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AVENGED SEVENFOLD - Nightmare cover
3.41 | 31 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 2010


1. Nightmare (06:16)
2. Welcome to the Family (04:05)
3. Danger Line (05:28)
4. Buried Alive (06:44)
5. Natural Born Killer (05:15)
6. So Far Away (05:26)
7. God Hates Us (05:19)
8. Victim (07:29)
9. Tonight the World Dies (04:41)
10. Fiction (05:08)
11. Save Me (10:56)

Total Time 66:47

Deluxe edition:

12. Nightmare (06:08)
13. Lost It All (Non-Album Track) (03:57)

Total Time 76:52


- M. Shadows / lead vocals
- Synyster Gates / lead guitar, backing vocals
- Zacky Vengeance / rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Johnny Christ / bass guitar, backing vocals

Additional musician:
- Mike Portnoy / drums

About this release

CD, 2LP and digital album released 27th July 2010 on Warner Bros.

Recorded November 2009 – April 2010.
Produced by Mike Elizondo
Mixed by Andy Wallace.
Drum arrangement and vocals by The Rev.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and adg211288, Unitron, Bosh66 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Ugh, this is awkward. You see, Jimmy "the Rev" Sullivan died whilst Avenged Sevenfold were in the process of making this one, and Mike Portnoy - then towards the end of his tenure in Dream Theater, though nobody knew it at the time - stepped into the breach to record the drum parts on the album and lend a hand with the subsequent tour. So you have this album which not only involves all the pain involved when a band member dies but also sees Portnoy doing the group a massive favour in order to get the album out.

It's a bit unfortunate, then that the album just... er... isn't very good. Avenged Sevenfold's particular style of pop-metal with the odd Rob Zombie production affectation isn't something I am particularly warm to from the start, of course, but the whole thing sounds thin and weirdly calculated and insincere, and M. Shadows vocals are flat-out weak. An album more significant for the role it played both in the band's history and Mike Portnoy's career trajectory than it is for any of its actual music, I'm afraid.
siLLy puPPy
I was like many others who avoided this band simply because it seemed a little too teeny-bopper in appearance so I never thought much of it. However, after seeing this album in a thrift store for $1, I took a chance and tried it out and have to say I was quite surprised that it doesn't suck! Of course, after I brought it home I immediately checked it out on MMA to see if there were any reviews and lo and behold – many! I was unfortunate enough to get the censored version. Really? Kids these days don't already know that fucking word in question? Lame.

As for the music, it is quite a pleasant listen for the entire run. The ballads are my least favorite but I have to say that they're not as syrupy and cheesy as I would have expected and have some nice piano. I had no idea Mike Portnoy was on this one. The songwriting and musical performances are what make this as good as it is. Very melodic traditional metal going on here and not the metalcore or alternative metal I was expecting. Those influences are still here but everything is smoothed out with a crisp clear production as well. Aside from the lame censorship issue I find this a worthy release indeed. In protest I immediately put on the 2 Live Crew afterwards.
The Block
Welcome to the family!

I have never been a huge metalcore fan, but a band with Mike Portnoy drumming is hard to pass up. I had known about Avenged Sevenfold’s newest album for a couple of months before I got around to getting it. I am glad that I did. I never heard The Rev play drums but I can’t imagine him being any better than Mike Portnoy. Another thing that Mike Portnoy brought to the table on this album besides his great drumming was his prog background. One of the songs that greatly benefits from this is the epic “Save Me” which is almost entirely prog metal. Another thing that drew me to this album after I had listened to it a couple of times was that besides metalcore it included other genres that I liked such as heavy metal and prog. Even though the lyrics are well written I still sometimes don’t like the metalcore/ thrash elements to M. Shadows’ singing.

