Avenged Sevenfold have been away for a while but what a way to make a statement upon their return than with an album like 'The Stage'. Love them or hate them, the quality of musicianship and songwriting on this album is sure to please the A7X fans.
As part of that returning statement, the band chose to pretty much surprise everyone with the release of this album which seemingly came from nowhere overnight with only a few minor teases on social media which didn’t seem to indicate anything other than that we would be seeing the band again in some capacity soon. “We feel that when some bands are putting out records, it’s just so many breadcrumbs, and it takes so long and you’re four singles deep. By the time you get the record the excitement’s over. We haven’t really been excited by that way of doing things in a long time.
So the question we now ask ourselves during our initial play through, which we admit, is long overdue, is if the new way of thinking worked and is the record any good. Upon listening, one thing is clear. Avenged Sevenfold fans are going to love this.
Brooks Wackerman is behind the drum kit for the first time in the band and its instantly noticeable. There's a certain groovy style that he seems to bring with each and every song but feels best showcased not on the albums epic eight-minute self titled opener, but rather on second track ‘paradigm’. Regardless, the first two tracks clocking in at almost 15 minutes is a killer way to make a return. Whilst this is a very different feeling Avenged Sevenfold record, the core hooks and melodies that the fans are in love with are still very much apart of the songwriting which feels much more matured compared to previous albums and will have you humming along in no time.
Speaking of time, the record is the bands longest at a whopping 74 minutes which is fairly lengthy but at no point does time feel like it stands still. It’s a fairly busy sounding record with a lot going on at all times. In some ways, it’s the most progressive the band have been. ‘Sunny Disposition’ boasts some initial progressive technical musicianship before moving forward at quite some pace. Once again the drums feel like they are at the forefront of the music which is not a bad thing and adds a new element of heavy to the bands sound. ‘God Damn’ gallops away and feels like more of a throwback to their 2007 self titled album, one probably destined to be a crowd please live.
Throughout ‘The Stage’ one thing is still apparent. Whilst minor tweaks and changes have been made in their music, their ability to build their songs around a catchy chorus has not diminished one bit and is further highlighted in the track ‘Higher’. Its almost become their signature move and it’s the one that will have the fans eating out of the palms of their hands as they sing arenas down across the UK on their upcoming tour.
Be sure to checkout Avenged Sevenfold on their UK tour which will hit arenas nationwide