Band: Avenged Sevenfold
Critic: Jeff Weiss
Publication: Los Angeles Times, 2010
Writing Disorders: Ambiguity Sickness, Detachment Syndrome, Scorn Disease
Stuffiest Phrase: “your inclination to the aesthetic”
Jeff, ripping this dumb review is a moot point considering the 186 comments it’s already received, but I couldn’t resist. Few critics go anywhere near metal, and I personally think it runs deeper than distaste. After all, metalheads are passionate fans, and they’re not afraid to call bullshit on haters, especially when haters spec before they check.
About the only good thing I noticed was the brevity, so there’s plenty to probe here. But before we get you lubed up, I want to start with a visual. These are the five albums you reviewed over the last month and a half:
Three out of five are hip-hop releases. That tells me you like hip-hop, not metal. Scanning through your blog posts I’m not seeing many tattooed men with Schecter guitars either. Feel free to upload your Lamb of God remixes, but based on what’s in front of me I’m gonna say you’re not really into the whole metal thing.
And that brings me to my most pressing question: why did you review this album?
“Whether you appreciate the veteran hard rock/metal hybrid depends on your tolerance for spiraling guitars, avalanche drums and satanic screams.”
Jeff, it’s not like the album’s style is out of left field. It’s clear you’re not much for the basic blueprint, so why’d you review something built on it? To warn metal haters to avoid an album called “Nightmare” with a winged reaper hovering over a terrified child? Something tells me your average Drake fan isn’t gonna go buy that on a whim. If you were ASSIGNED this album, that doesn’t help your case much either. Hammering something you had no chance of liking for a major newspaper is a disservice to music even if it’s music you’d rather do without.
If the style doesn’t melt your butter, that’s cool. But don’t diss the audience like it’s a herd of pubescent sheep that don’t know no better. Ahem:
“With imagery haunted by death and lyrical allusions to alienation and angst, Avenged Sevenfold’s fifth full-length is almost impossible to appreciate unless you fit the prime demographic: tormented teenage boys.”
Dude, unless you’re a mix of every man and woman on earth under 13 or over 19, I don’t think you can make that kind of assertion. How do you know elderly transgendered folks or college-bound girls wouldn’t bang their heads to this stuff? In lieu of a new census poll, you might try sticking with your own dismal assessment without projecting it onto others.
I think the Linkin Park reference alone speaks volumes about your metal know-how, but you made a bunch of other dubious points in this review. Here’s one from your opening paragraph:
“The major labels may continue to wither, but they won’t go out without a bang. After all, there’s no other way to explain the recent promotional tie-in between the new Avenged Sevenfold track “Welcome to the Family,” and its ideological brethren, the ultra-violent video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops.”
Jeff, you JUST explained it another way. Seems like “ideological brethren” would be paired in a promotion because of marketing 101, not a last-ditch industry effort to go out with a bang. Besides, I don’t think I’m alone saying that when I gear up for fake war, I ain’t listening to Belle and Sebastian.
There’s plenty not to like about your review, Jeff, but there was one bit that really bit my bird:
“The sincerity is palpable even if the style seems synthetic, particularly on “So Far Away,” which presumably addresses the untimely death last year of their drummer, James “The Rev” Sullivan.”
First off — seems like you should get a firmer handle on whether something’s a tribute to a dead man before you start slagging the style. You’re essentially saying the band could have done a better job honoring their fallen comrade *IF* indeed that’s what they’re doing. Wow.
Try reading those comments, Jeff. You might learn something.