City Of Evil
2005 | Metal
Spotify | Amazon
"Staring at the carnage, praying that the sun would never rise, living another day in disguise. -- I walk your land but don't belong, two million soldiers can't be wrong."
- The track is the end cap on City Evil & one of the few overtly political songs from that era of A7X's writing.
- Avenged Sevenfold wrote this song about the American troops who were fighting the war in Iraq.
- City Of Evil ranked #63 on Guitar World magazine's "100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time," #35 in Kerrang's list of "50 Greatest Metal Albums Ever" & #100 on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time. Also appears in Kerrang's "666 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" & "50 Albums You Need To Hear Before You Die."
THE HOT TAKES
The sentiment in this song is perfect. The solider hopes that his side is right, beacuse he is stuck in the middle of something much larger than his control. He has already committed atrocities, and can only hope that he can sort things out with his conscience later on.
This song is a primer on so many of the terrible atrocities of war. I feel I could take every verse and write a page about it, but for brevity's sake, I’d like to focus on the title of the song, and the overall message that I think is cause for the title. M.I.A. is defined by the military as “not yet traced or confirmed as either alive or dead.” Keep that in mind as you listen. Each verse is a new vignette letting you peek into the horrorshow that is war. The first line “ Staring at the carnage, praying that the sun will never rise,” lets you inside the head of a soldier looking onto the carnage of battle and wishing to never wake up. Further in you hear the lyric, “I am a weapon so there’s nothing to fear,” which speaks to how war objectifies not only the other but also the self. The military are, trained to view themselves as only one small cog in a very complex wheel. A line in the chorus says “these feelings can’t be right,” letting us know the difficulty the soldier is having in rectifying what he is told to do with what his conscience is making him feel. The last verse sees him back home, walking the streets. He can’t help but feel further isolated because he knows that he has murdered and yet here he is with the world going on around him. I think this is why the song is called M.I.A. because no matter what he does the person he was before war is missing, but he is not held in a prison camp, or buried in a field, he is up walking around animated but still not completely there. Not alive, but not dead.
I'm gonna walk the line on this song. I'm not entirely sure it wasn't designed to glorify soldiers but it does seem to point out the human toll in a few very important ways. It explicitely mentions 2 million soldiers to invoke the gravity and scope of war on a population. It's also written in such a way as to look like a plea for answers and justification for what he is doing. "Pray to god that our side is right," show's that the soldier clearly has questions about whether or not what he is doing is moral. It irks me how little the MSM talks of the moral hazard of war when we have a seemingly endless stream of broken men killing themselves for what they did overseas. If I was a conspiracy person I would ask if this was all one big population control measure but that sounds like more forethought than I can give the government credit for.