AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows believes the band's latest album, "The Stage", "will stand the test of time" and could eventually become a fan favorite.
The surprise release of the disc, which was announced the night it went on sale in October 2016, earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in 11 years. It sold 76,000 copies in its first week, 73,000 of which were physical. The effort was a deeply complex concept album about the evolution of artificial intelligence and its possible consequences (both positive and negative) upon our society.
In the brand new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, Shadows looked back on "The Stage", saying: "I think it will stand the test of time in terms of AVENGED's legacy and I think that at some point it will be a lot of people's favorite record. I just think that when you're in the middle of the process of writing a record and you know that things are going to be a little complex or a little over people's heads, then you've got to know that a backlash is coming. And it did. But you know that going into it. I just wish that we didn't do so many crazy things at once."
He continued: "I feel that all of the initial backlashes that we've had, people have grown into it. They try it on and see how it fits. The backlash to 'City Of Evil' was insane — and then the next one was insane because it wasn't 'City Of Evil'. The next one was actually fine because Jimmy ['The Rev' Sullivan, drums] had died. We didn't get much of a backlash because I think that people felt bad for us. But then when 'Hail To The King' came out, there was a huge backlash. The different thing on the backlash with 'The Stage', though, was it was the first time that we had a great critical response and more of a fan backlash."
"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".
The group made the album available at midnight on October 27, 2016 with almost no promotion beforehand, save for the arrival of a new song one week earlier.
The deluxe version of "The Stage" arrived last December. This new edition features seven additional studio songs plus four previously unreleased live tracks recorded during the band's shows at The O2 arena in London. Among the seven bonus tracks is the band's cover of the PINK FLOYD classic "Wish You Were Here".