If you are a fan of heavy metal, then you must know Avenged Sevenfold, or else you don’t know heavy metal. This American band mixes orchestral music with some epic shredding (courtesy Synyster Gates) and vengeful lyrics mixed with vocals meant to blow your head off! Seriously, A7X is ONE of the BEST heavy metal bands in the world!!
History: This is the third track from the self titled album “Avenged Sevenfold”. It was released to the public on January 29, 2008. The song was written by the late Jimmy Sullivan a.k.a The Rev. The video of this song has cut the starting violin part, the bridge (wherein The Rev has given his vocals), and the ending violin outro. The original version has a duration of 5 minutes and 55 seconds, whereas the radio/ video edit has a duration of 4 minutes and 1 second.
What it tries to convey to us: This song is about a man who dies at an early age and goes to heaven, but realizes that he has much too do before he leaves earth. So he tries to escape this ‘place of peace of light’, i.e The Afterlife (Heaven). But when I listen to this song, it’s meaning is completely different to me. I think it’s an eternal love story between two lovers, wherein one of them dies and goes to heaven (The Afterlife). The dead lover tries to force the other to live with him/her, but the other doesn’t want to. The lines ‘I don’t belong here, I gotta move on dear; Escape from this afterlife cause this time I’m right, to move on and on; far away from me’ justify my version of the song. Ironically, The Rev also died at a young age; and he is the one who has composed this song.
Review: The orchestral musics kicks off from the starting itself, and it’s kind off catchy. But that’s just meant for distraction. Because the real song is yet to start. At 00:18, Syn makes a rocking entry (with what I can say) with the lead guitar. The awesome fact about Synyster Gates is that he is not only one of the most best shredders of all time, but his solos have a rhythm that move you. You might be familiar with perhaps the most famous shredder of all time, Buckethead. Well, he shreds like crazy, but he doesn’t ‘move’ you. Listen to the intro and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The drum cover is totally insane!! The bass kicks in at 00:38, and the vocals start immediately from that point. M Shadows has vocals that can make you go absolutely bonkers! He switches from innocent, slow vocals to harsh, vengeance filled vocals almost effortlessly. The funny part of this song is that M Shadows has used a country style accent. You’ll definitely notice it when he says “I see a distant light”, at around 01:01. The background music is punchy and energetic as always. The chorus starts at 01:27 and the whole tune of the song completely changes. It suddenly becomes sober, and the backup vocalists (Syn and Zacky) do a miraculous job. In typical A7X fashion, the first chorus is ended halfway and abruptly, and the second para starts immediately. Throughout the song, The Rev keeps us enticed with his masterful drumming. Then begins the instrumental at 03:08. The orchestral music is such that the person listening to this song feels as if he’s departing to heaven, and the orchestra band is walking him to the gates. Rev keeps the rock feel alive with his drum cover. The deleted bridge starts after the instrumentals. After some haunting vocals, Syn takes over at 04:01 and completely nails it. I will guarantee that you will be at the edge of your seat from 04:01 to 04:38. The solo is sheer awesomeness.This is one solo you HAVE to listen to. After a mind blowing dose of metal shredding, M Shadows picks up from where he left and seals the deal with the final chorus. If you’re not jumping in your seat at the time of the last chorus, I’m sorry sir/ma’am, but you’re not a heavy metal fan. The song finally ends at 05:55, and that’s when you descend down and start to breath normally.
Rating: Again, it’s a no- brainer, this. A 10/10 is only justifiable. For truly experiencing the song, I strongly recommend that you listen to it on a home theater, with surround sound. R.I.P The Rev. Just wish God would give you back and take Justin Beiber instead!
Great vocals by M Shadows, blistering beats by The Rev, Tasty Rhythm by Zacky, Booming bass by Johny; and finally, a heart ripping solo by Syn all seal the deal! A complete package for a guaranteed head banging session!! R.I.P The Rev!!
Lyrics for Afterlife: http://artists.letssingit.com/avenged-sevenfold-lyrics-afterlife-cz1xs18
Download link for Afterlife: http://www.emp3world.com/mp3/176571/Avenged%20Sevenfold/Afterlife (Right click, Save Target As)