For example, I absolutely love the title track, “Nightmare”, but when the song gets fast all of a sudden the vocals get gritty and are overall not that good. But, other than that the rest of the song is superb. Mike Portnoy’s drumming is great and the guitar work by Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance is good. I also like the vocal harmonies that they employ. When M. Shadows actually sings it is great and really smooth instead of jagged and short. The beginning of this song is also very much like a Dream Theater, thanks to Mike Portnoy.

The guitar work on this album is great especially in the fast sections on “Nightmare”. Synyster Gates is really good on guitars on “Save Me” which also has cool vocal harmonies and insane drumming. As I said before, this is definitely the song with the most prog influences on it. M. Shadows voice on this song is perhaps the best on this album.

Another couple of songs in need of reference are “Fiction” and “Welcome to the Family”. “Fiction”, which The Rev supposedly wrote two days before he died, has a great piano opening which carries throughout and s a much slower song than any other on the album. The vocals on it are also very cool. They sound like they are singing in harmony but I can’t tell if they are. “Welcome to the Family” has beautiful guitar work and uses two different vocal styles that really add to its density and overall sound.

My welcome into Avenged Sevenfold is one that I am glad I took the opportunity to look into. Granted, probably the only reason I picked up this album was because of Mike Portnoy, but the reason I stuck with it was not totally because of him but rather because of how good Avenged Sevenfold really is. With this half metalcore half prog album they deserve 4 stars.

"Nightmare" is the 5th full-length studio album by US heavy rock/metal act Avenged Sevenfold. The album was released through Warner Bros. Records in July 2010. Be warned that there are two versions of the album available. One uncensored version and one censored version where the word "Fuckin´" is edited out of the title track. So I advice that you take a listen to the opening track (the title track) on the album, before purchasing your copy to make sure you get the uncensored version. Censorship is the enemy of freedom of speech if you ask me and I hope Avenged Sevenfold fans will join together and boycot the censored abomination. So with that little issue out of the way, let´s talk about the album (and yes I´m lucky enough to have the uncensored version).

There´s been quite a significant lineup change since the release of the self-titled 4th studio album in 2007, as drummer The Rev passed away due to a drug overdose in December 2009. He is replaced here by session drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, OSI, Transatlantic...etc.).

Avenged Sevenfold play an generally mainstream oriented melodic heavy rock/metal style on this release. The metalcore tag that is sometimes applied to the band´s music isn´t really that suiting anymore and hasn´t been for a couple of albums. It´s now the third album in a row without distorted vocals and the band have since "City of Evil (2005)" moved closer and closer to a more traditional heavy rock/metal sound albeit of the most accessible and mainstream oriented kind. References to acts such as Metallica, Guns´n´Roses, and when the band are most harsh Pantera, wouldn´t be totally wrong. Add to that melodic lead guitar work and harmonies that recall Iron Maiden and the references to some of the most classic metal acts are complete. In addition to that "Nightmare" actually features quite a few progressive elements, which is something you´ll rarely find in music this accessible. It´s quite the achivement to incorporate progressive ideas into accessible/mainstream oriented music without sacrificing accessibility but it´s something Avenged Sevenfold do naturally. All music (and drum patterns) were written before Mike Portnoy entered the lineup, so the mentioned progressive tendencies are not due to his presence.

Lead vocalist M. Shadows is a skilled and versatile singer and while the rest of the band are very well playing too, and the instrumental side of the music is generally very interesting, it´s M. Shadows voice that defines the sound of Avenged Sevenfold. His nasal delivery is personal, distinct sounding, intense and powerful. He is one of those rare cases of vocalists who are instantly recognisable.

There are 11 tracks on the 66:47 minutes long album and while I usually think albums that long have an unfortunate tendency to overstay their welcome I find that I´m well entertained throughout the full playing time of "Nightmare". That spells quality. Tracks like "Welcome to the Family", "Nightmare", "Danger Line", the strongly Pantera influenced "God Hates Us", and the 10:56 progressive closing track "Save Me" are among the highlights. Even the more power ballad type tracks aren´t that bad, and I´m usually pretty harsh on those.

