City Of Evil

Though they dress like goth punks and are currently one of the hottest acts on the Warped Tour, Avenged Sevenfold have evolved since 2001 from a hardcore-influenced screamo outfit into straight-up metalheads. Fiery twin-guitar assaults and complex rhythms dominate their major-label debut, but where City of Evil marks a departure from Avenged's past is its vocals: Frontman M. Shadows can now properly be called a singer, having honed his pipes with a voice coach who previously trained Axl Rose and Chris Cornell. Though Shadows occasionally sounds like both those guys, there's no mistaking this band's love for the gloom, doom and mythology of classic British metal acts. Peep the horseback skeleton warrior on the album cover and see if you don't think it's an obvious homage to Judas Priest artwork of yore.