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The modern day titans of metal, Avenged Sevenfold have returned with a new album, The Stage, courtesy of Capitol Records. A7X is one of the largest metal bands in modern music, creating everything from metalcore to acoustic, and influencing many of the young musicians; their albums City of Evil and Waking the Fallen were my personal gateway to heavy metal.
 
The Stage is a very conceptual album in nature, and it truly shows. Starting with “Hail to the King” style guitars and vocals in the first track, and namesake “The Stage”, the album transitions to many different styles throughout. It always includes the impressive shredding and sweeping of the talented Synyster Gates, but there are many homages to a large amount of the band’s old work. The track “Sunny Disposition” gives a nod to their hit, “A Little Piece of Heaven”,  with its carnival type orchestra parts and bigger than life arrangement. Yet, in other tracks, like “God Damn”, they throw back to “City of Evil”, with its fast gallop drumbeats and classical guitar interludes.
 
The Stage is truly a story all the way through, with much societal criticism hidden within the lyrics, as well as political opinions, which are referenced in the music video for “The Stage”. One track that really spoke to me was  “Angels”, as it’s sad and dark tone reminded me of some of A7X’s works of art, like “Seize the Day”, and “So Far Away”, written as a tribute to the death of the band’s original drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, who, in my opinion was one of the best drummers metal has ever seen. The final track on this album, despite still being 15 minutes long, is very intriguing as it truly shows the conceptual side to this album, containing numerous sound changes, an extremely spacey feel, and even a guest speech by Neil Degrasse Tyson. The Stage is also full of thrash metal influences, with its heavy downpicking and uptempo riffs, definitely delivering for those who like A7X’s traditional metal sound, combine this with the soloing capabilities of Mr.Gates, this album is not likely to disappoint anyone.
 
This album dropped on October 28th, so check it out!
 
FFO: Metallica, Gojira, Slipknot, Atreyu, Bullet for my Valentine
 
Tracklist:
  1. The Stage
  2. Paradigm
  3. Sunny Disposition
  4. God Damn
  5. Creating God
  6. Angels
  7. Simulation
  8. Higher
  9. Roman Sky
  10. Fermi Paradox
  11. Exist
 
Lineup:
Vocals – Matt Shadows
Rhythm Guitar – Zacky Vengeance
Lead Guitar – Synyster Gates
Bass – Johnny Christ
Drums – Brooks Wackerman
 
Check out Avenged Sevenfold here:

 

Written by Ethan Grason for Bloodrock Media on April 5, 2017
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