Sometimes you find music that speaks to you. You no longer feel invisible or alone. For me, that music comes from a few places. But none more than A7X.
Things that have happened to me have changed me. They have not all been great things but on my better days, I know that they have made me who I am and that I can learn from – and survive – almost anything. A7X has been through some stuff too, and they’ve come out the other side changed and stronger as well. They started as a mostly metalcore band. Their first three albums, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, Waking the Fallen, and City of Evil are all pretty metal. However, they are so talented and so confident in their skills that they are able to branch out. They have since shown off a cool mix of other influences – gothic rock, country music, and hip hop, for example. If you’ve never listened to them before and really want an idea of how awesome they are, I recommend starting with Nightmare (you can work your way backwards and forwards from there).
Nightmare is both hard to listen to and great at the same time. It is the first album they recorded without The Rev playing drums on every song. If you were a fan of the band back then, you know how much it hurt to lose such a talent and huge part of the band. The last song he wrote, Fiction, is one of my favorites. The whole thing is clearly a tribute to a dear friend. It amazes me that they were strong enough to put out such quality work when they were so clearly hurting, and it comes out through the entire record. While other band members came and left (Matt Wendt and Dameon Ash, for example, or the addition of Synyster Gates), it was nothing like what happened when The Rev died. While I like it, I do have to say that I avoid it when I am really sad because sometimes it makes it feel worse.
The Stage, which came out in 2016, goes more metal and is the concept album they’ve wanted to do for years. It’s all about artificial intelligence, nuclear war, the end of society and space. It is fantastic. I mean, that astrophysicist, Neal DeGrasse Tyson even gets an appearance. On a metal album! How cool is that?!? I love the song, ”The Stage”. It reminds me that I am not the only one who feels the way I do. I especially like when he says the lines about the walking apes keeping score through nuclear war. I wish we didn’t have weapons like that didn’t exist either. What’s the point of being able to wipe somebody off the earth when you’re destroying the place we all live at the same time? I don’t get it.
All this talking about A7X has made me want to go watch a few videos. I’ll write more later.