AVENGED SEVENFOLD — The Stage (review)

AVENGED SEVENFOLD — The Stage album cover Album · 2016 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Nightfly
Two bands in particular have surprised me in 2016. The first was Metallica who actually got me enthusiastic about them again; something I thought would never happen and released their best album in 25 years. The other was Avenged Sevenfold who after years of shrugs of nothing special from me have finally released an album that I think is really pretty good and impressed me enough to actually buy it. Whilst I couldn’t claim to be an expert on their back catalogue The Stage is the best thing I’ve heard from the band after more recent mainstream generic metal offerings.

The Stage is a much busier and heavier album than 2013’s Hail To The King’s simplistic approach. Some of it may be down to an injection of energy from new drummer and former Bad Religion member Brooks Wackerman who seems to have given them a good kick up the arse, but there’s also clearly a prog influence going on here most noticeable in the eight and a half minute title track and the fifteen minute album closer Exist. Sure they’ve done longer songs before but here the band really do nail it and get the opportunity to stretch out. The Stage in particular stands out as the best thing I’ve ever heard from them with strong hooks and a captivating arrangement with plenty of changes. Exist, if for nothing else than its length is sure to capture attention. Fortunately, it’s a winner with plenty of twists and dynamics, compelling riffs, strong melodies and instrumental work. Shorter pieces like God Damn and Creating God also pack a considerable punch and the mellower Angels sounds a bit like Soundgarden or solo Chris Cornell in more reflective mood.

There’s a few less than stellar moments like Sunny Disposition and ballad Roman Sky - pleasant enough but dull. Also the production whilst clear is a little clinical and could do with a bit more bottom end to my ears but these are minor gripes. Overall though The Stage should more than please fans of the band and most likely win them quite a few new ones too. If they keep going down this road I might even buy the next one too.
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Nightfly wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanks guys!
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Good review, I really enjoyed this album. I agree with Kingcrimsonprog on "Creating God", great track,
more than 2 years ago
I love the drums in the verses of 'Creating God' ... the chorus is a bit too syruppy but those verses are killer.

This is a great album overall btw, but yeah, those verses are awesome on that one in particular.

Nightfly wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It's been a while since I had a listen to City of Evil in full though I did listen to a couple of the longer songs on it before writing this review for comparison.
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
If you don´t know their City of Evil album...that´s the one you gotta get. I´m not a huge fan of the rest of their material, although there are some great tracks here and there, but City of Evil is a killer album IMO.

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