5 new bands to listen to if you love Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold
(Image credit: Press)

It didn’t take Avenged Sevenfold long to transcend the Orange County hardcore scene that spawned them. Taking the formative metalcore sound as their base, they began bringing in influences as diverse as Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica. It worked: by the time of 2013’s Hail To The King album, they were bona fide festival headliners. But they didn’t stop there – 2016’s The Stage and 2023’s head-spinning new album Life Is But A Dream… have incorporated all manner of weird and wonderful sounds, from epic prog metal to Frank Sinatra-esque crooning and Daft Punk-inspired electronica. But which of the current generation of new bands are following in their footsteps? Here are five new bands every A7X fan should check out…

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Smoulder represent the newest generation of the bands Avenged grew up listening to, bringing the NWOBHM grandeur of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest into 2023. The Finns’ second album, this year’s Violent Creed Of Vengeance, is seven songs of Bruce Dickinson-like wailing and proto-thrash guitar playing. The sword-and-sorcery lyricism and that Dungeons & Dragons ode of an album cover seal the authenticity of their ’80s throwback. The band have also collaborated with producer/mixer Arthur Rizk, who’s manned the dials for Power Trip, Unto Others and Xibalba. As a support act on an Avenged stage, they’d guarantee a perfectly invigorating and nostalgic opening.
Listen to: The Talisman And The Blade


Avenged formed as a part of the Orange County metalcore scene, making them contemporaries to Bleeding Through and Eighteen Visions in a hub for the new wave of American heavy metal. The sound is still inspiring young, heavy bands throughout the States: Nomvdic, based 2,500 miles away in Tampa, prove it. The four-piece’s 2020 debut album Euphoria contains all the breakdowns and guitar athletics you’d find on Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, especially on the opening title track. With Spiritbox singer Courtney LaPlante guesting on another song, this lot seem signposted to go far.
Listen to: Euphoria

Living Dead Stars

Living Dead Stars are obviously inspired by Avenged and even a cursory look at them will prove it. With his stage name and aviator sunglasses, frontman M. Nox is transparently trying to be the next M. Shadows. The band’s music also owes itself to the hard rock swagger of City Of Evil. However, these up-and-comers aren’t just mimicking: on a slow burner like In Pieces, there’s an added symphonic pomp. They also have a commanding stage presence, as proven when they supported Anvil in the UK last year. The band are currently recording, so hopefully we’ll get a debut album soon.
Listen to: In Pieces


These Finnish youngsters live at the crossroads between melodic death metal and power metal. As a result, there’s a clear penchant for hooks and such masters as At The Gates that they share with Avenged. They’re growlier than the raspy-voiced anthems M. Shadows and co. moved into on City Of Evil – however, the drums’ Iron Maiden-like gallop carries over, as does the mixture of sharp rhythm riffs with flashy lead guitars. Listen to the six-string prowess during Dive and Of Dreams Devoured and it’s easy to picture field-sized festival crowds going absolutely apeshit.
Listen to: Cycle


Avenged guitarist Synyster Gates is a classically trained musician that brings virtuoso talents to his band. The same can be said of Runescarred axe-slinger Tim Driscoll, who studied his instrument at the Berklee College Of Music: the school that Dream Theater’s founding members attended. Runescarred cast Driscoll’s fast-fingered playing with the gravelly melodies of lead vocalist Ven Scott, inspired by such Avenged influences as Metallica and Machine Head. 2020 debut album The Distant Infinite is crammed with old-school-style anthems, from power metal thrasher Inviting Rivers to the grooving Mammoth. Any Hail To The King fan will love it.
Listen to: Inviting Rivers

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.