As of this weekend, a decade of evil has fallen upon the hard rock industry as Avenged Sevenfold's landmark 2005 studio album City of Evil turns ten years old. More than ten years after its release, City of Evil remains a top contender in the running of classic hard rock albums and is the home of radio favorites like Bat Country, Beast and the Harlot, and Seize the Day.
Flashback ten years and Avenged Sevenfold was a rising Southern California metalcore act, grinding in the hardcore scene with bands like Eighteen Visions and playing local venues like Chain Reaction. Not only did City of Evil receive widespread commercial success, but set the Californian 5-piece in a completely new sonic direction. Prior to their 2005 release, fans knew A7X as a band which offered fast punk drums, brutal riffs, and a pissed off frontman in M. Shadows. While there is hardly any rock fan that would bash the band's second full length Waking the Fallen, its successor redefined the identity of the band, and highlighted the band's influences in Metallica, Pantera, Iron Maiden, and Guns N' Roses. The finished product remains a collection of some of the most sacred recordings in hard rock history.
Offering blistering guitar work, melodic songwriting, and classic metal attitude, City of Evil was the perfect storm to embark A7X on a proud career in the industry. In total the album runs a generous 72 minutes front to back, with an even thicker songbook for aspiring guitarists. Containing deep tracks like "Sidewinder", "M.I.A.", "The Wicked End" and "Blinded Chains" City of Evil changed the face of heavy music, put the guitar solo back in style, and gave a breath of fresh life to a commercially struggling genre. If you haven't heard it front to back, go grab your best pair of headphones.