California-based heavy metal band, Avenged Sevenfold, last released new material to their fans in 2013 with their album Hail to the King. Since then, touring, songwriting, drummer replacements, and label disputes have pretty much taken up their time; however, with so much activity from the band throughout the month of October, fans await something new and exciting.
In early October, the first bout of excitement came from numerous DeathBat sightings (the band’s logo) all over the world, such as Toronto and Paris. This first sparked rumors of the band’s new album, which was, and perhaps still is, rumored to be titled “Voltaic Oceans”. Days after the DeathBat sightings, the band released a response generator called the DeathBot. This snarky response mechanism has answers for most of the questions that the fans ask. For instance, when one types “Voltaic Oceans” the DeathBot responds with “I bet you feel like the smartest ape”; this may disperse the actuality of the rumored title but it is still an important phrase that I am sure has some importance with the new album. One very important piece of information that the DeathBot reveals to the fans is details about the new album. When asked about the upcoming album, the response given is: “The answer to that question will be given at a special live event on October 27th.” Mark your calendars.
The DeathBot also responds to questions about band members. For instance, the band’s former drummer, Arin Ilejay, was supposedly removed from the band for creative differences; however, the DeathBots response, “I suppose he did not believe in me,” suggests a more wedged disagreement. More humorous responses are generated for the active members of the band. For instance, Zacky Vengeance, the band’s rhythm guitarist, is called the master of puppets and Synyster Gate. He is called the “fastest typer” due to “years of playing guitar.” On a more sentimental note, the band did pay homage to their founding drummer and lost brother, James “the Rev” Sullivan, by creating a response which states that he is a “legend who will live forever.” The DeathBot is limited in its answers and the questions must be kept specific, but all in all it is a very entertaining and interactive release for Avenged Sevenfold fans. The most exciting of all the announcements this month, however, is by far the release of Avenged Sevenfold’s new single “The Stage”.
On October 13th, Avenged Sevenfold fans awoke to a message in their email or on their social media feed that said, “Admit One” with a link beside it. And sure enough, it was a link to “The Stage”. The intro to the eight-minute music video begins with a blurry, double view of a tent with a DeathBat sign on the top, almost like a circus tent. The intro music to the song has been described very accurately as Phantom of the Opera-esque. The music video is strange and very literal. There is a puppet stage and sadistic people come to see a show of every human disgrace starting with the caveman and ending with the world wars. However, there is a twist at the end that makes the video even more intriguing. The audience becomes the puppets on the stage and their strings are followed to the top of the box and major politicians, which have a very distinct likeness to Kim Jong-Un, Hillary Clinton, and Vladimir Putin. The video doesn’t stop there. The puppeteers think that they are in control, but they have strings too and when they are followed upward, we see death as a skeleton in a robe. Dans may interpret this as the DeathBat personified or as the King from Hail to the King.
All in all, the video and the music are phenomenal works of art. The composition of musical elements seems to be tapping into older Avenged Sevenfold work. Some say that it is reverting back to their City of Evil days, but I feel more of a Nightmare vibe from the song. The vocals are definitely in a different range from both albums, but it is a good range for the pace of “The Stage.” I am very happy about all that has been released this month and I cannot wait for the new Avenged Sevenfold album to be released.
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