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Did Avenged Sevenfold sabotage themselves by surprise-releasing new album?

Posted by on November 7, 2016

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The numbers are in, and while you’ll be seeing the full results in a few days on Metal by Numbers, Avenged Sevenfold’s The Stage is a top five album. The band’s seventh album sold about 72,000 copies, which is a pretty impressive first week for 2016, debuting at #4. However, comparatively speaking, it’s the band’s worst week they’ve had since 2005’s City of Evil, which sold about 30,000 it’s first week. 2013’s Hail to the King and 2010’s Nightmare both debuted at #1, selling 159,000 and 163,000, respectively.

So why did the new album sell less than half of what their last album? There are several factors here. Obviously, streaming is a lot more of a factor than it was in 2013, and it seems like more and more people are choosing to stream over buying an album either physically or digitally. Also, the band’s pretty much kept a pretty low profile the last few years, hardly playing any shows in 2016 and suing to get off of their former label Warner Bros. However, the way in which they chose to release the album, almost unprecedented for a rock band, seems to have backfired. 

Until October 28th, the day The Stage was released, no one knew that the band were going to release the album. Just about two weeks before the album was released, “The Stage,” the title track from the album, was released. If you’d think that a two week notice isn’t that much for a band of that stature, that’s part of the story, but there wasn’t even a release date announced until it was already in stores. A fake release date from Chris Jericho to throw people off the scent didn’t help much, and it might not have been enough to help the band get the word out to fans. 72,000 copies of an album is pretty impressive for most bands, but we’ve got to think that any other bands of Avenged Sevenfold’s stature are second-guessing any thoughts they might have about surprise-releasing an album. Also interesting will be how the band does in it’s second week. There might still be some fans of the band that are just finding out about it.

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Categorised in: Metal By Numbers