AVENGED SEVENFOLD has been using the downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic to "meticulously work on music" for the long-awaited follow-up to 2016's "The Stage" album.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD kept a low profile during 2019 and will likely not return to the road until next year. A blood blister on singer M. Shadows's vocal cords forced the band to cancel a summer 2018 tour with PROPHETS OF RAGE and THREE DAYS GRACE.
Earlier today, AVENGED SEVENFOLD sent out the following e-mail to the members of its fan club:
"First and foremost, we hope everyone is being as safe as they possibly can out there. As you know, we are living through unprecedented times.
"This moment has taught us a lot about the fragility of being a human being and how quickly the world in which we took for granted could be flipped upside down.
"Many people are in a tough spot as they grapple with their health and livelihoods. We are all dealing with this in our own ways.
"For us, we have taken an inward approach. Spending large amounts of time with our families has been the silver lining. It has also given us the time to meticulously work on music and other projects. The truth though, is that it has been incredibly hard to record the way we want. For instance, the drum room we required for the album was shut down due to protests outside the building for weeks. String sections and outside musicians have still not been able to be recorded due to Covid-19 restrictions. We are not willing to sacrifice the sound we are going for to work around this. We will wait. There are other issues on the horizon but we are documenting it all for a later release when we can tell the whole story.
"At the end of the day it wouldn't matter anyway. We don't feel comfortable working on an album this long and then releasing it with no tour in sight. Part of the music we make needs to be expressed through live interaction.
"While we appreciate the artists who are attempting 'live streams' and other events, it just isn't the way we are choosing to roll this thing out. All of this may change in the future. We are going through this with all of you and feel frustrated as well.
"The good news is we also feel recharged and stronger than ever as a unit. We feel the music we have created is _______. Just because we aren't updating everyone at every step doesn't mean that we aren't working. The news gets tiring. Social media gets tiring.
"Everyone on the food chain fighting for attention and relevance seems trivial. We have chosen to shut our mouths, dig deep and give you something that we feel can add to the collective human conversation. At the end of the day the music will come when it comes. Until then we hope you and your families all stay safe and sane."
Earlier this year, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's platinum-certified DVD/CD "Live In The LBC & Diamonds In The Rough" was released digitally for the very first time via Warner Records. "Diamonds In The Rough", originally issued in 2008 as a compilation CD that included B-sides recorded during the making of the band's self-titled debut, was made available on February 7, while "Live In The LBC", originally released as a live DVD from the band's 2008 show at Long Beach Arena, came out on March 6.
"The Stage" was surprise-released in October 2016. The release of the disc, which was announced the night it went on sale, earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in 11 years. It sold 76 thousand copies in its first week, 73 thousand of which were physical.
"The Stage", AVENGED's debut for Capitol, sold less than half as many copies in its first week as the group's two previous efforts, 2010's "Nightmare" and 2013's "Hail To The King".