AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. SHADOWS Still Believes 'The Stage' 'Will Continue To Grow And Stand The Test Of Time'

October 28, 2022

AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows believes the band's latest album, "The Stage", "will continue to grow and stand the test of time."

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.

Earlier today, Shadows, whose real name is Matt Sanders, marked the sixth anniversary of "The Stage"'s release by sharing the following statement via social media: "6 years ago we stood on top of Capitol Records playing a live show streamed across the world. At 12 o'clock midnight we did what no other metal band had done before and surprise dropped our new album 'The Stage'. For the ones that spent time with it... this new progressive sound inched its way into their very souls. Existentialism, artificial intelligence and the history of the world was on full display. This album allowed us to spread our wings musically and declare to the world that you never know what you are gonna get on an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album. I believe that beyond any other album we have made, that this one will continue to grow and stand the test of time. Here's to 6 years."

Shadows previously defended "The Stage" in a 2018 issue of Metal Hammer magazine. At the time, he said: "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 in December 2017. This edition featured 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 was the band's cover of the PINK FLOYD classic "Wish You Were Here".

AVENGED SEVENFOLD recently completed work on the long-awaited follow-up to "The Stage" for a tentative early 2023 release. The LP was once again produced by Joe Barresi, who previously worked on "The Stage".

AVENGED SEVENFOLD's upcoming effort was mixed by legendary producer Andy Wallace. Wallace has mixed all of AVENGED SEVENFOLD's studio albums since 2005's "City Of Evil".

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