Although their post-punk look goes against most traditional metal tendencies, Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) has really made a well deserved impact on the music scene this year by combining incredibly skilled playing and a sound that quite frankly, few in the mainstream are similar to. Replacing the screaming vocals found on prior albums "Sounding The Seventh Trumpet" and "Waking The Fallen", M. Shadows' smoother vocal delivery may be the most notable quality about this amalgam to throw me off. His fairly nasal, L.A. Guns tone can come across as a bit limp and whiny and it had to grow on me over time. Fast-fretted, surgically sharp guitarists Synyster Gates and Zachy Vengence are reminiscent of the best twin rhythms of Maiden combined with the lead virtuoso licks and prissiness of a prog-power band like Rhapsody. City of Evil is a hard CD to place mentally with it's hybrid punk-metal sound and I'd have to say that you'll either declare it the best CD of the year or drop it in the trash as utter junk. It's a love it or hate it CD if there was one though there's no denying that their unique blend of vintage and modern is likely to be the leading sound for the next year or so.