Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (Capitol Records, 2016)
California metal band Avenged Sevenfold’s new studio album, The Stage, is their most ambitious record instrumentally to date. However, ambitious doesn’t always mean good. From top to bottom, this album is a mess. The band was criticized on their last album, Hail to the King, for being too simple. On The Stage, the band completely overcompensates for those criticisms. The majority of the songs on this record are two minutes longer than they need to be, with the extra time used to showcase unnecessary guitar solos and flashy drumming. Lead singer Matt Shadows sounds scratchy on the record and struggled to achieve any harmony with his vocals. Songs like “The Stage” and ballads like “Roman Sky” are decent, but not enough to make the album better. The Stage is a cruel reminder that even the best metal bands from the 2000s are washed up at this point.
Trial Track: “The Stage”