Hopeless - 2003 - 68 minutes

The dilemma posed by acclaimed bands that leave you cold: are you not young enough to get them or just old enough to remember when it took that bit more? Avenged Sevenfold's fusion of punk, metal, old school solos, prog proficiency and latter day Faith No More - and then stretching it into epics - has found them hailed as true innovators and major label-bound. So was there no room in the blender for some more memorable songs?

'Waking the Fallen' can cause violent swings between admiration (the playing) and bafflement (the song structure) but there are too many ideas to try and untangle - an experience to leave you drained for all the wrong reasons.

Sitting down and figuring out what they're best at is no sellout - and while you're at it, gents, lose the stage names. Zacky Vengeance and Synster Gates may be ok if you're in the X-Men or some Motley Crue wannabes from the 80s, but you'll regret them when you're older.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Waking the Fallen - Unholy Confessions - Chapter Four - Remenissions - Desecrate Through Reverence - Eternal Rest - Second Heartbeat - Radiant Eclipse - I Won't See You Tonight part 1 - I Won't See You Tonight part 2 - Clairvoyant Disease - And All Things Will End