To heavy-metal purists, Avenged Sevenfold emerged as poster boys who were often criticised for “not being metal enough”. Not that it ever bothered frontman M Shadows. As he told About.com in 2016, “We play music for the sake of music, not so that we can be labelled a metal band. That’s like telling us we aren’t punk enough. Who cares?” Pedants of the genre always treated the veteran Californian metallers as outcasts, but the best Avenged Sevenfold songs reveal how, for two decades, the group have silenced critics and overcome tragedy to remain at the forefront of the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal.
Listen to the best of Avenged Sevenfold here, and check out our best Avenged Sevenfold songs, below
20: Coming Home (from ‘Hail To The King’, 2013)
Vocalist M Shadows described Avenged Sevenfold’s lyrics as having a Life Of Pi twist. The lyric “I’ve stood in Hell, where many had to suffer/I stared the Devil in the eyes”, in the trad-metal Coming Home, was inspired by a time the band played for US Army troops in Iraq. They got to visit Saddam Hussein’s palace, where his portrait stull hung on the wall. You can make the connection yourself.