Avenged Sevenfold... What a great band! If I am to rank the bands I like, these guys would be second, behind the never-reachable Metallica.
Just to start this off, I will tell you this: This is the only band in a very long while that had caused the Metallica effect on the metal audience: everybody loves them, but everybody hates them. The kind of band that is so popular that in every debate there are people that hate them and others that love them, both to the extreme. If they managed to pull a Metallica effect, being that Metallica are by many considered the Metal Gods, that can only be good.
There is another thing that has to be discussed before dissing on people that say that Avenged Sevenfold are the next Metal Gods. That thing is that people tend to forget what Metal is. They're all like "what they're Metal? What about Slayer? What about those other bands that don't get recognition like Black Dhalia Murder? They're so much heavier! A7x are pussies compared to them!". Metal is Metal and Avenged Sevenfold are Metal. They're not Thrash Metal, they're not even Heavy Metal anymore, they're not Hardcore for sure. So yeah, they are a great METAL band.
For the sake of comparing to the only other band considered the Metal Gods, like I've been doing, Metallica were considered Metal because went through Thrash to Heavy to Metal to Alternative to Metal to Heavy. So as icons as they were and for that slow Era they had they are considered The Metal Gods. Look at A7x now: They went through Metalcore to Heavy to pure Metal (having some trouble classifying the Self-Titled Album, but Nightmare and Hail to the King are pure Metal), so I think considering the best recent Metal band isn't as farfetched as the haters from the Metal community seem to think.
Now for their much deserved uprising. I think it's deserved because they are all great musicians, exceptional ones, in the case of Matt Shadows, Synyster Gates and the late Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. Matt has one of the best voices in the rock industry, comparable to idols like Axl Rose in his prime, Synyster is a great guitarist and, until the time I heard they were being considered the "future Metal Gods", I thought he was pretty underrated and The Rev was a great drummer and if you listen to any (ANY, even the Self-Titled) album he made with the band you'll have to agree that it's not just because he passed away that we fans say he was great. And his singing, holy shit.
They have been improving from album to album (except the Self-Titled, was a bit of a step back but I still like it, specially because it includes some of their most iconic songs). Ranking it, I'd say that the Debut album is the one I like the least (because I'm not really into metalcore, but I still listen to it and enjoy it), then Self-Titled, then Waking the Fallen, City of Evil, Nightmare and Hail to the King (this one being my favourite is another discussion that I'll probably get to, eventually). So as a band that changes their style every single album (seriously, none of the albums are the same) I think it's good that they can create such good material while still trying to find what they want, where they want to settle. That being said, we can be sure they have lots more to give until reaching full potential, so it's only right they get the recognition that they're getting now and be considered the "future Metal Gods", while we patiently look forward as they bless us with their music.
Touring, of course, is definitely an aspect to evaluate when saying that a band is good or bad. I got to say I like their live performances, their show, their connection to the crowd. Matt can sing almost perfectly live, except for the screaming of Waking the Fallen (which sucks, but he grew, voice changed, had cirurgy, yeah yeah; they only play Unholy Confession anyway, so...), Johnny has a good, chilled presence, Zacky and Syn play very well live, specially giving the difficulty degree of some of their riffs and the harmonies and they're a great match, that lefty-righty back-to-back is epic (maybe not original, but still epic) and Arin can play very well The Rev's parts and has a good presence, specially in this last tour - I guess he's feeling more secure, which is great. I also love this thing they did when I saw them live, June 23rd 2011, when it was The Rev's singing parts, they playback'd them while Matt pointed to the sky. Beautiful.
Unfortunetly they're not perfect, so I can't only say good things. There are minor things, like Lost's auto-tune (they were experimenting, every band does it at some point, trying not to get repetitive, thank God they didn't do it again), their appearance (I honestly never thought that was such a big deal, but many of the haters seem to only talk about how they dress and are wannabes and they hide their music with appearance, bah. One note though: Matt - The solution for your long hair was shave it all, not only on the sides; and Syn - you had the perfect Vegeta hair, why would you shave the sides too? :( ) and stuff like that.
No, I'm going to focus on more important things like their concerts. I said I liked their live performances and the show they put on, but I don't actually like their concerts and it breaks my heart to say so. But I can't bring myself to like a concert from a band I love that they go and play 13 songs, each averaging 5 minutes. Common! Because of that stupid thing of theirs they're even forced to leave out classics that they should play like Almost Easy, sometimes in this last tour Beast and the Harlot, Second Heartbeat and even (thought I'm glad that, if it's only 13 songs, they put this one out) A Little Piece of Heaven.
Common guys, if you wanna step it up you gotta actually step it up! All the grow ups are doing it, it's time you've showed everyone what you can do.
To finish it up, just something I noticed (not their fault, but I feel I have to mention it), they may be "future Metal Gods", but when on the same stage that Thrash Masters and Heavy Metal Kings, Slayer and Iron Maiden, there's no way Avenged Sevenfold are in the middle, like in Rock in Rio 2013, in Brazil. "Future" is the key word here and as much as I liked them they are still the new guys.
Still, to finish it off: You go boys! I want the word "future" out of your "future Metal Gods" title soon alright?!