Avenged Sevenfold | Biography

Avenged Sevenfold is an American rock/hard rock/metal band from Huntington Beach, California,formed in 1999 in Huntington Beach, California with original members M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, The Rev and Matt Wendt. M. Shadows came up with the name as a reference to the story of Cain and Abel from The Bible, which can be found in Genesis 4:24, although they are not a religious band. Upon its formation, each member of the band also took on a pseudonym which were already nicknames of theirs from high school. Before release their debut album, the band recorded two demos in 1999 and 2000.

Avenged Sevenfold's material spans multiple genres and has evolved over the band's career. Initially, the band's debut album 'Sounding the Seventh Trumpet' consisted almost entirely of metalcore sound, however, there were several deviations to this genre, most notably in 'Streets' which adopts a punk style and 'Warmness on the Soul', which is a piano-oriented ballad. On 'Waking the Fallen', the band displayed the contemporary metalcore style once more, but added more clean vocals as well as more mature and intricate musical elements. In the band's DVD 'All Excess', producer Andrew Mudrock explained this transition: "When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet had come out before they had recorded Waking the Fallen, M. Shadows said to me this record is screaming. The record we want to make is going to be half-screaming half-singing. I don't want to scream anymore. And the record after that is going to be all singing."

On 'City of Evil', Avenged Sevenfold's third album, the band chose to abandon the metalcore genre, developing a more hard rock style. Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album consists of several deviations to less consistent genres and styles from the album's main hard rock and heavy metal songs, most notably in 'Dear God', which adopts a country style and 'A Little Piece of Heaven', which is circled within the influence of Broadway show tunes, using primarily brass instruments and stringed orchestra to take over most of the role of the lead and rhythm guitar. Nightmare contains further deviations, including a piano ballad called 'Fiction' and a brief return to their metalcore roots on 'God Hates Us'. The band has changed considerably since their first album, in which during that time they have been characterized as a heavy band with a screamed and growled vocal style combined with clean vocals, chugging guitar riffs and breakdowns that one can expect from the metalcore genre. The band has also cited bands such as Bad Religion, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Dream Theater, Metallica, NOFX, Alice in Chains, Black Flag, Corrosion of Conformity, The Misfits, Slayer, The Vandals, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, Deftones, and AFI as their artistic influences.

In an interview for Skratch Magazine M. Shadows said "the name itself comes from the Bible. It's basically the first murder on Earth between Cain and Abel. The name is a 'what goes around, comes around' sort of thing. And just so there is no confusion, Avenged Sevenfold is not a religious band." The part of the bible where the name comes is Genesis (King James Bible) – specifically Genesis 4:15, where Cain is sentenced to life in exile for murdering his brother. "And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him". The abbreviation "A7X" for their band name was the idea of guitarist Zacky Vengeance. The title of Avenged Sevenfold's song 'Chapter Four' refers to the fourth chapter of Genesis, in which the story of Cain and Abel takes place. The song's subject also appears to be this story. 'Beast and the Harlot', yet another song derived from the Bible, comes from the Book of Revelation only it is written in the first person and refers to the punishment of Babylon the Great, world empire and seat of false religion.

Another biblical reference occurs in the song 'The Wicked End'. In this song, several times it's said "dust the apple off, savor each bite, and deep inside you know Adam was right." making reference to Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Although the band's title and members' stage names make references to religion, Shadows stated in an interview that they are not a religious band. "Anyone that reads the lyrics and really knew anything about us, they would know we're not promoting either," he said. "That's one thing about this band that I love is that we never really shove any kind of political or religious beliefs on people. We just, the music's there to entertain and maybe thought-provoking on both sides, but we don't try to really shove anything down anyone's throat. There's too many bands that do that nowadays, I think." The band has a few songs that are somewhat political in nature like 'Critical Acclaim', 'Gunslinger' and 'Blinded in Chains'. The song 'Betrayed' of their album 'City of Evil' was written about Dimebag Darrell's death.

The band has a logo known as the "Deathbat". It was originally designed by an artistic high school friend of Avenged Sevenfold, Micah Montague, as seen on the band's first DVD 'All Excess'. The Deathbat has appeared on all of the band's album covers, many of which were done by Cameron Rackam, a close friend of the band. The Deathbat has developed from just being a skull with bat wings to a full man-size skeleton with bat wings.

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