C.D. REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold

The Stage (Capitol Records)

Those days of teenage angst and rebellion are back with the help of Avenged Sevenfold’s latest album The Stage.

Their newest venture attempted to break the internet through a surprise releases, similar to tactics employed by Beyoncé and Frank Ocean. With the original intent of startling the most devoted with their latest release, The Stage’s bombshell release wasn’t enough and led to the band’s lowest point, selling only 72,000 physical copies in the first week of release.

In the last track “Exist,” Avenged Sevenfold took on the challenge of incorporating an outer space theme into their album, similar to something that’d be found on the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland. Much like a roller coster, the excruciating song has its ups and downs. High-paced guitar solos eventually mellowed through the use of heavy gutted lyrics and a not-so-hidden three-minute voice-over by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Risks are worth taking, but if listeners are going to remember listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson far more than the actual artist, then that becomes a problem.

For an album in which all the songs sound similar, “Angels” seemed to stand from the rest. Finally taking a break from all the busty beats and overbearing guitar solos, the lyrics seem to stand out in the least approachable way possible. The song howls, “Mother, wash the devil from my hands, pray the lord I have the strength to stand.” Listeners are encouraged to run away while they still can.

Contrary to popular belief, not everybody can drop a successful surprise album. Find a balance of innovation and substance then mix in a layer of mystery. Still and all, this trifecta was completely out of whack. This time around, it’s okay if Hot Topic forgets about this album somewhere in their deep and dark stockroom.

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