10 most criminally underrated Avenged Sevenfold songs
Ahead of their new album, Life Is But a Dream…, we dove into Avenged Sevenfold’s massive discography to find their most underrated songs. Check out our picks. Continue reading…
If you’re a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, you’re probably all too aware that it’s been six-and-a-half long years since their last studio album. Where’s the new material from these gods of modern metal?
Well, dear reader, Christmas is coming in June this year. Earlier this March, A7X released a brand-new single, “Nobody,” and announced that their eighth studio album, Life Is But A Dream…, drops June 2. It’s a thrilling development, but there’s just one problem: A new single, even a sublime one, isn’t enough to satisfy our excitement for three more months. So what else can we listen to in the meantime?
Read more: Avenged Sevenfold albums ranked: From worst to best
To answer that question, we dove into A7X’s decades-spanning discography to find their most underappreciated songs — the B-sides, bonus tracks, and hidden jewels that the world has largely overlooked. While you count down the days until the new album, click over to your favorite streaming service and join us on a tour through the greatest Avenged Sevenfold songs that casual listeners have never heard of and even die-hard fans may have forgotten.
“Thick And Thin”
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: Many Avenged Sevenfold fans like to pretend that their debut album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, doesn’t exist. It may be mostly composed of unremarkable early 2000s metalcore, but “Thick And Thin” proves that the record still contains flashes of brilliance. The track begins like a straightforward punk song before breaking into feral screams and brutal guitars that would still make any mosh pit hero go apeshit. And with that mosher in mind, the lyrics focus on having fun, staying safe, and supporting one another at even the craziest of shows.
Coming in hot on A7X’s 2007 self-titled album, “Lost” is most notable for its use of Auto-Tuned vocals from both lead singer M. Shadows and original drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. But while some artists might use Auto-Tune as a crutch, for A7X it was purely a creative experiment. This album was the first, and so far only, record that they produced completely on their own, so why not try some new things, just for the hell of it? Auto-Tune never became a major part of A7X’s sound, but on “Lost,” it somehow fits perfectly.
“I Won’t See You Tonight Part 2”
One of the most popular tracks from A7X’s sophomore album, Waking the Fallen, is “I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1,” a melancholic portrait of someone who is about to die by suicide. Perhaps even more powerful, however, is the often overshadowed “Part 2,” which is written from the perspective of someone who has just learned that their close friend has taken his life. No other song in A7X’s corpus so perfectly captures the soul-splitting agony of grief. Press play and you immediately hear a furious, primal scream from Shadows, paired with a guitar that stretches into a painful shriek, piercing your brain like an icepick. The song was recorded years before The Rev’s passing, making it even more tragic and poignant in retrospect.
On the deluxe edition of The Stage, A7X added a few bonus tracks that you won’t find on the regular release — including a cover of “Runaway,” originally a 1961 hit performed by singer-songwriter Del Shannon. The band transform a sweet, forlorn tune into an adrenalized punk-rock gem, one that features Warren Fitzgerald of the Vandals on guitar. It’s also the only recorded A7X track with rhythm guitarist Zacky Vengeance stepping in as the lead singer. The cover was his idea, after all — and he fucking nails it.
“Eternal Rest” (Live From Ventura Theater – January 2004)
This live recording of the Waking the Fallen track puts the band’s virtuosic musicianship on full display. After a blistering guitar solo from Synyster Gates, Shadows launches into the raw metalcore vocals that longtime fans instantly recognize and often miss dearly. When the chorus hits, he switches to a swaggering singing style that resembles his performance on “Walk,” A7X’s cover of the Pantera classic. The Rev’s airtight drumming brings it all together to provide undeniable proof that Avenged Sevenfold were always good live.
In a more just world, “Demons” would be one of A7X’s best-known songs. It’s the first track off Diamonds in the Rough, a collection of B-sides recorded around the time that A7X were working on their self-titled album. It was released with the Live in the LBC concert DVD in 2008 but only hit streaming services in 2020. As for what makes “Demons” stand out, notice the wicked drum fills and the clever call and response in the chorus. Shadows first sings about trying to escape from himself, but when he mentions the demons that follow him, his words change in tone and drop in volume, as if they were the subtle intonations of the demons themselves. In short, this is heavy-metal ear candy at its smartest and most technically proficient.
“Burn It Down”
Kicking off with an aggressive drum pattern, followed by a dual-guitar part that can only be described as acrobatic, “Burn It Down” finds each member of A7X firing on all cylinders. The song embodies everything that made the City of Evil album so unique — and so polarizing. Arriving after Waking the Fallen, the record was definitely not the metalcore masterpiece that many fans were expecting. It was heavy yet catchy, dark yet colorful. Songs like “Beast and the Harlot” and “Bat Country” would soon catapult A7X into international superstardom, but as the album’s second track, “Burn It Down” played a crucial role in establishing the band’s killer new sound.
If you’re looking for an Avenged Sevenfold song to sing in the shower, look no further than “4:00 AM.” It’s a certified banger that somehow slipped under the radar, dropping around the same time as Nightmare without being included on the album itself. A major highlight is the bridge section, which features the know-it-when-you-hear-it, Halloween-sounding guitars that have become a bit of an A7X trademark. (You’ll also notice them after 3:00 in “Scream,” for example.) And with such a karaoke-worthy chorus, it’s high time that “4:00 AM” gets the love it deserves.
When it was released in 2010, “Save Me” was Avenged Sevenfold’s longest song — and even today, those 10 minutes and 56 seconds feel like a journey. Starting with a foreboding bassline from Johnny Christ, the track takes the listener through unnerving, whispered vocals and into a scorching-hot Gates solo. At the end, Shadows delivers an impassioned performance over tasteful piano chords and Mike Portnoy’s vicious drumming. Creepiness, beauty, tenderness, aggression — “Save Me” has it all.
Originally a Hail to the King bonus track, “St. James” is a moving tribute to The Rev. But it’s not a bleak or mournful meditation on his death — it’s a joyful celebration of his life. The lyrics touch on his undeniable creative genius, as he is credited with writing mega-hits like “Afterlife” and “Welcome to the Family.” They also wink at The Rev’s endearingly eccentric personality, as seen in a certain famous encounter with a “stallion duck.” When these words combine with soaring, triumphant guitars, “St. James” puts a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.