Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Avenged Sevenfold (2007) "Critical Acclaim"

[reprinted as written by Avenged Sevenfold]
As performed by A7X

Be quiet, you might piss somebody off
Like me m***erf***er, you've been at it for too long
While you feed off all this insecurity
You stand in front of me and bite the hand that feeds

(Self-righteousness is wearing thin)
Lies inside your head your best friend
(I'll bleed but not for fellow man)
Broken glass, your fake reflection

Telling them its all for something real
Don't forsake the words you speak
You've gone too far, acclaim

So how does it feel to know that someones kid in the heart of America
Has blood on their hands, fighting to defend your rights
So you can maintain the lifestyle that insults this family's existence
Well, where I'm from we have a special salute we wave high in the air
Towards all those pompous a**es who spend their days pointing fingers

F**k you

Be quiet, you might piss somebody off
Like the heartbeat of this country when antagonized too long
I'll be damned if you count me in
As part of your generous hypocrisy collected in a maze

(Tabloid gossip, we want less real)
There's no need for us to bury you
(Selfish agenda, once again)
Right this way, deter your own grave

Telling them its all for something real
Don't forsake the words you speak
You've gone too far, acclaim

All the way from the east to the west
We've got this high society looking down on this very foundation
Constantly reminding us that our actions are the cause of all their problems
Pointing the fingers in every direction
Blaming their own nation for who wins elections
They've never contributed a f***ing thing to the country they love to criticize

Excuse the obscene, ignore the untrue
Depictions we see, try and get through
And many mistakes cant hurt
I'm not the last but I sure ain't the first

Be quiet, you might piss somebody off

(Self-righteousness is wearing thin)
Lies inside your head your best friend
(I'll bleed but not for fellow man)
Broken glass, your fake reflection

Telling them its all for something real
Don't forsake the words you speak
You've gone too far, acclaim

According to one source, this was "one of the first songs the band had an idea for. In this particular song, Zacky Vengeance and M. Shadows collaborated and wrote the lyrics together. They say it is the first track on the album, to set the mood for what’s to come.

"As Synyster Gates puts it, it’s “in your face, powerful, (it) means something, and says something.” Critical Acclaim is based upon the irony, contradiction and hypocriticalness of America, in particular its view on politics and other important issues. It’s primarily based upon the citizens of America that complain about America’s government system, yet rather than actually vote or attempt to make a difference about it, they constantly whine.

"The song also features lyrics about those citizens that are ungrateful for living in such a well-off country."

It's no puzzle what this song is about, and the rage that fuels it. You and I can empathize with it all. But what do we do? Are we among the complainers, the people who look away, the judgmental types who love to criticize and never see themselves as part of the problem, or part of the solution?

Amos was a social prophet. A shepherd by trade, he was a working man, a man of the people. And he had a tremendous concern for the down trodden. Amos was born in Tekoa, the southern part of Judah. He wasn't a born prophet, he didn't have prophets in his family background and he didn't go to prophet university. He was just a regular guy, a layman if you will, a shepherd who also tended fig trees in the off-season. Then one day God came to Amos in such a powerful, distinctive way, that there was no doubt in Amos' mind that he had been called to deliver a particular, burning message to the people in Israel.

This was a time of wealth, of even luxury for both Judah and Israel. In Judah King Uzziah was in power, he reigned from 792-740 B.C. King Jeroboam to the north reigned from 793 - 753 B.C., so it is generally accepted that Amos, who was a contemporary of Jonah's, prophesied to Israel from between 760 - 750 B.C. It is significant that as soon as he crossed the border into Israel, Amos began to preach – in Bethel, the seat of false religion.

Not since the days of Solomon had God’s people enjoyed such material prosperity, political stability and military success. And for the first time since Solomon, Israel reached the original borders of God's promised land. In both countries the kings were enjoying long and stable reigns. Jeroboam II was a hero to his people.

But spiritually people in both countries were corrupt. There was idolatry, extravagant indulgence, immorality, corruption of the judicial process and oppression of the poor. Yet in spite of moral depravity and degeneracy, religion was really popular. People thronged to the festivals and religious centers. Religion was almost like entertainment and made people feel better about themselves. The people thought that performing special rites, making sacrifices, doing rituals was all that was needed; it was a form of religion but it had no substance, no intimacy with God.

The people were not committed to God's law, so they had no basis for standards of conduct, it was all situational ethics. Their religion was telling them God was happy with their lives, that's why they were getting rich, and being victorious in war. They were looking away from the fact that the rich were getting richer at the expense of the poor, and that their religion was a fake. Amos condemned all those who made themselves powerful or rich at the expense of others, by cheating, by perverting justice, and by taking advantage of those with no money and no power.

Amos' message was pretty basic: National sin requires national repentance

Amos got personal, accusing the women of the wealthy class for being responsible for much of the evil in Israel. It's not wrong to have wealth, but to value it above people is wrong. Amos painted these women as being lazy, indifferent to the poor and needy, tyrants with their husbands, preoccupied with their physical pleasures. And yet they were very religious. How could this happen? How could gross injustice exist peacefully with popular religion? Because there was no sense of sin, and their religion was not about seeking after God.

Micah was a rural man, maybe even a farmer, from a little town outside of Gath and not too far from Lachish. There wasn't too much out of the ordinary about Micah, except that he loved the Lord, he loved people and he persevered in telling the truth about God. Micah and Isaiah both preached during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.

Micah knew the people, he was one of them, and he was grieving that the oppressed, the poor, the ordinary people, the remnant, were going to suffer because of the sins of their rulers. Part of Micah’s success as God’s witness was that he genuinely identified with and loved the people he was speaking to, and he genuinely grieved for what was coming to them.

Micah described the ruling class' sins:
* Planning evil, thinking about evil.

* Coveting - wanting something you don’t have, especially something belonging to someone else. Not being satisfied with what God has already given. Being materialistic and even greedy. Covetousness is inflamed by advertizing; our culture is never at peace with what we have – we need a nicer car, a prettier house, clothes with classier labels, younger looking skin and firmer figures, our children have to go to better schools & so on.

* Slipping away from God and not caring, wanting false prophets. The people in Micah’s day could buy any message they wanted. Becoming complacent in sin, thinking that since God doesn't discipline immediately it means this behavior doesn't bother Him.

* Unchecked selfishness and self-centeredness, taking whatever they wanted, leaving people destitute, without even their inheritance in the promised land.

* Micah exposed the corruption of every branch of government.

What's the antidote? All the prophets made plain that what God wants is not more rituals, grander shows, more and more sacrifices or any other sort of payment.

Amos said, "Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate."

Micah said, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

In Critical Acclaim every member of the band becomes both poet and prophet.

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation

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