Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage
2016, Capitol Records
1. “The Stage”
3. “Sunny Disposition”
4. “God Damn”
5. “Creating God”
9. “Roman Sky”
10. “Fermi Paradox”
M. Shadows – Lead vocals
Zacky Vengeance – Guitar, Backing vocals
Synyster Gates – Guitar, Backing vocals
Johnny Christ – Bass, Backing vocals
Brooks Wackerman – Drums
After the disappointing Hail to the King which took a LOT of inspiration from Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Megadeth, it’s good to hear that The Stage is mostly a return to form for Avenged Sevenfold. The Stage sits comfortably alongside City of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold, and Nightmare. It sounds like a natural continuation of those albums rather than the wrong turn they took Hail to the King by going for a more hard rock radio sound.
But don’t get me wrong. While this is definitely Avenged Sevenfold back to sounding more like Avenged Sevenfold, they aren’t looking to repeat themselves. On The Stage the band carries on by expanding their sound. It seems like they get a bit more adventurous, experimental and grandiose with each release. White you still get the typical great riffing, solos and frenetic drumming the band is known for on songs like “The Stage”, “Sunny Disposition”, “Higher”, “Fermi Paradox”, and “God Damn”, they continue to incorporate more melody and a progressive metal tendency into their music. Both their self-titled album and Nightmare featured more than a few experimental songs by using strings, organs and keyboards and this is mostly an album full of those moments.
The album closer, “Exist”, may just be the crown jewel of the entire album. An instrumental journey for the most part the song starts out in typical A7X fashion then morphs into a ballad with M. Shadows chiming in before taking yet another turn into a more progressive metal sound featuring a spoken-word portion by astrophysicist/cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson to close out the track. Truly a masterpiece that makes you think when you listen to Tyson’s words.
The Stage is yet another masterpiece from these guys. Their musical chops on are full display and I’m very interested in seeing where the NEXT album takes the band.
Highlights: “The Stage”, “Sunny Disposition”, “God Damn”, “Angels”, “Higher”, “Roman Sky”, “Fermi Paradox”, “Exist”