Avenged Sevenfold is a band from Huntington Beach, California, United States. They started out as a metalcore band, but have since moved towards hard rock.
The band was formed in 1999. Avenged Sevenfold's first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, was recorded when the band members were eighteen years old. It was originally released on their first label, Good Life Recordings. After lead guitarist Synyster Gates (also known by Brian Haner Jr.) joined the band, the introductory track "To End The Rapture" was re-recorded with Gates playing, and the album was re-released on Hopeless Records. Their follow-up album, entitled Waking the Fallen, was also released on Hopeless Records and was awarded a positive rating in Rolling Stone magazine. Shortly after its release, Avenged Sevenfold were signed to Warner Bros. Records.
City of Evil, the third album which was released on June 7 2005, strayed from metalcore, and instead headed more towards heavy metal and adds a harder rock sound with influences ranging from various bands. During the recording of City of Evil, M. Shadows' vocal styling changed to focus more on melodic singing rather than hardcore screaming. Some cite the change in vocal style as consequence of vocal chord damage (that resulted in subsequent surgery) during a tour supporting Waking the Fallen. Shadows denies the injury as being the reason. In the "All Excess" DVD, producer Mudrock clarifies this subject and affirms this is not the reason why the band changed style. He says "One thing I see on the Internet, and that I just want to set the record straight on is, when I met the band, before they recorded Waking The Fallen, Matt handed me the CD [Sounding The Seventh Trumpet] and said "this record is screaming, the record we wanna make is half screaming and half singing. I don't wanna scream anymore, but I'm going to make a record that's half singing and half screaming, and a record after that is going to be only singing". The already knew they wanted to make a singing record right by the time City Of Evil came out, that was two years before it came out, that's what the band wanted to do as artists."
The band's name is a reference to the book of Genesis in the Bible where Cain is sentenced to live in exile for the crime of murdering his brother. God marked him so that none would kill him on account of his sin; the man who dared to kill Cain would have "vengeance taken upon him sevenfold." The title of Avenged Sevenfold's song "Chapter Four" references Genesis 4:15, the chapter of the Bible in which the story of Cain and Abel takes place. The song's subject also appears to be this story. "Beast and the Harlot", yet another song derived from the Bible, comes from the book of Revelation only it is written in the first person and refers to the punishment of Babylon the Great, world empire and seat of false religion. Another Bible reference occurs in the song "The Wicked End". In the song, several times it is said "dust the apple off, savor each bite, and deep inside you know Adam was right." making reference to Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Although the band's title and members' stage names make references to religion, Shadows stated in an interview that they are "not really religious at all." "Anyone that read the lyrics and really knew anything about us, they would know we're not promoting either", he said. "That's one thing about this band that I love is that we never really shove any kind of, like, political or religious beliefs on people. We just, the music's there to entertain and maybe thought-provoking on both sides, but we don't try to, like, really shove anything down anyone's throat. There's too many bands that do that nowadays, I think."
The song "Bat Country" is a reference to the book/movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The song is dedicated to the Author of the book, the late Hunter S. Thompson. Their song "Blinded In Chains" was used in the soundtrack for the video games Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Arena Football. "Bat Country" was used in the soundtracks for SSX on Tour, NHL 06 and Madden 06, following in the footsteps of "Chapter Four" which had also been on the soundtrack for NHL 2004, Madden 2004 and NASCAR Thunder 2004. The song "Beast and the Harlot" was in the soundtrack for Burnout Revenge. All the above games, not coincidentally, are produced by various divisions of Electronic Arts. "Beast and the Harlot" also appears in RedOctane's Guitar Hero II, released in November 7, 2006. The song "Burn it Down" is featured on the October 24, 2006 release of the Saw III soundtrack.
During recent tours (Spring 2006 and Ozzfest 2006 tours) Avenged Sevenfold have been performing the song "Walk", originally by Pantera, as part of a tribute to the late Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott.
At the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, Avenged Sevenfold received the award for best new artist. They took the award over several other artists like Angels & Airwaves and James Blunt. After canceling fall and winter 2006 tour dates, the band is planning their unnamed fourth studio album. M. Shadows has stated that it will not be a City of Evil Part 2 or Waking the Fallen Part 2, because they want to change their sound once more. They say it will be somewhat of a surprise to their fans. Some people are rejecting their new sounds, as some are embracing it.
The band released their first DVD, Avenged Sevenfold : All Excess on July 17, 2007.
The release date of their self-titled album was October 30, 2007; it includes the tracks Critical Acclaim and Almost Easy.
Band Members :
M. Shadows - Vocals
The Rev - Drums, Back vocals
Synyster Gates - Guitars, Back vocals
Zacky Vengeance - Guitars, Back vocals
Johnny Christ - Bass, Back vocals
Matt Wendt - bass
Justin Meacham - bass, piano
Dameon Ash - bass
Papa Gates - additional guitars, pedal steel
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