Overall "Nightmare" is a stronger and more interesting album than the self-titled album from 2007 but not quite as unique and innovative as "City of Evil (2005)", but overall it´s a high quality metal album deserving a 4 star (80%) rating. It´s great to hear an act with a personal sound that understand and master the balance between accessibility and writing interesting music.
My Welcome into the Family

Avenged Sevenfold was a band that I wrongfully avoided for such a long time. Their popstar image and emo-kid fanbase wasn’t something that I really wanted to be involved in, so I never gave them a fair listen. Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan’s death didn’t give me any added interest in the band, though I was curious as to who would be filling his shoes. When it was announced that Mike Portnoy would be playing the drums on Nightmare, my interest was officially piqued. Being the huge Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy fanboy that I am, I knew I had to get Nightmare when it came out. After having the album on heavy rotation for a decent chunk of time, it’s safe to say that my initial ignorance was a huge mistake. These guys are fantastic! Their mix of traditional heavy metal, thrash metal, progressive hard rock, and some metalcore bursts works perfectly. The songwriting is memorable, the arrangements are perfect, and the musicianship is spot-on. There’s really not much more to ask for from a modern metal album. Although there are definitely a few highlights that tend to overshadow some of the more average tracks, the album as a whole is a shining achievement for Avenged Sevenfold. May The Rev rest in peace; he would have been proud of this album.

The decision to include Mike Portnoy as their guest drummer was surely no coincidence on A7X’s part - this is a very progressive album. Songs like the 11-minute epic, Save Me, are almost pure prog metal. There are also some ballads like So Far Away and the first half of Buried Alive. Add in a heavy metalcore tune like God Hates Us, a heavy rock song like Welcome to the Family, and a unique opus such as Fiction, and you have quite a diverse album. The highlight on the album is the title track for me, though So Far Away and Save Me are quite close. As a whole, the album is amazingly consistent, despite the occasional dull moment. The musicianship is generally one of the best things about the album. Avenged Sevenfold is an extremely talented group, and Mike Portnoy has a plethora of talent on his own. One of the best things about Nightmare are the terrific vocals from M. Shadows. His somewhat strained style is highly distinguishable, not to mention some of the breathtaking vocal melodies that he delivers on the album. The guitar and bass department is terrific as well.

The production is perfectly suited for the music. It’s professional and clean, yet still organic.


I was really taken by surprise with Nightmare. This is one of those cases where my preconceptions about the band were extremely misleading, considering this is one of the best metal albums of 2010. If you are curious what this band is really about, pick this up as soon as possible. I was hugely impressed by Nightmare, and it’s hard to imagine a rock or metal fan that doesn’t at least moderately enjoy this album. 4 stars are well-deserved. Let’s hope these guys keep making great music!
This album was made at quite a turbulent time during the bands career and it can be heard.

I was sad and quite shocked to hear the death of The Rev, although in the past 2 years their have been a lot of weird deaths.

This album is still a pretty good album, when it comes to the matters in which it was made, but some people may say that the album was rushed, but I disagree. Their was a lot of effort, and what may appear to be rushed compared to their other efforts could be viewed as confused.

At times the influences come off to strong, there is some odd experimentation and at the odd times, a loss of identity, which is sad, because it took them about 4 years to build up an amazing sound, which at times is lost.

This album is still pretty good, and it did come off really well in my first hearing of it, and some songs may have to grow on me, but it just still proves that these guys get a lot of hard time for being a bit too popular.

And Mike Portnoy’s drumming is pretty amazing at times.

