words that will ever describe the feeling of listening to this album while driving home alone at 4 am."
Johnny Christ stated in an interview with Ultimate Guitar about the writing process and subject matter of Nightmare:
|“||We definitely had made the decision that it was going to be a concept record. We wanted to have a dark concept record, sort of like The Wall or Operation: Mindcrime. At the same time we wanted to incorporate some of what we had done in the past with the guitar work. We wanted to make it heavier in general. Throughout all of that, the songs that came out were musically already as dark as we wanted them to be. Then lyrically it took a different turn when Jimmy passed. The lyrics then became mostly – not 100 percent – but mostly to do with his death and his life.||”|
M. Shadows and Synyster Gates, in an interview with The Pulse of Radio, confirmed The Rev's special appearance in the record. According to the band members, he left a couple of vocals (to their fortune, clear and in key) before his death, which they used on the record. With his drum fills and vocals intact, the record shows itself like the band's last record with their drummer. The same band members revealed some details about the new record in an interview to Hard Drive radio:
|“||[...] The new album, Nightmare, is dedicated to The Rev's memory and although it's not exactly a concept album, it does center around The Rev. The eeriest thing about it is there is a song on the album called "Fiction" (a nickname The Rev gave himself) which started out with the title "Death". And it was the last song The Rev wrote for the album, and when he handed it in, he said, 'That's it, that's the last song for this record'. And then, three days later, he died."||”|
Release and promotion
The first single, "Nightmare", was released digitally on May 18, 2010. A preview for the song was released on May 6, 2010 on Amazon.com, but was removed soon after for unknown reasons; however, on May 10, 2010, a 30-second audio uncensored sample was again revealed, but this time at SoundCloud and on the band's official website. The band also posted, the same day, a video of the song on their official YouTube channel with animated lyrics, which received over 275,000 plays in 24 hours.
On June 3, 2010, the band revealed a "Limited Edition" of Nightmare for pre-order available only on their website, which contains:
- Full Nightmare album on CD.
- Expanded booklet featuring lyric sheets from the band and exclusive artwork.
- Housed in a synthetic leather bound book with special silver plated Nightmare crest.
- Limited 24″ x 36″ lithograph entitled Death Bat Anatomy, featuring original artwork on special textured paper embossed with a silver colored Death Bat.
- Instant download of the new single, Nightmare.
Since May 27, 2010, the band revealed the album cover piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle over a period of eighteen days, revealing the complete cover on June 14, 2010, along with the track listing.
On June 29, 2010, the band made available an iTunes pre-order of the album, which contains:
- Full Nightmare digital album.
- Bonus track: "Lost It All"
- Exclusive photos.
- "Nightmare" music video.
- Behind the scenes footage from "Nightmare" music video shoot.
- Written treatment for "Nightmare" music video.
- "Nightmare" lyric video.
- Audio interview with album producer, Mike Elizondo.
- Type-set lyrics with hand-written notes for bonus track, "Lost It All".
- Sketches of album art concept.
The song "Buried Alive" was posted on the band's Facebook page on July 14, 2010, but experienced loading issues due to a large number of users trying to access the video, and was briefly taken down. The problem was resolved on July 15, 2010, and was posted on YouTube as a lyric video which also contained a small animation.
On October 19, 2010, the single "Welcome to the Family" was released.
On April 5, 2011, "So Far Away" was released, followed by the music video.
In September 2011, the band announced plans for a music video for their next single, "Buried Alive". They tried to get Rob Zombie to direct the video, but he declined due to being focused on another project.
|The A.V. Club||C− |
Upon its release, Nightmare received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 7 professional reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".
In the August 2010 issue of Metal Hammer, Terry Bezer rated the album an eight out of ten. In his review he had praised the band members for their courage despite of the death of The Rev and called it "the ultimate tribute to a fallen friend." He also praised Mike Portnoy for his part in the album and found him a fitting stand-in for The Rev. 411 Mania gave the record a lengthy but highly positive review by giving it a score of 9.0/10. As a conclusion they stated, "If you’re a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare is a must-have for you. This album is incredibly moving and is better than any tribute to the late Rev I could have possibly imagined." Kerrang! gave the album 4 K's out of 5 concluding: "Where Avenged [Sevenfold] go from here is still in the lap of the gods. Whatever their future, though, Nightmare marks the point at which the Huntington Beach crew put away childish things and became men. Wherever he is now, their brother must be immensely proud."
