Now just over two decades in, Avenged Sevenfold have enjoyed the sort of career that doesn’t seem to come around in heavy music much anymore. By transitioning from the rough-hewn but unapologetically indulgent metalcore of 2001’s Sounding The Seventh Trumpet through a series of genre-redefining classics that ruled the 2000s, the steely Californians set themselves as a band apart. In building further to the stadium-crushing might of 2013’s Hail To The King – then spiralling off down a gob-smacking prog-metal wormhole with 2016’s The Stage – they revolutionised their scene and raised the game to another level entirely.
Whether grasping unlikely triumphs (alongside Audioslave, My Chemical Romance and Biffy Clyro, A7X are one of only four Download headliners whose debut LP dropped after the year 2000) or overcoming bitter tragedy (the death of drummer and key songwriter The Rev on December 28, 2009 will forever remain a melancholy milestone), they have never failed to excite and innovate. When album eight arrives, vocalist M. Shadows, guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer Brooks Wackerman will surely have made another quantum leap.
Of course, with such a diverse catalogue exploring myriad styles – and when exactly any given fan came aboard – make negotiating this Top 20 a particularly precarious task. Hit us with your hot takes in the comments!