City of Evil is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold released on June 6, 2005 by Warner Bros. Records. Co-produced by Andrew Murdock, City of Evil contains a more hard rock and classic heavy metal sound than Avenged Sevenfold's previous two albums, which showcased a predominantly metalcore sound. The album is also notable for the absence of screaming vocals. M. Shadows worked for months before the album's release with vocal coach Ron Anderson, whose clients have included Axl Rose and Chris Cornell, to achieve a sound that had "grit while still having the tone".
The album contains some of Avenged Sevenfold's most popular and famous songs, including "Bat Country", "Beast and the Harlot", "Burn it Down", and "Seize the Day", all four of which were released as singles between June 2005 and July 2006. City of Evil was very successful after its release, debuting at #30 on the Billboard 200 chart and certified as a platinum record by the Recording Industry Association of America in August 2009. It went on to sell over 1,500,000 copies in the United States, and 2,500,000 total worldwide, making it the best-selling album out of Avenged Sevenfold's discography as of 2010. Also, it is the band's longest studio effort, at 72:52 minutes.
"Betrayed" is a song written for the death of the lead guitarist of Pantera, Dimebag Darrell killed in a show by a fan in 2004.
"Bat Country", "Beast and the Harlot" and "Seize the Day", were also released as music videos, directed by Marc Klasfeld, Tony Petrossian, and Wayne Isham, respectively. The Rev performs backing vocals on the tracks "Bat Country", "Strength of the World", and "M.I.A."
The album title is derived from a lyric in the song, "Beast and the Harlot".
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