Avenged Sevenfold’s “We Love You” is Experimental, Abstract, and Absolutely Brilliant

By Caleb Rippee

Avenged Sevenfold are a metal band who have never been afraid to experiment a little and refine their sound, even exploring different genres to enhance the dynamic to their music. Despite this, nobody would expect them to go quite so… weird. However, their decision to experiment and defy traditional song structure was one that paid off. 

The song is the second single off of their upcoming album “Life Is But A Dream…” which will be releasing June 2nd. The track is over six minutes long and contains many bizarre moments and genre choices. Everything from thrash metal to electronic, to acoustic blues, ambient, and even some trap influences. All of these genres as well as their own signature sound are contained within this track and make for an absolutely absurd listening experience. 

Upon first listen, this song will likely give you total whiplash as it changes genre, tempo, vibe, and tone in a seemingly random and sporadic way. It will seem more like a thrown together bowl of genre salad that just got dumped on you and now you have to do something with it. 

However, after listening to it a few times and analyzing the lyrics, you might begin to understand what the song is trying to accomplish and how well it was executed by the band. I recommend listening to the song before reading the rest, as I will be doing an in depth analysis of it.

The song roars to life as it opens with blazing fast drums courtesy of Brooks Wackerman, the drums are isolated for a few seconds before guitar, bass, and vocals all join together at once. The music is dissonant and sort of unattractive sounding. The vocals have a strange autotune/voice mod effect that sort of cuts in and out. The purpose of this is quite intriguing but can only be understood once you know what the song is actually about.

So what is the song about? Well the lyrics are all focused on pointing out the flaws in the corporate, material, capitalist mindset that many adopted and which causes many to lose their humanity when they get lost in the empty promises of corporations and the government. The title of the track itself “We Love You” is in and of itself, a summation of the main themes of the song. Taken on its own without context, the title is likely to be seen as a positive, kind-hearted message when in reality it is an empty lie used to manipulate and deceive. 

So now that you understand the basic idea of the song’s meaning. Let’s look at some of the incredible nuances and details meant to convey this even further and even lends evidence to the overall cohesiveness of the track. 

The strange voice changer in the beginning of the song is meant to convey the tantalizing but ultimately malevolent lies told to lure people into the corporate mindset or to keep someone there. The lyrics portray this carefree, blissful, happy environment/state of mind, all things that people are promised once they’ve worked their way to the top. “Sunny days, the air tastes so sweet” It also shows how corporations take advantage of human pride and ego, by showering them with compliments and telling them they’re special with lines like “There you are, you’ve come so far” and “You can be anything” The voice changer is meant to show the thinly veiled deception as it flickers on and off, revealing small flaws with the slightly off key vocals. It is easy to see the manipulation being carried out but the promises are often too tempting, causing people to be willfully ignorant in hopes that they will get what they were promised.

The song then switches into this pounding, electronic sounding percussion section that is accompanied by a menacing riff. The vocals also switch to a cold, monotone speaking voice. The lyrics are pretty self explanatory as well. 

“More power, more pace, more money, more taste”

This continues until it switches up.

“Build tall, build higher, build far, build wider”

These lyrics show the never-ending demands of human greed. Constantly wanting more, wanting better, and wanting it now. Each line is only a few syllables and purposefully moves fast, not allowing you time to consider each desire. This is meant to reflect how corporations can demand things constantly without allowing people time to question them. There’s always a new demand before you have time to question the ethics of achieving the last one. The vocals are also delivered in a very robotic tone, showing the lack of emotion or empathy for these hedonistic and selfish desires and no thought for the repercussions of achieving them. Just more, more, more. Almost as if it’s a machine just cranking out constant wants and “needs.”

“Well, look at the way you go. 

You’re one in a million 

And you know it shows

And we love you

Unto the mud”

These are the lyrics for the chorus, and they are an example of how companies will shower you with compliments and groom your sense of individuality only to turn their back on you once you’ve outgrown your usefulness. The first four lines are delivered melodically and are all positive, seemingly kind words that give a sense of empowerment and pride (it makes you want to work even more!) but the final line is delivered in a brutal scream that adds power to the words. The words, “unto the mud” will play a larger role later on but for now, just serve as a visual example of how you’re at the bottom and the corporations will abandon you there while whispering sweet nothings the entire time.

The song returns to the second section with the robotic vocals and a fresh new batch of hedonistic desires.

“More wants, more needs, more hits, morphine”

There are several references to drugs in this section which could be a reference to the heavy illicit drug use amongst higher up CEOs and corporate heads who are now able to get away with it due to their money and influence. But there’s still a need for more. 