1. Nightmare – Good start. It’s obvious who the influences where. Progresses well throughout. 9/10

2. Welcome To The Family – I love the chorus. Pretty kick ass. Very reminiscent of their last album. 10/10

3. Danger Line – Not their best lyrics. But pretty interesting. 8/10

4. Buried Alive – Fade To Black intro? Sounds a bit like if some of the songs off of Death Magnetic where to be really good. The ending sounds way too much like This Was My Life by Megadeth. 9/10

5. Natural Born Killer – Loving the blastbeats. Great vocals. Pretty amazing. 10/10

6. So Far Away – Good pop acousticy song. It does build up well throughout. 9/10

7. God Hates Us – A bit too testoesterony. Quite random at times. At times quite good, but overall the weakest song. 7/10

8. Victim - Intro sounds a bit too much like Pink Floyd. Great arrangement. I love the chord changes throughout. 9/10

9. Tonight The World Dies – Quite a dark pop song. Some interesting vocals. 8/10

10. Fiction – Amazing intro and build up. The Revs vocals are pretty good in this. Quite an odd arrangement. Best song the album. 10/10

11. Save Us – Pretty interesting song with some cool twists and turns and some killer vocals in the chorus. Great ending. 9/10

CONCLUSION: Not their best, but you have to give them some credit for the matter in which it was made.

RIP The Rev
Time Signature
Censorship nightmare...

Genre: metalcore

Avenged Sevenfold, or AX7, received a lot of flak on the basis of this album, which features Mike Portney, from people who blame AX7 for Portnoy's departure from Dream Theater. This criticism is stupid and unfair! That being said, they will receive flak in this review, but for reasons that are completely different (but maybe just as unfair).

Firstly, I've experienced AX7 live once, back when The Rev was still alive, and I thought they were a quite good band. I didn't care much for their American stylized metalcore/popstar image, but I really liked a lot of their music. Anyway, the music on this album is not bad at all. Apart from some more poppy moments and some ballads that are too ordinary for my taste, this album contains a lot of metal elements that I appreciate: such as guitar harmonies, thrash metal riffing, polka-thrash drumming and good musicianship (especially the guitar work and the drumming is very impressive).

But there was one thing that ruined the whole listening experience for me. The chorus of the opening track was censored. They blanked out "fucking" in the line "It's your fucking nightmare". That offended me and pissed me off. I don't need any authority from another country other than that in which I live (probably the United States in this case) to decide for me which words I can or cannot hear. Aged 33, I am an adult; it's my decision to make! Seriously, this really pissed me off, and totally ruined my impression of the album; now, it's not that I get a kick out of someone singing "fuck" (I tend to find it silly), but censorship of this type really, really, really offends me. It lowers the value of the product I've bought; and it kind of constitutes fraud or theft, because buyers have paid for a product with certain parts missing (it's like buying a car with no brakes, or a computer with keys missing from the keyboard). The worst part to this story is that nowhere on the cover does it say "this is a censored version" - this is covert censorship, it's fraud and it's fucking disgusting!

The music's okay. The censorship isn't. If there's an uncensored version out there, buy that one. Stay away from the censored one. If it is a general thing that the censored versions are not announced as censored, don't buy this album at all. The music is worth 3,5 stars in my book, but because of the censorship on the copy I have, I am going to subtract one star.
To start of, i'm not an A7X fan, i just checked this out because of the fact Mike Portnoy is playing the drums on this.

Lyrics: Nothing special, some catchy lines, but nothing that really stands out, except for, IT'S YOUR FUCKING NIGHTMARE.

Vocals: I really like his edgy voice on some songs, but the doubled ultra clean parts don't sound right to me, but he has some great moments on the album.

Guitar: Nothing ultra original, the guitar itself sounds way to dry in my opinion, and this album has way to many harmony's on it.

Bass: Good solid work, nothing to comment on.

Drums: Well... Ofcourse, arranged by The Rev, and played by the almighty Mike Portnoy, and there are some awesome drum arrangements on this album, and the recording is really solid. But hey, it's Mike Portnoy we are talking about!

Overall: Good album overall, Nightmare being my favourite song of the album. It's a good solid written and recorded album, but it's nothing special.

(Originally written for Metal Music Archives: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/)

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