Avenged Sevenfold (album)

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Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold cover 2007.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 30, 2007
Recorded2007
StudioSunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, California, Eldorado Recording Studios, and Burbank & Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California
Genre
Length53:50
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerAvenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold chronology
City of Evil
(2005)
Avenged Sevenfold
(2007)
Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough
(2008)
Singles from Avenged Sevenfold
  1. "Critical Acclaim"
    Released: August 17, 2007
  2. "Almost Easy"
    Released: September 18, 2007
  3. "Afterlife"
    Released: January 29, 2008
  4. "Dear God"
    Released: June 15, 2008

Avenged Sevenfold (also known as The White Album) is the self-titled fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, released on October 30, 2007 by Warner Bros. Records. The album, originally slated for an October 16 release, was delayed by two weeks in order to provide more time to complete bonus material and production for the record, including the making of the animated music video for the song "A Little Piece of Heaven". The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200.[3] On September 23, 2008, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album has also been released on vinyl. The band supported the album with a tour, beginning a day before the release of the album and ending in 2009. This is their last studio album to feature the drummer The Rev for the full album, who died in December 2009 during the production of the follow-up album Nightmare.

Although critical reception to the album was mixed compared to previous releases, Avenged Sevenfold won the Kerrang! Award for Best Album in 2008. In addition, the album was included in Kerrang's "666 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". As of 2014, it has sold over 960,161 copies in the United States and 152,123 copies in the United Kingdom.[4]

Background[edit]

Avenged Sevenfold revealed the track listing for the album on their YouTube profile on August 9, 2007, as well as their text messaging service, A7X Mobile. The band also posted a teaser on a recent YouTube blog featuring an excerpt of vocalist M. Shadows screaming in the studio.

"Critical Acclaim" was the first single from the album. A 2-minute and 15-seconds teaser was posted on the band's MySpace to tide fans over until the iTunes release date, but on August 20, 2007, Avenged Sevenfold uploaded the full version on their MySpace. The full song was released on iTunes August 28, 2007.[5]

In the weeks leading up to the album's release, a series of ten video clips, called "webisodes", were recorded featuring "Wolfie the Fox". The first webisode was released on August 24, 2007; a 3:41 clip that was posted on the band's YouTube channel. The clip consists of a pre-recorded phone message from "Wolfie the Fox" and a few scenes of their process of making "Critical Acclaim". Each of the subsequent webisodes was similar in content. The clips featured a short mock-interview between M. Shadows and Wolfie the Fox, various band members during the making of various tracks for Avenged Sevenfold, and other background videos. About eleven days before the album's release, the Wolfie Trailer was posted on YouTube. In it, Wolfie sings "Critical Acclaim" and talks about the MVI version of the new album. The webisodes can all be viewed on the band's Myspace and YouTube pages.

By September 9, 2007, news leaked of the completion of a music video for the song "Almost Easy". It was directed by P.R. Brown, known for his collaborations with Mötley Crüe and Marilyn Manson, among many others. On September 12, 2007, the release date of the single "Almost Easy" was announced and was released six days later on September 18 to purchase via digital download.

The month of October was a busy one for the upcoming album. On October 3, Kerrang! released an article in which M. Shadows and Synyster Gates were interviewed about the new album. This day also saw the release of a live performance of "Almost Easy" at the Warped Tour 2007. Originally the band intended to release this footage if viewers watched the official music video for the track on YouTube 150,000 times. Though the goal fell short at 120,000 the band still released the footage. Another live video, featuring the third track "Scream" performed in Liverpool, England was posted on YouTube on October 11. The song was also heard during a commercial for the Scream Awards on Spike TV. M. Shadows can clearly be heard singing, "You know I make you wanna scream," which is an excerpt from the chorus. "Scream" was performed live at the 2007 Spike TV Scream Awards on October 23. Also, LoveLine played the radio premiere of "Afterlife" and "Almost Easy", which was guest hosted by M. Shadows and The Rev. Three days before, the Keyclub revealed an animated music video for "A Little Piece of Heaven".

To promote their new album, Avenged Sevenfold started their US tour on October 29, headlining in Los Angeles at The Wiltern. Their opening acts were Black Tide and Operator.

On October 30, 2007, Avenged Sevenfold was released in stores worldwide.

