Avenged Sevenfold release surprise album

Avenged Sevenfold release surprise album
Avenged Sevenfold decided to drop their seventh studio album “The Stage.” Many speculated that their album was going to be named “Voltaic Oceans” and released Dec. 9, after pro-wrestler and friend of the band Chris Jericho posted a picture of the album name and release date. It turns out the band and Jericho did this to throw fans off in order to release the new album by surprise. It seems fans should have anticipated a happy Halloween instead of an early Christmas present
Avenged Sevenfold’s new album focuses on topics out of the norm for the band, such as artificial intelligence and Darwinism. “The Stage” also introduces new drummer Brooks Wackerman, former drummer of punk band Bad Religion and the band’s first album under the label Capitol Records.
Leading off the album is “The Stage.” The song consisted of speed riffs by lead guitar player Synyster Gates and double bass drum patterns by new drummer Wackerman, a combo that has been missing since their 2010 album “Nightmare.” The lyrics of the song cover ego, selfishness, slavery and war. The music video for the song was released the same day, which shows a crowd of people watching a string puppet performance of war and violence. While cheering on and applauding the violence, it turns out the people themselves were string puppets and controlled by what is assumed to be puppets of the U.S. Government, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The second song “Paradigm,” takes a different route of lyrics and sound, going for a more agro-punk sound while focusing on technology. A relatively short song for the band’s standards, the song looks into what the future would be like if humans were to be overcome by technology, and become machines themselves. “Creating God” the fifth song of the album, focuses on Darwinism and questions if we created a design that God would have wanted if he does exist.
Closing out the album is the song “Exist,” the band’s longest song clocking in at fifteen minutes and forty seconds. Instrumental for most of its run-time, the song focuses on the question of religion and faith within society’s minds of what the future holds.
The last four minutes of the song features a monologue by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who talks about how war and violence is most likely created by multiple people’s different concept of God. He also talks about how a human’s ego is the leading cause of why society has racial, ethnic, religious, national and cultural conflicts. He compares his studies of galaxies to humanity, stating that the two relate due to the evolution of growth and the possibility of change within both, good or bad. He concludes his monologue with “Until the rise of a visionary new culture that once again embraces the cosmic perspective; a perspective in which we are one, fitting neither above nor below, but within.”
While many are surprised that a metal band decided to release a surprise album, it‘s perhaps for the best. Most of the songs in “The Stage” cover many topics that go a different direction than what the band usually writes. It’s a more realistic album focusing on what’s right and wrong with the world right now.
If the band were to release a second single or the album cover prior to December 9th, it would give away what the album would be about. While much applause should go to lead singer Matt Shadow’s sophisticated songwriting and Synyster Gate’s guitar work, the highest praise will go to new drummer Brooks Wackerman, who really brings back late Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer James “The Rev” Sullivan’s double bass pattern and aggressive speed drumming. It gives back Avenged Sevenfold’s old recipe of speed metal that many fans have missed.
While it’s a toss up on if this is Avenged Sevenfold’s best album yet, this is undoubtedly their most mature album to date. Avenged Sevenfold shows that they can brush aside their Metalcore ways while still adding something new, and carrying the torch for new metal bands of this century. “The Stage” is a dark album that should not be overlooked by metal fans and will be up there for one of the best rock albums this year.