Musings

The Definitive Ranking of Avenged Sevenfold Albums

7. Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001)

Soundingtheseventhtrumpethopeless

The creation of Avenged Sevenfold.

This was Avenged Sevenfold’s very first album. I consider this to be baby A7X (they didn’t even have their current lineup yet). The songs on here aren’t necessarily terrible, but they weren’t recorded very well, and that leads to a sound quality that just hasn’t held up over the years. If you’re a die-hard A7X fan, you’d probably find at least a little bit of enjoyment out of it (like I do), but it’s definitely not a must-listen album.

6. Hail to the King (2013)

A7XHailtotheKing

The demise of Avenged Sevenfold.

After the release of this album was when I almost completely detached myself from the band. I love my boys, and I know they like to play around with their sound, so I stuck it out and jammed along as best as I could. The songs themselves aren’t that bad, but they’re bad Avenged Sevenfold songs. If a band like Three Days Grace had made Hail to the King instead, it would have been pretty cool. But I knew that A7X had so much more in them. It was very lack luster for me. Some fans called them sell outs for this, but I wouldn’t dare go that far.

5. Waking the Fallen (2003)

wakingthefallen

The beginnings of Avenged Sevenfold.

This album is where the classic Avenged Sevenfold sound can begin to be heard, especially in songs like Unholy Confessions and Second Heartbeat. Both of those songs are still fairly popular among fans, despite being 14 years old. All of the songs on this album are songs that you can really bang your head to and groove along with while listening to it.

4. The Stage (2016)

TheStageA7X

The redemption of Avenged Sevenfold.

I’m not gonna lie. I was scared to listen to this one. I was afraid that the band that I had grown up with and made me the person that I am today was going to keep drifting further and further away from what made me like them: melodic guitars, bad ass vocals, and killer drums. But, boy, was I wrong with that assumption. I finally worked up the courage and sat down for the hour and 13 minute long concept album and was completely blown away. I have zero complaints about this record. A7X went back to what they do best and are known for: mayhem. This album is an absolute trip to listen to, and I highly recommend it.

3. Avenged Sevenfold (2007)

selftitled

The playfulness of Avenged Sevenfold.

If there was one word to describe this album, it would be “experimentation”. A7X produced this album themselves, which allowed them to do just about anything that they wanted to. Most of the songs on this album include elements not found on any A7X record before it. Every song on this album stands out from the others in their repertoire. It also includes the song “Dear God”, which is the band’s try at a country song, and the song “Lost”, which includes the use of autotune on the chorus.  This is the album were A7X freed themselves of their creative inhibitions and created the songs that spoke to them at the moment.

2. Nightmare (2010)

nightmare

The grief-stricken inspiration of Avenged Sevenfold.

This album is hauntingly beautiful, even to people who had no idea that A7X’s drummer (Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan) passed away during the early stages of recording the record. You can hear the remnants of Jimmy on songs such as Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Fiction, and Save Me. It’s hard to explain the feeling that I get when I listen to this album. It’s kind of a combination between sadness and elation, because there are songs that pump me up, but there’s also songs that really get to me. With that said, you can still detect the depression and grief in the songs that are meant to excite you. I think that really goes to show how the band felt during this point in time, and it makes me so incredibly sad to think of my boys being depressed.

1. City of Evil (2005)

cityofevil

The height of Avenged Sevenfold.

When I say “the height of Avenged Sevenfold”, I don’t mean that they’ve already hit their peak, and they’re on a slow decline (no matter what Hail to the King will make you think). The band is still going strong today, but this is what I consider their most technical and adventurous album. Most of the album took inspiration from the Bible (songs like The Beast and the Harlot and The Wicked End), but also songs that detail the murder of Dimebag Darrell, and songs that show off their softer side like Seize the Day. This album is well rounded and shows off all that Avenged Sevenfold is capable of, and repeatedly shatters those expectations at the same time.

-S

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