In the early 2000’s, a storm was brewing in California’s metal scene. Far removed from the glam metal that thrived on the Sunset Strip over a decade prior, a thriving metalcore scene was just beginning to make waves. Bands like Atreyu, Throwdown, Bleeding Through, and Eighteen Visions were beginning to really buzz, and while not all of these bands had lasting success, there was one band that would eventually go on to become one of the most popular rock/metal bands of the last two decades.
That band? Avenged Sevenfold. Of course, the long-running rock act weren’t always the arena-fillers they are now. In fact, their 2003 sophomore record Waking The Fallen only sold a few thousand copies in its first week of release. It sold steadily, though, eventually being certified Gold, and setting up a bright future.
Released into the world 17 years ago today, Waking The Fallen showcased a more matured sound than their 2001 debut album. While still falling in the metalcore genre musically, much of the record showed off their classic metal influences – especially Metallica, which would become exceedingly apparent on future albums. Take the song “Chapter Four”, for instance. One of the more notable songs on the album (which also landed a coveted spot on Madden 2004’s soundtrack), it features the punchy drum fills of the late James Sullivan, who by this time had grown impressively with his skills. The record, which also featured Synyster Gates’ guitar skills for the first time on an A7X full-length, was a more fleshed-out product overall. Seriously, listen to “Unholy Confessions” if you don’t believe us.
Eventually, the record helped them land aforementioned slots on high-profile video game soundtracks, Warped Tour stints, and a major label record deal that would see the band releasing successively bigger records as well. While their future records still have plenty of merit as well (City Of Evil holds up really well today), it’s hard not to be impressed by Waking The Fallen now. The band’s youthful energy and diverse fanbase served A7X well in their early stages, and it’s not a surprise why the record is still a fan favorite.