When I first heard about this CD/DVD release from Avenged Sevenfold, I was pretty excited, but I wouldn’t have expected something this great in a hundred years. Not only does A7X show that they are still capable of writing excellent music (possibly my favorite since Waking the Fallen) on the CD portion of this release, but they also demonstrate their ability to put on one hell of a live show on the DVD.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH (CD)
To put it simply, the B-sides kick. Hard. Waking the Fallen fans will salivate over many of the riffs. Fans of City of Evil and the self-titled album will love the vocals. Everyone will enjoy the solos, and no one will be able resist headbanging to the Rev’s drum onslaught. The two covers are great, though I’d give Flash of the Blade (Iron Maiden) a slight edge over Walk (Pantera). Shadows seemed to be trying too hard to imitate Phil Anselmo on the latter track, rather than sticking to his own style. Also, the alternate version of Almost Easy is essentially the same as the final album version, except it has an added vocal fill. The alternate version of Afterlife, on the other hand, has a couple of significantly different background riffs/violins going on almost throughout the song.
The negative thing I can say for the B-sides is that Demons, the opener, is about 2 minutes too long, and Tension is nothing special, but aside from the flaws on those two tracks everything sounds awesome.
LIVE IN THE LBC (DVD)
The first thought that comes to my mind is “could this possibly be the best live DVD ever?” but I’ve seen so many good ones I’m not sure I can honestly say this is THE definitive concert Dvd, though it is up there. In any case, this one will have you running around the room moshing and swatting at invisible deathbats. It feels that real. When I saw A7X on the Taste of Chaos tour they were great, but this DVD captures everything I missed from my terrible seats and let me see all the action up close.
The actual show was left largely unedited (always a good thing), so all the in-between stuff like the band interacting with the crowd and Johnny Christ drinking beer is in there. The picture and sound quality are both absolutely top notch, and all the right camera angles were used. The editing, in short, is perfect.
The band themselves were excellent. Shadows sounded GREAT and even did a touch of screaming. The guitars were flawless, and Zachy, Syn, and the Rev really nailed their backing vocals, which has been a weakness in some of the other live videos I’ve seen of A7X. Also, they throw in a few “surprises” that really add to the fun of the show, but I don’t want to spoil anything for potential buyers.
The last thing I really liked about the DVD was the extras. The intro videos to Scream and the encore are both there along with the concert intro videos for every stop along the tour. For those who didn’t catch A7X on the Taste of Chaos Tour, they played a different intro video for every city 15 minutes before coming on stage, each one involving a joke or ruse of some sort from the band while backstage, and they put all of them on the DVD for us to see.
Frankly, if you want to see what kind of show Avenged Sevenfold is capable of putting on, then you need to buy this. Anyone who saw them on the Taste of Chaos Tour will find themselves reliving a hell of a show, and anyone who didn’t will probably be punching themselves for not getting tickets. I literally found myself hoping the DVD wouldn’t end, it was that good. If there is anything negative to be said about it at all, it would be that they didn’t play enough material off of Waking the Fallen, but it’s not even that big a deal to me. Don’t waste any time in picking it up. Get it while it’s cheap.