When producer Rob Cavallo was not available to work on their self-titled LP, Avenged Sevenfold took a drastic turn to get their own hands on the entire production. This bold move apparently was not such a bad idea after all for the two singles that they released in advance of the album proved to be great impacts to influence their fans into buying the LP. Single 'Critical Acclaim' was released to give the first taste of the water, but it was the second one, 'Almost Easy', that really showed the credibility of the whole album. Since its release in mid September, the song peaked at #67 in U.K. Singles chart, helping to boost the sales number of the album that was released one month later. 'Avenged Sevenfold' the album quickly took the fourth position on Billboard Hot 200 after selling 94,000 copies in the first week.
Although the idea of naming a band after a Bible excerpt that punishment will be sevenfold when you kill someone, the band is not as scary as they sound, nor do they as religious. Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) was formed in Huntington Beach, California in 1999. Vocalist Matthew Sanders who took the stage name M. Shadow and guitarist Zachary Baker who goes by the name Zacky Vegeance have been friends since High School. The two of them had been in several punk bands that didn't go successful until they formed A7X and roped in two more members, bassist Justin Meacham aka Justin Sane and drummer Jimmy Sullivan aka The Rev. While still in their teens, the band recorded an album titled 'Sounding the Seventh Trumpet' which would later be released under indie label Good Life Recordings. However, the album that was dropped in January 2001 was not enough for them to gain nationwide success, but the second one did.
They went through a line-up change soon after the release of 'Seventh Trumpet'. Brian Haner, Jr. aka Synyster Gates was brought in as lead guitarist while Jonathan Seward aka Johnny Christ replaced the old bassists Sane and Dameon Ash. With the new line-up they re-released the band's debut album in 2002 while recording new materials for their sophomore set in Houston, Texas. Under Hopeless Records, 'Walking the Fallen' was released on August 26, 2003. The album was notified not only for the new players but also a change in sound from Shadows. The vocalist no longer screamed as part of metalcore roots that was projected in the first album. It turned to more melodic sound after he reportedly burst a blood vessel while stretching his vocal. Shadows had denied in later interview that the band changed its musical direction due to his vocal problem, pointing that he was actually better at screaming after the surgery. 'Walking the Fallen' eventually brought the attention of executives from Warner Bros. Records who immediately took the band under their wing in 2004.
With the new management, the third album 'City of Evil' received critical success although it was not hailed as much as the previous one. It was released in June 2005 and the lead single 'Bat Country' was praised for its thickness in Hard rock elements. Through the single, the band ultimately won Best New Artist Award at 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. That year, Kerrang! Awards also put them under the nomination of Best Band on the Planet but they unfortunately lost to My Chemical Romance. While serving a worldwide tour in 2006, materials for the fourth studio album were accumulated. Canceling their fall and winter tour, the band decided to enter the studio to work on the fourth studio album. The recording was finished in August 2007 and some of the materials were displayed during a tour in Asia later on that year. Many songs were leaked, but the final version of the album was later on released on October 30, 2007.