Avenged Sevenfold have released ‘The Stage‘, the band’s 7th studio album and first for Capitol Records, becoming the first-ever rock band to drop an unannounced album in both digital and physical form – and you can listen to the title track now on the Shoot Music – New Releases Playlist.
The Southern California-based quintet (vocalist M. Shadows, guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer Brooks Wackerman) surprised the millions of fans who were watching their live-streamed performance from the rooftop of the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood.
Following up Avenged Sevenfold’s 2013 release, ‘Hail To The King’, which entered The Billboard 200 at No. 1. co-produced by the band and Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool), ‘The Stage’ is a work of immense scope and ambition, featuring 11 panoramic tracks tied together by an Artificial Intelligence theme.
Inspired by the writings of Carl Sagan and Elon Musk, the album is the band’s first thematic release. While the term ‘AI’ conjures up images of robots and fantasy films, the band steers clear of a science fiction storyline. Instead, the album sees them taking a futurist’s look at the accelerated rate at which technology’s intelligence is expanding and what that means—good and bad—for the future.
Title track, ‘The Stage’ is also a new addition to the Fantasy Premier League playlist, while epic 15-minute-plus closing track, ‘Exist‘, features a guest appearance by award-winning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson giving a spoken word performance he penned specifically for the album.
Working with new label Capitol Records, the band’s plans for a stealth release were months in the making and kicked off a few weeks ago with a guerilla campaign that saw projections of their deathbat symbol mysteriously appearing on landmarks around the world. Fans and media reported sightings and shared images from Paris, Sydney, London, Japan and Berlin, to name but a few.
Avenged Sevenfold achieved worldwide success with a string of best-selling albums — including their 2005 platinum breakthrough ‘City Of Evil‘, 2007’s ‘Avenged Sevenfold‘, which topped the Billboard Alternative, Hard, and Rock Charts, and two consecutive No 1’s on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, ‘Nightmare‘ (2010) and ‘Hail To The King’ (2013)— achieving Diamond, Platinum and Gold awards for album sales in nearly a dozen countries.