Have you ever wished for every Avenged Sevenfold contribution to the Call Of Duty gaming franchise to date, all stacked together and available at the click of a button or the touch of a phone screen? Well, if that’s the case, Christmas has come early; here they are in a new EP, ‘Black Reign’.
In this fickle, ultra-capitalistic death machine known as the music industry, even bands as big as Avenged Sevenfold have to do something in between albums to keep people on board. You can certainly praise the band and Warner Bros. Records‘ astute business sense in putting this out. Make of that what you will.
These songs have everything that you’ve come to expect from the band, despite the fact that their last two albums (2013’s ‘Hail To The King’ and 2016’s ‘The Stage’) differed considerably from one another. Fans of the trademark Avenged Sevenfold sound, which crams chops, hooks, twists, and turns all in one go won’t be disappointed with what’s on here at all. It serves as a reminder of their remarkable talent.
We have four songs, including the fresh-off-the-mixing-desk ‘Mad Hatter’. If you enjoy Avenged Sevenfold at their progressive and renegade-like best, you’re in for a treat. A Pantera-esque groove, a great chorus, and an atmospheric middle section in this song will please long-time fans.
‘Not Ready To Die’ is a weighty reminder of the screams that frontman M. Shadows is capable of, and the long-and-winding journeys the band can take you on. Synyster Gates‘ typically blistering, flamboyant guitar work is of course present throughout this EP too.
Stop-start instrumental ‘Jade Helm’ may have been the best possible choice for a video game like Call Of Duty. you can imagine yourself thinking there’s no zombies left to kill. And then BAM, you’ve got a bit more fighting to do.
The compilation definitely flows well as a little piece of Avenged Sevenfold heaven, but if you aren’t a die-hard fan or a Call Of Duty aficionado, you may have preferred ‘Mad Hatter’ (the only new offering here) as just a stand-alone single, or even an EP entirely of new material instead.
With that in mind, this isn’t a true reflection of where the band are now. So, with your ears firmly in 2018, there’s little fresh to observe here, other than it’s a more a compilation of very good Avenged Sevenfold songs, and not really a proper body of work.