Ten years ago, the California heavy metal group Avenged Sevenfold released one of their best-selling albums to date. While their self-titled studio album received mixed reviews for its more melodic hard rock sound, it was the band’s first to land them at no. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts.
Now, a decade after the release of Avenged Sevenfold (2007), we take a look back at what made this album so memorable. Following the success of their 2005 major label debut, City of Evil, the band already started to gain mainstream appeal and a growing fanbase. Their Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas themed music video “Bat Country” went on to win them “Best New Artist” at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. After about 16-months of performing and promoting the album, the band decided to cancel their Fall 2006 tour and work on some brand new material for their fourth studio album.
The first track from the album, “Critical Acclaim,” was released on MySpace—back when that was still a relevant social media platform—giving fans a taste of what to expect. The song speaks about the criticism and treatment that U.S. soldiers were subject to following the most recent War in Iraq. Some were surprised to hear how the new album incorporated some of the group’s earlier metalcore sound with more mainstream appeal.
“Almost Easy,” was released as the lead single from the album and returns to more of a melodic hard rock sound that fans may have expected. The music video, directed by P.R. Brown (Mötley Crüe, Marilyn Manson), takes place in a dystopian future, where we see the band performing in a desert wasteland as zombies march towards them. The track has also been featured on the soundtrack for the motion picture Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Guitar Hero 5, Rock Band II and Need For Speed: ProStreet.
The third single, “Afterlife” was one of the band’s highest charting singles at the time—peaking at no. 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and no. 1 on the UK Rock charts. It tells the story of a man who dies and goes to heaven but has much left to do on earth. So he tries to escape the afterlife to go back and make things right.
For their fifth single, Avenged Sevenfold gave fans a chance to showcase their talents with a contest to determine the best fan-made video. The winning submission received a new MacBook Air computer loaded with Avenged Sevenfold music and had their music video featured on the band’s website.
The album was the last to feature drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan, who died of a drug overdose in December 2009, while recording their fifth studio album. Avenged Sevenfold [the album] was certified Gold by the RIAA and was featured on Kerrang! Magazine’s “666 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.”
STREAM: AVENGED SEVENFOLD’S 2007 SELF-TITLED ALBUM