81Before 2005, not too many people knew who Avenged Sevenfold were and if they did it was only because of one track and that was Unholy Confessions. That was all about to change for the band when they sat down to record their third studio album which happened to be their first major label debut. On June 6, 2005, the band would release City Of Evil which saw a lot of changes. The band was still made up of M. Shadows (Vocals), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass), and The Rev (Drums), but the sound of the band would change. The band took more of a rock sound when it came to approaching this one which even included M. Shadows training with a vocal coach Ron Anderson (he worked with Axl Rose). The changes were for the better as it reflected on their album sales as it debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Top 200 seeing the band sell over 2.5 million in a time when a lot of bands were not accomplishing that and this was as of 2015 their best selling album. Guitar World ranked it number 63 on their 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time list as well as appearing on Kerrang‘s 666 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and 50 Albums You Need To Hear Before You Die.

571. Beast And The Harlot– The third single released from the album and the opening =track featuring their sped up version of Guns N’ Roses styled hard rock chaos. The track is about the fall of Babylon, The Great. 5/5

2. Burn It Down– The first single released off of the album and a true highlight in my opinion as it starts off with The Rev’s amazing drum work before the band shows their love for power metal. I think the track is about how he is willing to fight for what is his no matter what you think. 5/5

3. Blinded In Chains-a great track musically that M. Shadows says is about, “Blinded In Chains” is about the philosophical war between Republicans and Democrats. The former are excessively closed-minded.” He also says that politicians are, “a bunch of — idiots where everyone looks at Michael Moore and does what he says.” I can’t argue with him there. 4.5/5

4. Bat Country– One of the biggest singles ever released by the band as the song was heavily influenced by Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. The song title is actually from a line in the book. 5/5

5. Trashed and Scattered– another in your face, razor sharp guitar drive tracks that is all about the band rejecting all the hate from critics because they don’t play music for them, they play it for the fans. 4.5/5

Avenged Sevenfold - City of Evil (2005) (CD, Album)6. Seize The Day– a ballad of sorts for the band that I would say is the band’s November Rain. The track is about someone who wasted their chance in life at happiness so he is telling you to seize the day and not look back. No more what if’s!!! This is one of the best Avenged Sevenfold tracks ever!!! 5/5

7. Sidewinder– a hard rock classic from the band that has a very Metallica Black Album sound to it. The track also features Synyster Gate’s dad providing a acoustic guitar solo for the song. 4.5/5

8. The Wicked End– I love the bass work from Johnny in the beginning before Gates and co. come in with a shred fest. I think the song is about the end of the world and how we ruined it. 4.5/5

9. Strength of the World– I love the acoustic intro to the track with it’s western flare and the orchestra on the track. It gives the song a very epic feel to it in this track that is about a man who is there to avenge the death of his family. 5/5

10. Betrayed– a very amazing tribute to the death of the great Dimebag Darrell who was taken just the year before. 5/5

11. M.I.A.- an eight minute epic that is all about a soldier who is M.I.A. in war and it could be about the Iraq war considering when the album was released, but it really could be about any war. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– One of their best albums in my opinion as the band showed potential in this one as far as songwriting abilities and it only become greater with every release after this one. This one established them as a heavy hitter on the scene. There really isn’t a bad track on the album, but my favorites I obviously gave a five star rating. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

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