About a month and a half before the record had released, Faye Lewis of Rock Sound, gave the record a highly critical review, saying that the title track "Nightmare" was the only highlight, which generated much criticism. Rock Sound later issued an apology for the review and took it down from their site. In their letter of apology they said: "Rock Sound recently published a track-by-track guide to the forthcoming Avenged Sevenfold album. We wish to apologize wholeheartedly for any misunderstanding in the article that caused upset to both the band and their fans. This was certainly not our intention and therefore we have removed the piece from the site."
|2010||The Rev on Nightmare||Golden God Awards: Best Drummer||Won|
|2011||Mike Portnoy on Nightmare||Golden God Awards: Best Drummer||Won|
|Synyster Gates & Zacky Vengeance on Nightmare||Golden God Awards: Best Guitarists||Won|
|M. Shadows on Nightmare||Golden God Awards: Best Vocalist||Won|
|Nightmare||Golden God Awards: Album of the Year||Won|
|"Buried Alive"||Revolver Magazine's Song of the Year 2011||Won|
All songs credited to Avenged Sevenfold. Actual songwriters are listed below.
|Standard Single Disc Edition|
|2.||"Welcome to the Family"||The Rev||4:05|
|3.||"Danger Line"||Shadows, Rev||5:28|
|4.||"Buried Alive"||Shadows, Rev||6:44|
|5.||"Natural Born Killer"||Rev||5:15|
|6.||"So Far Away"||Synyster Gates||5:26|
|7.||"God Hates Us"||Rev||5:19|
|9.||"Tonight the World Dies"||Gates, Rev||4:41|
|11.||"Save Me"||Rev, Shadows||10:57|
|iTunes Deluxe Version/Japan Version Bonus Track|
|12.||"Lost It All"||3:57|
|Limited Edition Book of Nightmares Bonus Track|
|Limited Edition Book of Nightmares Instrumental Digital Download|
|2.||"Welcome to the Family (Instrumental)"||4:07|
|3.||"Danger Line (Instrumental)"||5:29|
|4.||"Buried Alive (Instrumental)"||6:46|
|5.||"Natural born Killer (Instrumental)"||5:17|
|6.||"So Far Away (Instrumental)"||5:28|
|7.||"God hates Us (Instrumental)"||5:17|
|9.||"Tonight the world Dies (Instrumental)"||4:43|
|11.||"Save Me (Instrumental)"||10:56|
|Austria, Switzerland||July 23, 2010|
|New Zealand, United Kingdom, Sweden||July 26, 2010|
|United States, Canada, France||July 27, 2010|
|Malaysia, Japan||July 28, 2010|
|Australia||July 30, 2010|
|Italy, Spain||August 1, 2010|
|Taiwan||August 17, 2010|
|Germany, Brazil||August 27, 2010|
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- Karan, Tim (May 17, 2010). "AVENGED SEVENFOLD ANNOUNCE TITLE, RELEASE DATE FOR ALBUM". Alternative Press. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- Harris, Chris (November 9, 2009). "Avenged Sevenfold Hard at Work on 'Epic' Next Record". Noisecreep. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- Harris, Chris (Jan 18, 2010). "Avenged Sevenfold Frontman Breaks Silence About Death of Drummer". Noisecreep. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- Harris, Chris (December 30, 2009). "Avenged Sevenfold Drummer James Sullivan's Autopsy Inconclusive". Noisecreep. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- "AVENGED SEVENFOLD To Release Nightmare Single This Month". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
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- "Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare – Further Details Made Available!". Metal Hammer. May 7, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "AVENGED SEVENFOLD: Nightmare Limited Edition Detailed". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
- "AVENGED SEVENFOLD Featuring DREAM THEATER Drummer; First Audio Sample Released". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare Preview". Metal Hammer. May 11, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Avenged Sevenfold Limited-Edition Nightmare Package Revealed". Metal Hammer. June 4, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "Pre-Order the Limited Edition of Avenged Sevenfold's New Album Nightmare". Warner Bros. Records. June 3, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
- "Warn Everyone That the A7X Nightmare Is Coming". Avenged Sevenfold. Warner Bros. Records. May 27, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- "Avenged Sevenfold: Nightmare Artwork, Track Listing Unveiled". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- Karan, Tim (June 15, 2010). "Avenged Sevenfold Reveal Nightmare Artwork, Track listing". Alternative Press. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- "AVENGED SEVENFOLD: Nightmare iTunes Edition Detailed". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. June 30, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- "iTunes Pre-Order Available Now". Avenged Sevenfold. Warner Bros. Records. June 28, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- "Avenged Sevenfold: Official 'Buried Alive' Lyric Video Available". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. July 15, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- "New Avenged Sevenfold album previews up online, and full length stream of new track". Lick Library. 21 July 2010. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "AVENGED SEVENFOLD Wanted ROB ZOMBIE To Direct 'Buried Alive' Video". Blabbermouth.net. 19 September 2011. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Nightmare". Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- "Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare review". Titan, Aaron. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Lymangrover, Jason (2010-07-28). "Nightmare"" Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Pierce, Leonard (2012-07-27). "Nightmare - Avenged Sevenfold". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
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- "Kerrang! Kerrang! Magazine 28/07/2010". Kerrang!. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- "Metal Hammer". Metal Hammer. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Lewis, Faye (2010-06-21). "AVENGED SEVENFOLD ‘NIGHTMARE’ - FIRST REVIEW". Rock Sound. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- Stagno, Mike (2010-07-26). "Nightmare - Avenged Sevenfold". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
- Mansfield, Brian (2010-07-27). "Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare: More Than Metal". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
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- Revolver Magazine (December 7, 2011). "What Is the Song of the Year?". Revolver Magazine. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
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