Avenged Sevenfold – Life Is But A Dream…

We hear the phrase “Art is Subjective” so often that it feels at times like it’s lost all meaning or relevance. Even more so when it comes to the age of social media and everyone being terminally online. Liking or not liking something simply isn’t enough anymore. Seems appropriate then that a band like Avenged Sevenfold who have caused more than their fair share of online firestorms should release an album like Life is But A Dream… Because it’s 100% going to cause discussion on all fronts.

It really is hard to know where to start with this album. It itself is not a linear experience that makes trying to break it down in any kind of structured way seems futile.  There are elements of Metal, Funk, Acid Jazz, Hip Hop & Film Scores that jump around all over the place that trying to keep up with it from one second to the next would give even the most attentive listener whiplash.

Cuts like Game Over & We Love You  are more straightforward and will appeal to the bands older fans, even the grinding industrial lead single Nobody plays it relatively straight. Cosmic is fairly subdued, wearing its Album of the Year era Faith No More influence very much on its sleeve.

It’s when you get deeper into the album the wheels start coming off the wagon so to speak.. G is one of the albums strangest and most off the wall offerings, sounding like Dream Theater gatecrashed a jazz bar on a lark. (O)rdinary sounds like Get Lucky by Daft Punk if it was recorded by actual robots or at least a band with a speak & spell lying around in the studio.

Like every Avenged Sevenfold album there are some incredibly strong sections mixed in with a lot of moments, where a stronger hand in the edit would have benefitted things. Your understanding and enjoyment of this album will completely depend on your perspective going in. It would be easy to write it off as “band does too many psychedelics and creates gibberish” like a lot of people have, but it’s not always that simple or cut and dry.

It’s clear that on one hand, they have taken things a lot further in a very specific direction than they have previously, purposefully creating something obtuse and impenetrable to challenge themselves and their audience. But then there is another part of that feels like this is all some big elaborate art project created to sound as artificial as possible as a mediation on, and a warning, towards the fakeness of life we now find ourselves in, with the rise of AI, deep fakes etc. Why not create an album that feels like it could have been written by AI to show how soulless and detached art can be if humans aren’t paying attention to what is going on around them. Or it could just be a mediocre album written by people have seen the Matrix & jumped down too many QAnon Rabbit Holes in Lockdown.

At this point and after so many listens of the album it is honestly hard to see what the intention behind this album is, frankly you could be spitting in the wind with any of those possible outcomes. One thing is for sure, Avenged Sevenfold have created an album that is unlike anything they have put out previously and one that is sure to spark debate and discussion of all kinds for years to come and that is commendable and what all good art should do.

Life Is But A Dream… is available now via Warner Records with physical copies available via the band’s online store.

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