"Dear God" was the fourth single and a notable deviation from the band's usual heavy metal style, taking on more of a country feel. Johnny Christ has stated that the inspiration for the song came from the band's friendship with country act Big & Rich. Their influence can be heard in the background vocals of MuzikMafia member Shanna Crooks.[6]

On October 31, 2008, Avenged Sevenfold mentioned that fans of the band were eligible to make their own music video for the song "Scream". The video had to be submitted to YouTube before November 30, 2008. The winner and five runners-up of the contest were announced on December 15, 2008. The winner received a new MacBook Air computer that came with Avenged Sevenfold videos, music, and other items from the band. The winning video was also featured on the Avenged Sevenfold website, MySpace page, YouTube account, and Facebook account. The five runners-up in this contest received a copy of the DVD and CD Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough, signed by the members of the band; in addition, a merchandise pack was also rewarded to these runners-up.[7]

Music style[edit]

The album represents a further move away from the metalcore of the band's early work, and away from the mainstream heavy metal sound of City of Evil, into more of a hard rock genre, with other genres represented on some songs.[2][1] It has been considered a hard rock[2] album with elements of symphonic rock,[8] rock,[2] country music[8] and experimental music.[9] The band worked with brass and string sections on "A Little Piece of Heaven", an avant-garde metal song inspired by Broadway show tunes, in which horns and orchestral strings replaced the band's lead and rhythm guitars.[10] The album features The Rev doing co-lead vocals and backing vocals on songs like "Critical Acclaim," "Scream," "Afterlife," "Lost," and "A Little Piece Of Heaven".

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic56/100[11]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
The A.V. ClubB[12]
Blender3/5 stars[13]
Entertainment WeeklyB[14]
IGN7.9/10[15]
Kerrang!4/5 stars[citation needed]
Metal Hammer8/10[citation needed]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[16]
Sputnikmusic1.0/5[17]

Upon release, Avenged Sevenfold was met with mixed reviews. Metacritic accumulated an average score of 56 out of 100 based on thirteen reviews on the website.[11]

Jason Lymangrover of Allmusic had given the album a rating of three stars out of five and wrote "While their willingness to experiment is admirable, despite the fact that they've gone overboard with their overdubs, the overabundance of studio polish leaves one to wonder if it's not because the songs just aren't as strong this time around".[1] A more positive review came from Andrew Earles of The A.V. Club who commented "The catchy Stone Temple Pilots vibe of 'Scream' is enough to put the band back on the charts, but that could happen with more than half of this album...And it probably will". He graded the album a B.[19]

The album wasn't without its more hostile responses. A much more negative review came from Dave de Sylvia of Sputnikmusic summarising "Avenged Sevenfold resemble a poor man's Hardcore Superstar" and rated the album one out of five.[17] Andrew Blackie of PopMatters rated the album two out of ten and dismissed it as being "Unoriginal, overlong even at a ten track setlist, and riddled with banality..." He even went far enough to add "...the disc is even being released the day before Halloween, could it get more corny?"[20]

Despite the mixed reaction, the album won a Kerrang! Award for Best Album in 2008.[21]

The USC Trojans Marching Band performed the song "Almost Easy" at the Rose Bowl halftime show on January 1, 2009.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All songs credited to Avenged Sevenfold. Actual songwriters listed below.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Critical Acclaim"5:18
2."Almost Easy"The Rev4:01
3."Scream"
4:50
4."Afterlife"The Rev6:01
5."Gunslinger"
  • Shadows
  • Gates
4:11
6."Unbound (The Wild Ride)"
5:11
7."Brompton Cocktail"
  • The Rev
  • Shadows
4:13
8."Lost"Shadows5:02
9."A Little Piece of Heaven"The Rev8:04
10."Dear God"
  • Shadows
  • Gates
  • Christ
6:33
Total length:53:50


Charts[edit]

Singles

Year Title Chart positions
US
[23]
US Mainstream Rock
[23]
US Modern Rock
[23]
UK
[24]
UK Rock
2007 "Critical Acclaim" - - - - -
"Almost Easy" 106 3 6 67 1
2008 "Afterlife" - 11 20 197 1
"Dear God" - - - - 3
"Scream" - 9 26 - -

MVI[edit]

  • The Making of Avenged Sevenfold
  • The Making of Avenged Sevenfold (Animated short)
  • "A Little Piece of Heaven" (Animated music video)
  • "Crossroads" B-side (Song)
  • Studio tour
  • Producer for a Day
  • Pre-encoded MP3s for all tracks
  • Future Avenged Sevenfold updates (e.g. songs, videos, etc.)
  • Making of "Afterlife" video

