Avenged Sevenfold ‘The Stage’ Song Review

Having fallen in and out of love with the modern metal maestro’s that are ‘Avenged Sevenfold’, I’ve got to say, anticipation was running rampant throughout the music world ahead of this single release. To many of you, you might just think, ‘well nobody was really talking about it and Avenged certainly haven’t made the headlines’, but that there is your problem. Avenged Sevenfold are meant to be the front-runners and the magnum opus of modern heavy metal; they are meant to be the biggest metal band in the world and if you ask many modern metalheads then, whether they like them or loathe them, they too will agree with this statement. Hard rock and metal has taken such a battering commercially the last decade or so, despite the music quality rising for the first time in a little while. Being a musician myself, I see more metal bands performing in the local area than any other type of music; the problem is, that it just isn’t selling. So here is to hoping that this new Avenged Sevenfold track will kickstart a re-ignition for modern heavy metal and hence bring the metal product back into the realms of commercialism…

Judging off of this, I’m not feeling it. Let me explain before you bite my head off. Although separately the track is quite excellent, when you put the layers together, it just doesn’t really work. Now there are sections of unreal musicality and imagination, but that is the problem, there are too many sections like this and the track has no cohesion/no flow. Now coming from a prog fans perspective, it takes a lot of diversity for me to crack and say it’s too much, but here in this track, it’s too much. You have sections of technical metal, followed up by sections of punk, then by sections of post hardcore, then sections of classic rock, then by sections of melodic metal and it just goes on and on, the track hasn’t got any identity. It just felt like a statement song, as if they were exclaiming, ‘Wow look how much we can cram into one song and look how good we are at all these types of music’. It just had no direction, no hook and no substance to it. The drums were a perfect example of someone trying way too hard. There must of been like 40 fills in here, half of which were too long for their transitional sections and or didn’t fit the style of playing that was being produced during the part; there were progressive metal fills happening during classic rock sections and it sounded ridiculous.

Production wise the track felt conflicting. The guitars were brilliantly mixed with some gorgeous tones being showcased during the many technical solo’s. The bass seemed a little weak and when listening to the track, I barely noticed it at all. The drums however are very poorly mixed. They sound more like an electronic kit than anything else with the toms sounding completely robotic during the fills. The vocals seemed very quiet in the mix too and judging by the comment section, I could see many people agreed with me; perhaps swamped by the over-zealous instrumentals.

Lyrically the song was okay/functional. There were a few political metaphors and anti-establishment phrases but other than that they just seemed competent enough; befitting of your average metal tune. The vocal performance on the other hand was very weak for someone of Matt’s stature. He’s known for belting out hugely powerful notes and here it just felt like weak crooning; he sounded like a singer thirty years his elder.

So overall I really struggled to review the track if you couldn’t already tell by any of the times I repeated myself. The reason being is that there was too much to review and too much to highlight critique in. The song had no real direction and because of it I struggled to narrow down my own direction for it’s review.

5.5/10 – Extremely self-indulgent but contained moments of guitar-based bliss.


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