Avenged Sevenfold grew up, found the spirit of Floyd, Bowie and Queen while harnessing the aggression of an earlier rendition of the band. Thereby they lead us on a journey through space and time in an epic movement of music; in the traditional sense of music, motifs and themes that can be enjoyed from end to end because this is more than a collection of songs, it is an album. An album that will transcend genre, perspectives and peoples. This is the journey of THE STAGE.

As we have seen, Avenged Sevenfold surprisingly released the album on October 28, 2016, not long after the first single in the same month “The Stage”, not as claimed by their close friend Chris Jericho who said the album will be released on December 9, 2016; “Oceans Voltaic”.

Well, the question, why did they do it?

Here we go… you can read the letter from the vocalist M. Shadows.

Dear friends,
It’s been a while since we have been able to reach out and communicate with you all directly. It’s been a wild couple of years and we can now finally breathe a sigh of relief. It feels great to share with you a secret we have been keeping for a very long time, “The Stage.” We wanted to surprise you all and use this release to usher in a new era for Avenged Sevenfold. The reason we chose to “surprise” release this album is because we have found that a lot of the old ways people are doing things in music have become repetitive and boring to us. Moving into 2017 and beyond we felt it was time to wake up and pay attention to the world around us. We wanted to not only pour our heart and soul into making the music WE want to make, but we want to give you a different and exciting experience. This includes the merchandise we will be making, pop up stores, tour production, how an album evolves and more. We feel the world is moving at a much faster rate then it was even 10 years ago. We want to embrace different ways of listening to music. We don’t care how or where you listen… we just want you to listen! We hope you are as excited as we are about the future music and future shows that are going to be coming up in the next couple of years for Avenged Sevenfold. I know we are working hard to flip the script and make this a fun experience for you.
Now with that being said, you could call me a hypocrite. We have just released the most complex album of our career. An album that you will probably have to hear quite a few times before it fully sinks in. In a world moving this fast there may not be a place for an album like this. I fully understand if people want something that is instant and obvious, but we have found that sometimes the finer things in life take a little getting used to. I have confidence that our A7X family will take the time it will require to fully digest this album. After that, you can decide if you like it or not. The subject matters discussed in “The Stage” are very real, and they are important to us. The music touches us, so we hope it touches you as well. And before I go, I’d like to welcome Brooks Wackerman to the family. He has been nothing but an amazing asset in this insane journey and we look forward to many many more years to come. Thank you guys very much for your patience over the last few years, and we cannot wait to show you the things we have in store. Have a Happy Halloween with your friends and family.
M. Shadows

This album is a masterpiece. Very modern and not the next metal repetition that we all heard 1 million times before. They did not release a second album like this simple “Hail to the king”, which was a good record but not good enough for an ambitious band like A7X. Brooks Wackerman is great. He is not like the Rev but he comes very close. Totally excited and thrilled by this album.