The chorus returns but this time, it’s much different. There are no guitars, drums or anything. Just a very ambient, synth driven atmosphere. It’s ethereal, peaceful, and absolutely gorgeous sounding. This is meant to represent someone “making it” to that place where they can be carefree and live in bliss. Not really though. It abruptly cuts off to bring us to the heaviest, most abrasive part of the song. The lyrics reveal the true reality of the capitalistic world and the intentions behind the corporations.

“Race to scale the body stack

Lay foot to face atop broken back

A failure here is a failure earned

Do unto the end

Do unto the mud


These lyrics paint an absolutely horrifying picture of what the corporate world is really like. A bunch of people climbing on top of each other, stepping over, trying to elevate themselves above their fellow man. And if they fail, it’s their own fault and they are unworthy of living a luxurious life. If they fail, they deserve it.

The music in the chorus leading into this section also paints a very detailed picture. We have this ethereal, airy, peaceful soundscape that is meant to symbolize the false sense of accomplishment you get, thinking you’ve made it to the top when you’ve barely gotten off the ground, only to get dragged back into the mud by your own complacency. Almost as if they are saying “You think you’ve earned the right to be carefree? Ha, thats funny. You will be fighting to get to the top for the rest of your life or until you lose everything and can never recover.” The veil has been lifted and the true colors of corporations have been shown. They never cared about you, they cared about what you could do for them. The phrase “it’s not personal, just business” takes on a whole new meaning when you realize that if it wasn’t personal, then all the nice things they said to you and all the compliments and all the promises were lies used to manipulate you into giving everything to an indifferent corporation that has no empathy for you, or anyone else. If you aren’t useful enough, you’ll be dumped back into the mud. 

Their repeated use of the word “Do” in this section is interesting as well. Often we are taught to think before we do things. Otherwise we’d be impulsively making decisions we may not fully understand. But these lyrics highlight the demands to just do. Don’t think, don’t question, just do what you’re told and keep doing until you’re dead. 

We return to the 2nd section once again, with the same lyrics except this time, the song has a very intense buildup (pun fully intended here) in which the singer eventually degrades into just repeating the words “build” over and over and over again. This is meant to convey how eventually, people lose themselves in the corporate world. At first it’s about the hedonistic vices that are appealing to the mind. Drugs, sex, indulgence, power, etc. But it eventually breaks down and the individual’s sole reason for existing simply becomes “build.” Just build. It’s terrifying because it seems like a complete loss of sanity when presented in this form. However, most people will just see this as the mindset of a successful person. It’s seen as healthy ambition and tenacity when in reality it’s extremely unhealthy, harmful behavior that causes destruction to lots of people as once building more becomes your sole desire, the constraints of ethics and morality begin to disappear. 

The song ends with a chorus and then a strange but fitting end to the song. An acoustic, blues influenced guitar solo with some vocals as well. The chorus has some small changes in the lyrics but the idea remains. Companies will say anything to grow your pride and ego and to make you think you’re some special prodigy. It also reinforces the idea that whatever economic place you’re in, is completely deserved. What’s that? You’re in the lower class? Welp, it must be your fault. You’re just not worthy of a more comfortable life. You don’t deserve it. 

The song ends with a haunting acoustic section and this can have a few different meanings. 

It could be an intentional contrast to the robotic, electronic, rigid song we just heard up until now. Now we get to hear a raw, organic, imperfect sounding acoustic section. You can hear the guitarist’s fingers sliding on the strings. Subtle little creaks and shifts can also be heard. The entire thing is very real and human sounding as opposed to the rest of the song. This leads me to believe that it is meant to represent a rejection of this lifestyle. You can enjoy simplicity and more importantly, humanity. 

There was a lot to unpack in this one song, probably even more that I missed too. But overall, the song is incredibly cohesive and articulate despite its unconventional structure and style. The message is clear and one that everybody can understand and apply. The song mocks the corporate mindset by presenting it in a way that shows both the reality and absurdity of this mindset. It’s a chaotic, sporadic, and never ending chase for material pleasures. The song structure reflects this perfectly. It’s abrupt, chaotic, fast, and unpredictable. Its uncomfortable. And then, even in the brief moments you are given peace and comfort, you are violently thrown back into the abrasive reality you thought you’d escaped. You might say that the song sounds nonsensical and unforgiving, but that’s the entire point. The constant desire for more power and more expansion and more material things is nonsensical and the world people live in whilst trying to achieve them is also unforgiving and unpredictable. 

Did the song make you uncomfortable? 

Good. That’s the purpose. 

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