They’re music is not even remotely “scene.” That’s the “I’ve never listened to them and only saw a picture of them in make-up” argument. It’s been dead for years. They haven’t even looked remotely scene since like 2006…
Gates is essentially a jazz fusion player, weaving in and out of diminished and augmented arpeggios and sweeps. I mean, he even went to college for a degree in Jazz playing. They harmonize with 7ths and 5ths, whereas most other metal bands only harmonize in 3rds.Zacky is a pure punk guitarist, citing Black Flag, Bad Religion and NOFX as his main influences.
Matt’s voice doesn’t sound remotely “scene.” His vocals are more Hetfield/Axl Rose than, uh, Hawthorne Heights? His voice has grit. He screams like Phil Anselmo. All those guys recognize A7X as being incredibly talented. Portnoy even played with them for a year. I don’t think he would have dedicated an entire year of his schedule for “charity” to help them with The Rev passing either, nor would he have tattooed their logo on his arm. They write incredibly complicated music spanning multi-genres, as opposed to churning out generic metal albums time after time.
“A Little Piece of Heaven” is a full out 8 minute orchestra and brass section piece with varying time signatures and augmented key changes. Gates plays fast, clean, and creative. His solos are melodic and memorable, as opposed to Kirk Hammett who just mindlessly shreds with a wah pedal or any other generic “let’s see how fast I can play” shredder. Their music is incredibly well thought out. “City of Evil” is an album of absolute fearless songwriting. I mean, half the songs on that album span around 7 minutes or longer, all seamlessly weaving in and out of more bridges and codas than most bands can count.
The point is, they obviously aren’t the most metal band ever. They don’t write silly songs about gorging intestines and worshiping Satan, because quite frankly, that shit is pretty lame for people out of high school. They don’t try to do that either. They’re a metal band for music listeners who enjoy other genres of music. They have diversity and dynamic to their sound and their music. They write meaningful lyrics and play very complex, creative, and refreshing material. Every album brings new elements to the table, which is actually saying something in the realm of “metal music.”