This album definitely feels like a massive homage to metal through the years which i respect. However, having said that i feel like by doing so they have lost a little bit of what makes them individual in their own right e.g. most metal bands are blues driven i wouldn't have said that about Avenged so far but the heavy blues influence on this record probably serves to place them more comfortably among their peers but the flip side is a loss of some individuality. Furthermore you can't help but feel a lot of restraint here through the lack of showboating dual guitars and more simplistic drums which i think seems like an aesthetic decision and gives the album more groove and bigger riffs as a result. So i guess your take on the album comes down to a matter of perspective all in all i'd say it's a great effort by the band and should open more doors to most mainstream metal fans.