Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows: My 10 Favorite Metal Albums

Singer on classics including Pantera's 'Far Beyond Driven' and At the Gates' 'Slaughter of the Soul'

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System of a Down, 'Toxicity' (2001)
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10/10

System of a Down, 'Toxicity' (2001)

I'd been going up to San Francisco a lot to get tattooed, and I'd heard the first System of a Down record at the tattoo shop, but it never really stuck with me. But one day I get a call from Brian Haner, who turns out to be [Avenged Sevenfold guitarist] Synyster Gates, and he says, "Dude. I just recorded this song on K-Rock by System of a Down called 'Chop Suey,'" and he says, "It's unbelievable." And when he brought it to my house, it just blew my mind how it can be so melodic and schizophrenic and also intense at the same time. I remember thinking, "Well, there can't be any songs on this record that are as good as this." Then we ended up getting the record and you'd hear "Prison Song" and you'd hear all these songs on there and the whole record just blew me away because I'd never heard anything so schizophrenic. Years later, I figured they were huge Mr. Bungle listeners. Mr. Bungle influenced them a lot and they just added a heaviness. They made it a lot more appealing to mass audience. And then they had this Middle Eastern vibe that I had never heard before. So it was a huge turning point for us, just hearing them do that kind of thing with metal and rock infused together was insanity.

M. Shadows, a.k.a. Matthew Charles Sanders, frontman of heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold plays a game with a robot to guess his identity. Watch here.

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