Formed in 1999, Avenged Sevenfold have been going strong now for over two decades, overcoming, among many other, much lesser obstacles, the death of founding drummer and major songwriter Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. From 2001's Sounding the Seventh Trumpet to 2016's The Stage, the band has traversed far-reaching sonic territory, from pop and country to rock opera and video game soundtracks, but always remain rooted in tried and true heavy metal. We asked you to pick their single greatest song, and you came back with choices from across their catalog. Below are the five top vote-getters.
Avenged Sevenfold have always worshipped at the feet of Metallica and they've never come closer to their metal heroes' thrashing Eighties heyday than on this Nightmare standout. "Buried Alive" starts mellow and contemplative with M. Shadows crooning his heart out before the song explodes in galloping riffage and squealing solos, following the template and capturing the vibe of vintage 'Tallica. The result is a classic throwback power ballad modernized in all the right ways.
The lead single off the album of the same name — the band's first released after the death of their founding drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan — "Nightmare" served as both a statement of the band's strength in the face of tragedy and a baroque expression of grief, anger and horror. From its Tim Burton–esque intro to its raw, curse-laden chorus, it still hits just as hard today.
You couldn't go anywhere in 2005 without hearing M. Shadows' roar queuing the beginning of this song. "Bat Country" ruled rock radio — and MTV, too, with its totally bonkers, Hunter S. Thompson–inspired music video. Serving up riffs, riffs and a side of riffs, this City of Evil single isn't just the modern classic that introduced A7X to the mainstream masses, it's also the gateway drug that hooked a generation of heavy-music fans.
When Avenged Sevenfold released their adventurous 10-track self-titled LP to mixed reviews and some fan backlash, one thing that the Deathbat fam could agree on was that they all loved "Afterlife." Written (and partially sung) by The Rev, the daring, near-six-minute album version leans symphonic metal due to its string sections, but its singalong hook and extraordinarily dizzying guitar solos make it an undeniable anthem, regardless of genre classification.
2003's Waking the Fallen is undoubtedly a fan-favorite album (rippers "Chapter Four," "Second Heartbeat" and "Eternal Rest" were all runner-ups in this poll). While today we don't think of Avenged as a metalcore band, once upon a time in the O.C. they were — and "Unholy Confessions" both represents that period in the group's evolution and stands as one of the genre's best and most celebrated cuts. With an unforgettable melody, an earworm drum pattern and seething lyrics, this is one for the OGs and your No. 1 pick.