Not really sure why I feel like doing this. That is, exposing my fat, white underbelly on the web, so go easy.
I was just sitting at my computer and since no one else is home, I opened up my media player and started playing one of my newer finds over my inadequate space saving monitor mounted speakers. I will begin by saying that I don't claim to have "been there with this band since the beginning", I just discovered them last summer after the release of their 6th-ish album. I found them while watching stuff on You Tube, this linked me to that and holy crap, I found Avenged Sevenfold. This is a good tune but the video looks like somebody had too much time to play on their computer, kinda goofy-Buried Alive.
Keep in mind, I like these guys because they pour out an energy that I fail to feel in 99% of the music released in the last few years. I'm not that into the whole skeleton and bat wing thing, but these guys have a sound that is real. I watched one of the music award shows a while back and all I could do was hang my head and turn off the TV. The music out there right now sucks, at least what they say is popular. Some of you will say that these guys are pussys and they've sold out. Some will listen to it for 10 seconds, cover your ears, begin to cry and then repent. It's not like I'm listening to Nickelback or anything. I used to like Nickelback, they had an awesome, powerful sound(for about 10 minutes). It's what you do with that sound that defines you in the music industry. Nickelback went the wrong way in my opinion. That's what A7x did right. If you listen to some of their old stuff you will definitely hear a different band than the last 3 or 4 albums. They were loud, fast, screamed a lot and didn't care what you thought. BUT, hidden in their stuff, even back in the beginning is a twisty, melodic and rhythmic vein that other bands search for and never find. I believe they found it and went with it, hence their newer, albeit more profitable direction.
I rushed out and bought Waking the Fallen, City of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold and Nightmare. Cost me about $40 after tax. Best $40 I've spent in a while. I'm not big on downloading music, I'd rather have the CD in my hand. I feel musicians deserve my $10 for their effort.
I guess one of the reasons I thought I'd write this is that unless you know me, you probably don't know me. My taste in music would surprise most from the impression I tend to give, or lack there of. I'm a no tattoo havin, non-pot smokin, light drinker with a wife and two kids, a den leader in scouts, mountain bike racer that eats too much and I happen to like a HUGE range of music. A range so huge that I'm not going to talk about it for fear of persecution. (Not that there is anything wrong with any of the above, I just have moar fun building pinewood derby cars than getting high.)
A7x history lesson from me and I don't know a ton. They are from, surprise, southern California. A 5 member band, they started really young in 1999 but when they broke into the scene, they plowed it over. In 2009 their drummer, Jimmy"The Rev" Sullivan died of a combination of heart disease aggravated by years of drug and alcohol use. They had already started work on their newest album, Nightmare but hadn't recorded any of it. A well know metal drummer, Mike Portnoy that was the creator of the band Dream Theatre stepped up and played the rest of their tour so they wouldn't have to cancel a ton of shows. A7x asked Mike to record the new album with them and he did. He liked the direction A7x was going so much that he decided to put DT on hold, eventually quitting DT and now tours with them. He's not officially a member but he fills in pretty well. Personally I think Mike might be technically a better drummer than The Rev, but I like the energy The Rev bled into his songs, you could feel it.
Ultimately, I started my collection of A7x to listen to while racing but they have become one of my top choices. I'm a big Tool fan also, but if you check out the movie Blood into Wine, it gives you the feeling that Maynard may be done making new music. Worth the watch by the way. He now owns a vineyard in Arizona called Cadudeus Cellars. To the critics, his best wine goes by the name Judith but it's hard to get. Listen to the song that plays on the Judith page, be patient and wait for part two to start. It is one of my favorite Tool songs and the lyrics are down on the page, read them. This guy's no dummy.