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Rock News

Avenged Sevenfold has racked up an impressive catalog and fan following in its over two decades of existence. Additionally, they’ve been one of the best live acts in all of rock during that time as well.

The band has been no stranger to adversity. The most notable example is the death of its drummer and co-founder, James “The Rev” Sullivan, in 2009. Another example came in 2018 when A7X was forced to cancel a big tour due to singer M. Shadows . The move seemingly put the band on the shelf for a significant stretch of time. Then, the coronavirus pandemic happened, which extended the band’s hiatus even further.

Fortunately, the band made their long-awaited return with 2023's Life Is but a Dream..., their first studio album since 2016’s The Stage. They’ve also returned to the road in 2023 with a new batch of tour dates.

To celebrate the band, we’ve ranked the seven best songs from their catalog. Keep scrolling to see if your favorites made our list!

  • 7. 'The Stage'

    Avenged Sevenfold isn’t afraid to take risks. That was apparent in 2016 when they surprise released their seventh studio album The Stage. While the surprise factor didn’t yield commercial success, the album was well-received by critics. Its lead single was the title track: A blistering 8:32 epic that further solidified the band’s standing as torch-bearers for hard rock and metal.

  • 6. 'A Little Piece of Heaven'

    “A Little Piece of Heaven” is a macabre fan favorite. Written by The Rev, the drummer also shares vocals on the track with M. Shadows. If you think the song is reminiscent of scores from Tim Burton movies, you’re ears aren’t deceiving you. The Rev told Revolver in 2007 that the track was heavily influenced by the work of Danny Elfman, Burton’s frequent music collaborator. He gleefully told the publication about the song’s plot, “First the boyfriend kills the girlfriend, and then the girlfriend comes back and repossesses her body and kills the boyfriend; then he comes back and repossesses his body and apologizes, and they get married. And then they start killing everyone at their wedding. I just had a lot of fun with that one!”

  • 5. 'Shepherd of Fire'

    Over on the A7X subreddit, there’s a discussion from 2022 asking fans which album they would consider the band’s version of Metallica’s “Black Album.” The consensus was 2013’s Hail to the King, and it’s easy to see why: It topped album charts in ten countries and features some of the band’s most accessible songs that still maintain the band’s edge. “Shepherd of Fire” is a great example of being radio-ready, yet still true to the band.

  • 4. 'Bat Country'

    “Bat Country” is basically Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fanfic, and we mean that in a good way. The dueling guitars of Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates are as mental today as they were when the track was released in 2005. The video for “Bat Country” earned A7X the award for “Best New Artist Video” at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, which is charming considering the track is off the band’s third studio album.

  • 3. 'Afterlife'

    “Afterlife” is another gem written by The Rev. The song’s overall theme is about dying young while still having so much life to live and unfinished business. It’s a song that hits differently since The Rev’s sudden death in 2009. Wherever he is in his afterlife, here’s hoping he’s more at peace than the song’s protagonist.

  • 2. 'Hail to the King'

    When it comes to songs about questioning authority, they really don’t come hookier than “Hail to the King.” Like “Shepherd of Fire,” this track is incredibly accessible and still an absolute banger. For crying out loud, it was one of the themes of WrestleMania 32! WWE has a significant track record of picking solid songs as their WrestleMania themes, despite their recent four-year run of picking a song by The Weeknd.

  • 1. 'Nightmare'

    The poignancy of “Nightmare” still hits as hard well over a decade since its initial release. No one really knew what to expect from A7X after the death of The Rev, especially since the band was in the middle of working on Nightmare when he died. Every band in rock history has handled losing a member in varying ways. For Avenged Sevenfold, they opted to go the Back In Black route and honor their late friend. The Rev didn’t play on the album, but he has songwriting credits on every track. The album’s title track is simply undeniable as much as the pain is palpable, and it’s a fitting choice for A7X’s greatest song.

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