The band that everyone loves to hate are back with…..an eleven year old re-release.
Yup, 2003’s Waking The Fallen is being put out again for reasons initially as clear a lavvy window.
Could it be that the band are trying to reengage with those fans disaffected by their steady sidestepping towards Metallica clonedom? In which case won’t they already have the album? Maybe they want new fans to see what they sounded like back before City Of Evil saw them signed up to a major label. That would make at least some sense although many twelve year olds ears may bleed in the process. What you actually get with this resurrection is not just the original album but eleven new / old tracks, new cover art (ooh), a first cut video of Unholy Confessions (ahh) and a thirty minute film of the current band (umm).
It has to be said the original twelve track release was a bit of a classic for all the right reasons. For many it epitomised the band at their best before the over slick production, money and Hetfield worship started to disaffect so many followers. The thing is though M Shadows and the gang must be doing something right because as more people started to point and laugh the band started to shift more and more records. Indeed they’ve picked up a large enough clan of devotees to now be considered as potential major festival headline material. The new hoard of fans may not be in need of Wilkinson Sword products just yet but they all count and all have money to spend.
We know the stock album is great so what about all those extras? Well for starters the new tracks are generally a mixture of demos and live recordings which may well be of interest to true disciples but generally offer very little for anyone else. There are two newish songs as well. Walking The Fallen: Resurrected is the full version of what became the intro to the finished album. It works well but served a better purpose in chopped form. There’s also an alternate version of Second Heartbeat which could be seen as a link to City Of Evil. The live stuff is pretty good quality with the pick being Eternal Rest which does remind the listener of the sad loss of drummer The Rev.
The film features new interviews discussing the demoing, recording and touring of the album. It’s interesting even for non fans as it sets out the process needed to put a record together and then promote it through live shows. I can’t imagine many wanting to see it more than once though.
The package on offer as a whole does smack a little of being a money making exercise. At least here you get a lot of bolt ons rather than just a couple of extra tracks that most rereleases try to tempt people with. The problem is that it’s a case of once played twice forgotten other than the songs that came with the 2003 release. It’s only really a worthwhile buy for those yet to get a copy of Waking The Fallen and who want it and depending on price a copy of the album minus all the bumpf might be a better option. I wonder if Warners have missed a trick though because the demos and live tracks alone could have made a very tempting rarities release for die hard fans as a fan club limited edition.
Walking The Fallen v2.0 may be a rather indulgent reboot but it does at least show newcomers where Avenged Sevenfold originated from.