We’re constantly complaining about the state of the music industry; about how new artists don’t seem to have the possibility to reach past heights. The flipside to that coin is that established bands, without any pressure from record companies, are free to literally do anything they want. Avenged Sevenfold just released a new album out of the blue: no hype, no interviews, no lyric videos and visualizers, announcing it while playing and streaming live from the top of the Capitol records building, even though the information was leaked a few days earlier.

‘The Stage’ is their first record with drummer Brooks Wackerman, whose (impressive) resume didn’t make him an obvious choice for Avenged, but, as you’ll hear, he fits perfectly and actually is quite reminiscent of the Rev in his playing.
The album is a bold 180 turn compared to ‘Hail to the King’, a record with amazing performances but that’s half full of… covers. The long leads by Synyster Gates (mvp) are back (‘The Stage’), the songs are longer, the compositions intricate (‘Sunny Disposition’) and ambitious (‘Exist’). The love that A7X have for the ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums and big productions in general is apparent, in an album that’s fulfilling, doesn’t have songs that will impress you right away but gives you so many different elements to absorb that you’ll keep coming back to it.