Avenged Sevenfold @ Sheffield Arena
When the romance of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll begins to fade, all a band can really hope to retain is a legacy fortified by a sense of artistic integrity. With that in mind, the surprise release of Avenged Sevenfold’s seventh record The Stage in October was certainly a liberating artistic statement; but as far as tonight’s outing at the Sheffield arena was concerned, the Orange County quintet gravely overestimated their audience. Opening with the new album’s eight-minute-long dirge of a title track, any atmosphere generated by Disturbed’s enthusiastic brand of hot-dogs-and-fists-in-the-air metal is quickly deflated by the headliner’s lacklustre introduction. With the set leaning heavily on The Stage and 2013’s Hail To The King, the delirium Avenged staples ‘Nightmare’ and ‘Almost Easy’ are met with said more about how uninspiring the band’s recent material has been. Plodding ballads ‘Angels’ and ‘Acid Rain’ are painful, and for a group of musicians presumably in their prime, the lack of showmanship and intensity on display is astonishing, considering this genre of music is typically performed to within an inch of one’s life. And a school night it may be, but there is clearly something amiss when an encore airing of ‘Bat Country’ – the band’s best known song – fails to inspire the front row whipper snappers to organise one last mosh pit. Despite being regularly touted as potential genre flagbearers once the likes of Metallica and Guns N’ Roses call it quits, Avenged looked a million miles from that tonight.
Words: Chris Lord
Pic: Lewis Evans