As a lead-up to Hail to the King (Avenged Sevenfold’s upcoming album), I’m going to do brief reviews of each of their previous albums to give you a sense of the group’s evolution and to help predict what kind of sound we might be expecting from Hail.
Live in the LBC/Diamonds in the Rough is a live album/DVD package/rarities compilation. It’s not a normal studio album, it’s more of a collection of all the songs A7X didn’t put on Avenged Sevenfold, plus a live album. I’m not going to spend very much time on it, because honestly the album is sort of what you might expect from that sort of collection; it’s not very coherent. Instead, it’s sort of a jumble of songs they didn’t get to. They’re also implicitly the worse songs, the ones that didn’t make the cut for Avenged Sevenfold. (Note: I’m not going to tackle the live album part of this. I’m focusing only on Diamonds in the Rough.)
This isn’t a terrible album, but it’s not great either. It generally sounds a little forced, and is lacking the energy and excitement that Avenged Sevenfold and City of Evil have so much of. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some good songs. It absolutely does. But the album as a whole, in my opinion, is subpar. Might be worth a listen – after all, it’s still Avenged Sevenfold – but it’s not their best.
“Demons” – I’m not nominating this one because it’s great. Actually, I’m going to look at why it’s not great. The harmonies are often weird and don’t sound quite right. The tempo variations always seem to be at just the wrong time – the chorus never builds up properly. The vocals are pretty solid and the instrumentals are actually quite well done, but the overall composition of the song seems to be just a little off.
“Girl I Know” – Here’s one exception to the album’s mediocrity. This song makes my top 5 list of the hardest rocking songs A7X has ever done. It sounds a lot like Burn Halo’s “Dirty Little Girl,” and is just a gritty hard rock song. Driving guitar, powerful vocals, and a creative guitar solo make this track awesome.
“Dancing Dead” – Nothing compares to “Little Piece,” but this song does have a nice drawn-out feel, with a very long bridge in the middle. Lots of cool parts with a very long guitar solo. You can also hear the band talking in the background. M. Shadows’ lead-in from the bridge to the chorus is unintelligible, but sounds really cool. If you can translate it, PLEASE comment with the transcription.
As always, thanks for reading!
P.S. Check out a fellow WordPresser’s new blog about varieties of metal music!