New Avenged Sevenfold Album - The Stage (with Youtube link)

leib10

Active member
A few weeks ago, I posted A7X's new single, The Stage. Turns out that they surprise released their whole new album of the same name a few days ago.

I got a chance to listen to the whole thing, and once again they have definitely changed things up from their previous album, Hail to the King. HttK was a disappointment for me, as it seemed too stripped down, confined to a certain set of parameters, and derivative of other bands' work. It really seemed like they were struggling to write enough material to fill an album, and the work that was done seemed uninspired and missing anything that defined them as a band. In my opinion, it's their weakest effort.

Not anymore. They went the complete opposite direction for The Stage. It's their longest album at about 74 minutes, and has the longest song they've ever written, Exist. The songs themselves showcase their musicianship and adventurous spirit in songwriting better than any album since City of Evil. The guitar work is particularly on point, as is the drumming by Brooks Wackerman (previously of Bad Religion). There's some really great stuff in here. That being said, the vocals have always been A7X's weak spot, and they continue to act as a detriment on this album as well, although they have grown on me after a few listens. The mix also seems to be a bit off, depending on which speakers you're listening to the album with.

Perhaps the greatest relief is that they have shied away at writing shameless ripoffs of their favorite bands' work, and have instead taken those influences and made them into something more original. Give it a listen before Youtube takes it down again!

EDIT: Aaaand it's gone. I'll try to post a link up later when one becomes available. Here's a review that I thought was for the most part very fair and accurate.

 

GOHOINC

Well-known member
I was never much of a fan of them because I cant stand the production/mix of their records, then I saw them live. If they could capture their live performance production/mix on record they would be infinitely better, the last two records have been progressive steps in the right direction as far as that goes. From what I've heard of the new stuff, this is a step back as far as I am concerned...
 

cnote

New member
Thanks, missed this. Will give it a listen. A7X not so popular in these circles, but I like em. Waking is still the most listenable on repeat, like most first albums. The last one was certainly influences on their sleeve. But to me they're always a good listen, with some epic stuff - A Little Piece of Heaven is a macabre Bohemian Rhapsody to me. I was into Suicidal and the Infectious Grooves way back when so it's cool to see Brooks in the band.
 

slyym

Member
I saw A7X at the Cynthia Woods Pavilion in the woodlands TX when they where on the Hail To The King tour. We got to sit 5 rows back from the stage. Holy shit it was awesome!! You could feel the heat from the piro on stage. Also the woodlands have an acoustic enhancing roof above all the seats which when your sitting up front is amazing! Best show ever!!
 

cnote

New member
I'm old enough to remember listening to Rush for the first time during their heyday over 3 1/2 decades ago and that's what this feels like to me. Saw that there's no vocal tuning, no samples for drums - have to like that. It's pretty clear that Brooks had an impact on them - he sounds great. The other way that this is like Rush is that this doesn't feel very commercial at all. It takes some dedication from fans to try to digest it.
 

skoora

Well-known member
That dude (the one in your avatar) has really grown as a lead player. He's got some nice phrasing and control with some good chops when he wants to. Actually I've always thought they were good players and a good band but don't connect with a lot of their songs. Sometimes the vocals sound perfect for certain styles and then he really struggles with other things. I saw a live concert of them once on Palladia (now MTV Live) that showed them in a much better light.
 

RevDrucifer

Active member
This new album is fucking great!

I didn't dig the last 2 and had just figured that The Rev was their secret weapon, but this new album really proved me wrong.

Odd times, KILLER FUCKING DRUMS, really interesting changes....and it's NOT brickwalled!

Andy Wallace mixed/produced this and you can really hear it in a few spots, there's a few things he did with Faith No More production wise that made it's way onto this record, mainly with the vocals. And regarding the vocals, they grow on me more and more. I don't hate his voice, but he really does have a way of getting into that nasally sneer. There's one song, "God Damn" I think that it's just too much for me.

But man, "Sunny Disposition" and "Creating God" are just fucking killer tunes...."Paradigm" is a scorcher....the drums are just insane on here and they sound GREAT. Brookes was definitely the best thing to happen to this band in a long time.

I'm assuming it's Gates, Wackerman and Shadows that right 98% of the material and the other guitarist and bass player wait around to be told what to do.
 

born_hard

Member
RevDrucifer":218vcsfv said:
This new album is fucking great!

I didn't dig the last 2 and had just figured that The Rev was their secret weapon, but this new album really proved me wrong.

Odd times, KILLER FUCKING DRUMS, really interesting changes....and it's NOT brickwalled!

Andy Wallace mixed/produced this and you can really hear it in a few spots, there's a few things he did with Faith No More production wise that made it's way onto this record, mainly with the vocals. And regarding the vocals, they grow on me more and more. I don't hate his voice, but he really does have a way of getting into that nasally sneer. There's one song, "God Damn" I think that it's just too much for me.

But man, "Sunny Disposition" and "Creating God" are just fucking killer tunes...."Paradigm" is a scorcher....the drums are just insane on here and they sound GREAT. Brookes was definitely the best thing to happen to this band in a long time.

I'm assuming it's Gates, Wackerman and Shadows that right 98% of the material and the other guitarist and bass player wait around to be told what to do.

right, and i like the lead work very much. its very interesting playwise (has a touch of Marty Friedman style) and not the usual stuff
 

leib10

Active member
Yep, the more I listen to this album, the more I appreciate how much he's grown as a guitar player. He's retaining all of the speed but making his writing smarter and more tasteful. He's easily one of the most versatile guitar players on the scene today.

To me, this album has the technical playing of City of Evil combined with the more experimental writing of Diamonds in the Rough. It's certainly one of their best albums, a welcome departure from their last album which largely consisted of little more than songs very heavily inspired by their influences.

With creative decisions like the brass on Sunny Disposition to the monologue at the end of Exist, it feels like they are taking chances again, which is a good thing. A lot of bands aren't these days. Even the way they released the record was taking a chance, what with the lesser publicity, and as a result the record's sales so far haven't been as high. But I think with time they will be made up, because this album stands head and shoulders over its predecessor.
 
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