We’d say that it was the worst-kept secret was that Avenged Sevenfold would be releasing an album today, and that’s kind of true, but then again, it was a secret until yesterday. That’s a modern miracle in this day and age. The band had been promising a must-see live event last night. When we wrote about it last week, we’d assumed that they would announce when the album was coming out. What we didn’t expect when we wrote about it was that it would be available right after their performance. Indeed, The Stage is out right now.
When we were talking about what the band might have in store, we’d suggested that they might be playing live from the roof of their new label, the iconic Capitol Records building. Turns out we were right. We didn’t get a whole concert, but the band played four songs, including the title track to the new album, a pair of songs from Hail to the King (the album-closing “Planets” and “Acid Rain”) and the title track to “Nightmare.”
The eleven-track The Stage was produced by the band and Joe Baressi, and is apparently their first concept album. It was inspired by Carl Sagan and Elon Musk, and they even got astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to offer a spoken word performance on the album’s closing track, “Exist,” that he wrote specifically for the album. The band have set up two pop-up shops in New York (at 68 Greene St.) and Los Angeles (6615 Hollywood Blvd.) that will be open from Fri – Sun, and will have limited-edition items created for the events.
Like ’em or hate ’em, you’ve gotta give Avenged and their team credit for being able to pull all of this off. It’s one of the most ambitious album roll-outs we’ve seen in a while.