Welcome to the new '10 Years On' monthly feature where I will explore an album, you guessed it, which came out ten years ago to the month. Ten years can be a long time in music and this feature will look to explore the impact the album had then, and the impact it still has now (if any!!). Of course you can also argue that ten years can seem like quite a short amount of time in music. With some of the albums lined up for this in the near future, at times, you may not believe it's been ten years. I'll leave you to shout the profanities and do your Wikipedia checks on that one. So without further ado the inaugural album to mark the start of this feature is August 2003's Waking The Fallen by Avenged Sevenfold.

Recorded in North Hollywood this album was no doubt the launch-pad towards superstardom for this band. At this point it had been two years since the release of their debut Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and immediately as the intro and the absolutely massive Unholy Confessions burst out of the speakers, it already just felt like a massive step-up. By the way this was my first real "no way! I've got to check Wikipedia" moment. Incredible that this track is ten years old. The band already showed signs of perfecting the transition between savage metalcore moments to the more melodic sections on this release also. It featured some of Avenged Sevenfold's heavier and darker moments, even to date, with tracks like Remenissions and Eternal Rest which both have some ridiculous bat-shit insane bone splitting riffs.

But what impact did this album have in 2003? Whilst it was in its latter stages, Nu-Metal very much controlled the scene at the time, so when Avenged Sevenfold unleashed Waking The Fallen there was a sense that this was new, this was fresh, something different. It didn't try and follow the convention's set out by the top Nu-Metal artists which so many bands tried, and failed, to do. Instead they began to raise the bar, this was on the whole a really heavy album but at the same time it was so technically brilliant you'd be an idiot to not give it some notice. Whilst not attributed as an originator of the movement, Avenged Sevenfold were beginning to do a lot to push forward this New Wave of American Heavy Metal.

So what impact did Waking The Fallen have on the band themselves? Well off the back of this album becoming certified Gold, a lot of the huge record labels began to take notice and they ended up signing a deal with Warner Bros. (so pretty f**king huge then). For the band themselves, this momentum, which started to expand quicker than even they probably believed was possible, wasn't spurned at all, as they went on to release City Of Evil and right up to this day they are looking the most likely to be the next band to really break into that 'headliner' status in the same way Slipknot have done recently. If they do indeed start headlining festivals (Download 2014 anyone?) then Waking The Fallen can certainly be looked at as the point which triggered the storied, and at times tragic, ten year journey to get them there.