Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch and more at Le Zenith (2013)

Le Zenith (Paris, France)

Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Avatar
  The Zenith in Paris was a full-packed venue, with something like 6000 Metal maniacs […]
By YngwieViking
November 20, 2013


The Zenith in Paris was a full-packed venue, with something like 6000 Metal maniacs (and a bunch of Goth teenage baby-doll chicks ) that were ready to invade the pit in a whirlwind of blood, sweat and beers .

The lineup of bands was indeed very centered on the Headbangin' mania with AVATAR from Sweden, that were fill for David Draiman's DEVICE, the highly controversial FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH aka 5FDP and the rising stars from California AVENGED SEVENFOLD.

Despite some really harsh web's comments on AVATAR, I was quite excited to see this band for the first time, as I enjoyed a bit their album "Black Waltz" and the 2009's self-titled album too, certainly the band doesn't invent anything but they hold a good savoir faire in a style between Swedish Gothenburg's classic Melodic Death and some Horror / Martial beat driven by strong Thrash syncopated riffage in a very hypnotic way, and a very attractive attitude as , their stage presence was cool and tight unveiling a real obsession for the Headwindmillbanging, with the band leader wearing a strange make up between The Joker and Alice Cooper...Entertaining.

The show was sonically almost perfect and it was a constant fact for the whole event, AVATAR was an interesting support act and clearly a good starter for an overwhelming night. 5FDP were very expected by a lot of people, everyone was there to see if the band hailing from L.A. and created by Zoltan Bathory was a real burning act or just a gang of impostors, they were pretty convincing indeed, the songs were played perfectly and with the required energy. The new lead-guitar player Jason Hooks was brilliant showing some hot guitar licks and a great collection of Gibson's Explorer guitars but the real highlight of the show was the singer who despite a strange attitude, displayed a great amount of vocal capacities and a really huge range in his singing approach. The BAD COMPANY cover and the capella rendition of "Far From Home" were one of those most impressive moments where Ivan L. Moody switched brilliantly from harsh mode to tenor vocalizing in a blink of an eye. 5FDP has delivered the goods with panache that's for sure.

After the AVENGED SEVENFOLD highly successful "Nightmare" Album and the very popular and valued release of the new "Hail To The king" CD, I was in an expediency mood and under a questioning position concerning the new classic Heavy Metal styled songs and also the new involvement of drummer Arin Ilejay. As much I loved the Jimmy Sullivan (R.I.P.) / Mike Portnoy complex drumming as much I like the more stripped down but very groovy style of playing by the newbie Arin, very impressive in its range of dynamic and his constancy, definitively a new asset for A7X. The stage production was also quite simple, as the band wasn't allowed to use their pyros in this venue; the only thrilling decor was the giant skull with Bat wings in 3D, enhanced by many textures of lasers. The show was mostly fantastic musically; the set list was almost perfect with only maybe tiny critics toward the last part with the encores clearly dedicated to the early times.

The players were quite spot on, notably Mr. Synyster Gates that provided some nicely executed solos and some dual-harmonization with Zachy, in a flawless fluidity with skills and showing an improved tasty tone. M. Shadows performed an irreproachable show even if I noticed some concerns in the really high pitched screams, but 90% of his vocal actions were amazing. His Tribute to the Rev with "Fiction" was very emotional and was a fine surprise for the still inconsolable fans.

The only weak point is about the communication with the audience which was quite poor and disturbing in the lack of continuity in the running sequence of the concert. Despite those minors reproach, the triumph was total and I strongly believe that AVENGED SEVENFOLD had won some new Die-Hard followers that night, me included.

Avenged Sevenfold setlist:

1. Shepherd of Fire
2. Critical Acclaim
3. Welcome to the Family
4. Hail to the King
5. Doing Time
6. Buried Alive
7. Fiction
8. Nightmare
9. This Means War
10. Afterlife
11. Guitar Solo / Band Jam
12. Requiem
13. Bat Country
14. Encore: Chapter Four
15. Unholy Confessions

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