Personnel[edit]

Avenged Sevenfold
  • M. Shadows – lead vocals
  • Zacky Vengeance – rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar on "Dear God", backing vocals
  • The Rev - drums, percussion, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "A Little Piece of Heaven", "Critical Acclaim", "Lost", & "Scream", piano
  • Synyster Gates – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Johnny Christ – bass guitar, backing vocals
Session musicians
  • Programming by Jay E on "Critical Acclaim" and "Scream"
  • Piano and Organ by Jamie Muhoberac on "Critical Acclaim", "Unbound (The Wild Ride)", 'Lost", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Piano by Greg Kusten on "Almost Easy"
  • Upright bass by Miles Mosley on "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Cello by Cameron Stone on "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Violins by Caroline Campbell and Neel Hammond on "Afterlife," "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Viola by Andrew Duckles on "Afterlife", "Brompton Cocktail", and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Background vocals by Zander Ayeroff and Annmarie Rizzo on "Unbound (The Wild Ride)"
  • Percussion by Lenny Castro on "Brompton Cocktail"
  • Choir: Beth Andersen, Monique Donnelly, Rob Giles, Debbie Hall, Scottie Haskell, Luana Jackman, Bob Joyce, Rock Logan, Susie Stevens Logan, Arnold McCuller, Gabriel Mann, and Ed Zajack on "Unbound (The Wild Ride)" and "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Alto sax by Bill Liston and Brandon Fields on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Clarinet by Bill Liston and Rusty Higgins on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Tenor sax by Dave Boruff and Rusty Higgins on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Bari sax by Joel Peskin on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Trumpet by Wayne Bergeron and Dan Foreno on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Trombone by Bruce Fowler and Alex Iies on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Additional vocals by Juliette Commagere on "A Little Piece of Heaven"
  • Lap, pedal steel and banjo by Greg Leisz on "Gunslinger" and "Dear God"
  • Additional vocals by Shanna Crooks on "Gunslinger" and "Dear God"
  • Additional vocals by Jaime Ochoa on "Critical Acclaim"
  • Scream on "Scream" by Valary Sanders
Production
  • Produced by Avenged Sevenfold
  • Engineered by Fred Archambault and Dave Schiffman, assisted by Clifton Allen, Chris Steffen, Robert DeLong, Aaron Walk, Mike Scielzi, and Josh Wilbur
  • Mixed by Andy Wallace
  • Mastered by Brian Gardner
  • Drum tech by Mike Fasano
  • Guitar tech by Walter Rice
  • Fan Producers for a Day (MVI) by Daniel McLaughlin and Christopher Guinn

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Avenged Sevenfold at AllMusic. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Bowar, Chad. "Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold". About.com. Archived from the original on December 6, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Katie Hasty. "Eagles Fly Past Britney To Debut At No. 1", Billboard.com, November 7, 2007. Last accessed November 7, 2007
  4. ^ Jones, Alan (September 1, 2014). "Official Charts Analysis: Royal Blood's debut LP lands at No.1 with 65,812 sales". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold — Critical Acclaim". discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  6. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold tries out new sounds".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2015-03-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b "Avenged Sevenfold - Self Titled". Music Review.
  9. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare". Blog Critics.
  10. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold ready to get heavy in Abu Dhabi". thenational.ae.
  11. ^ a b "Avenged Sevenfold". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  12. ^ Earles, Andrew (2007-10-30). "Avenged Sevenfold: Avenged Sevenfold | Music | Music Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (2007-10-26). "Avenged Sevenfold Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  15. ^ Kaz, Jim. "Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold Review - Music Review at IGN". Music.ign.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  16. ^ Hoard, Christian (2007-11-01). "Avenged Sevenfold | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  17. ^ a b "Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  18. ^ "Avenged Sevenfold - Avenged Sevenfold (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  19. ^ Earles, Andrew (2007-10-30). "Avenged Sevenfold: Avenged Sevenfold | Music | Music Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  20. ^ Blackie, Andrew. "Avenged Sevenfold: Avenged Sevenfold - PopMatters". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  21. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20080822_kerrangawards.shtml
  22. ^ ""USC Trojan Marching Band to Perform Avenged Sevenfold's "Almost Easy" During Rose Bowl Halftime Show"".
  23. ^ a b c Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - Avenged Sevenfold Billboard. Retrieved on 12-14-2008.
  24. ^ "AVENGED SEVENFOLD". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 November 2015.

External links[edit]