Avenged Sevenfold’s latest addition to the ever-expanding LP The Stage, is the cover “As Tears Go By,” by the legendary rock band, the Rolling Stones. Though it’s a dangerous thing to take someone else’s song and make it ultimately your own—especially when that song is the iconic 1966 mega hit—the recent unveiling of A7X’s version fearlessly tackles this daunting scenario.
According to a press release, “We really got into some of the deeper Rolling Stones tracks during the writing process for "Hail To The King,”" says Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows. “This song always stood out because of the melody and fragile state of Mick Jagger’s vocal and the interesting string section in the bridge. We took a more up-tempo rock & roll approach and added the sitar as a little nod to the experimentation of the 60s.”
Released with almost no promotion beforehand, Avenged Sevenfold surprised the industry when they officially announced the release of their seventh studio album during a rooftop performance atop LA's landmark 13-story tower, Capitol Records Building (A7X’s new label) on Oct. 27, 2016.
In a continuation of thinking outside the proverbial box, A7X made a decision early on in the writing process of The Stage; this album would be anything but conventional. The goal; to do something different for the sake of their fans. Over-and-above the original 11-tracks, the group recorded supplemental songs with the sole purpose of adding them singularly to the original tracklist. In doing so, A7X creatively turned the LP into an intriguing living piece of art—no creative boundaries or time limits—growing as the band grows, and, most importantly, keeping their fans surprised and engaged with new music to be heard.
Since releasing The Stage, the band has carried through on the ever-expanding LP vision. Over the course of several months, A7X has added five additional tracks; the gang’s rendition of Mexican folk song “Malagueña Salerosa”; a re-imagining of Mr. Bungle’s “Retrovertigo”; the “Dose,” an A7X original; a cover of Del Shannon’s 1961 No. 1 hit, “Runaway”; and the latest addition, the band’s version of The Beach Boys’ ageless1966 mega hit written by Brian Wilson, “God Only Knows” (even updating the original cover art for The Stage with a cover of The Beach Boys).
Lyrically inspired by Carl Sagan and Elon Musk, the provocative album concentrates on the challenges of living in today’s technological society. Futurist themes, based on Artificial Intelligence and society's self-destructive addiction to faster living, are all factors intertwined behind the science-driven release.
Contemplated in The Stage; nuclear war (“Sunny Disposition”), nanobots (“Paradigm”), religion (“God Damn” [over 5.8 million music video views], “Angels”), artificial intelligence (“Creating God”). The title track, "The Stage" (over 19 million music video views), is eight-plus-minutes concentrated upon human interaction throughout history articulated from the vantage point of a man whose eyes have opened to the corruption of the world.
The critically-acclaimed album (No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock, Hard Rock, and Alternative Albums charts), raises many thought-provoking questions such as “Is what’s suppose to help us, hurting us?” “Is what’s suppose to free us, actually enslaving us?” This intriguing concept album leaves us pondering as to what’s to come.
Avenged Sevenfold, consisting of M. Shadows (vocalist), Synyster Gates (guitar), Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Johnny Christ (bass), and Brooks Wackerman (drums) just finished a supporting role with Metallica across North America. A7X will be headlining Houston Open Air on Sept. 15, 2017.
The Stage is available here.
The Stage track listing:
1. "The Stage"
3. "Sunny Disposition"
4. "God Damn"
5. "Creating God"
9. "Roman Sky"
10. "Fermi Paradox"