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Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates Calls ‘Nightmare’ an ‘Absolute Masterpiece,’ Critical of ‘City of Evil’ Choruses

Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold)
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

During a recent appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Avenged Sevenfold‘s Synyster Gates and Johnny Christ joined host Chris Jericho as they started rating the albums of other acts and debating whether or not there is such a thing as a perfect album. In the course of the discussion, the topic turned to their own catalog, with Gates offering an honest and frank assessment of the band’s own work.

When Jericho pointed out that he felt City of Evil was their best overall album, Gates admitted he does have some issues with the disc. “I think the adventure on that record we did a really good job, but where we failed was a lot of the choruses,” admits Gates. “I think if you go to ‘Strength of the World,’ a song like that, the chorus isn’t that great, but you go into the bridge and other things and the catchier parts and the better melodies we were really focused on. I’m obsessed with great endings and crazy intros and stuff like that. I think we all are from what we’ve listened to and stuff, so I’ve always focused on great bridge melodies that just kind of naturally fit, or like a crazy ending at the end of ‘Seize the Day,’ something like that. But the choruses kind of blow. (laughs)”

The guitarist says he feels that the choruses are stronger on their current album The Stage, and while he looks at it as more of a bizarre album, he states that the band hasn’t tired of the music yet and that it still feels new to them.

As for his pick of the band’s best work, Gates points to the Nightmare album. He tells Jericho, “Lyrically, Nightmare is an absolute masterpiece to me. That’s when I think Shads really came into his own. Something horrible happened to him and he’s on pure emotion. Plus, like storytelling … he was always a great storyteller. City of Evil has that whole biblical thing from front to back which is his interpretation of different stories which is great, and I’m not saying there’s no soul there, but you go to a record like Nightmare and it’s pure soul, pure honesty, it’s the worst thing that could happen to you losing a person that close to you that young, that tragic, and I think it’s absolutely brilliant from start to finish.”

Gates and Christ also speak about playing with Metallica this summer and share how great the band has been with them. Take a listen to the full Talk Is Jericho podcast via Podcast One in the player below. And look for Avenged Sevenfold on tour in support of The Stage at these stops.

Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates + Johnny Christ on the Talk Is Jericho Podcast (via Podcast One)

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