I was introduced to A7x kinda late. Really when the mega hit "Bat Country" was released. Damn did I not hear that song everywhere. Our local radio station had it on Repeat, it played at the dentist office, it played at McDonald's, hell I even heard it once at a Bar Mitzvah.
After illegally downloading "City of Evil" :( please RIAA don't hunt me down Gary Busey and Charles S. Dutton style like in the 1994 cheesy action flick "Surviving the Game") "I realized that I should have purchased it legally or at minimum some bootlegger should have gotten at least $5 off of me for such an excellent album.
So I decided to purchase A7x 's "A7x" legally :) and honestly at first I was a very disappointed. Only three tracks stood out with "Scream" being the best of them. But maybe because of my actually purchasing this album I really wanted this one to be good so I listened to it for a few days straight. Yes, that's right Mr. Lays even stopped jamming "REO SpeedWagon The Hits" by REO SpeedWagon and "Ain't Going Out Like That" by Young MC.
M.Shadows singing in my opinion never really was the high point of the band, but it does what it supposed to do. The Rev really amps up the double bass drumming and godsmacking speed.(It really stands out on "Almost Easy") And of course Zacky Vengence w/S.Gates have do awesome work together. Even Johnny Christ's bass really standouts on one of the album's best song "Scream".Which usually is next to impossible to hear unless he is the only one playing. But when the plan comes together is the morbid story track "A Little Piece of Heaven". The chorus is excellent and The Rev almost steals the show vocally from M.Shadows. I am not going to spoil the story, but that song is definitively showcases the band's growth in storytelling and epic full orchestra type songs.
In conclusion f**king buy this album if you enjoyed "City of Evil" as much as I did. Do Not buy if you were hoping for another "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" album.
Mr. Lays Best Damn Tracks(Copyright):"Scream" "Critically Acclaimed" and "A Little Piece of Heaven"