Just incase you missed the first release of The Stage, Avenged Sevenfold have scratched your metal itch with the release of the deluxe version of their 7th studio album on the 22nd December 2017. If you are already familiar with the first release, then you’re in for a treat.
The Deluxe version of The Stage is exactly that, Deluxe.
In addition to the 11 tracks on the original release, this update features 6 covers; a new original song, Dose; 4 previously unreleased live tracks ‘The Stage’, ‘Paradigm’, ‘Sunny Disposition’, and last but not least ‘God Damn’, recorded live at The O2 in London.
For those that haven’t yet heard The Stage, it’s an original concept album that delves into the notion of Artificial Intelligence and how it relates to our humanity as we stride headlong into the space age. Track 5, audaciously titled ‘Creating God’, explores our collective obsession with automation and machines, our dependance on them and the way that our lay understanding of technology leads us to view them as God-like.
The second half of the album investigates the reality of space exploration and how we treat each other, boldly making a statement about interpersonal relationships, the different perspectives we hold and the lack of awareness of our actions and how they affect others around us. The last original track on the album, ‘Exist’, stands at an impressive 15 minutes long, the longest track written by the band so far. ‘Exist’ is a musical expedition from the origins of the universe through space and time and closes with an excerpt from an essay given by Hayden Planetarium director and world renowned astrophysicist, Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson.
To round off the deluxe version of The Stage, Avenged Sevenfold have gifted us 6 covers. ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd and ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys stand out as particularly captivating covers, although the latter is quite a departure from M Shadows distinctive style, it is covered with finesse and a compelling take on a classic number. The remaining covers, we’ll leave for you to discover.
The title track on The Stage has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Song category, this is the first time A7x have been given the nod for nomination. When the nominations were announced the band released a statement showing their excitement at the news.
“We are honored to be recognized for the first time the by the Grammy committee for The Stage. It’s truly an honor and we look forward to January 28th. It’s a celebration of sorts, we will be working on something special for the fans very soon”
The Stage in its own right is an intriguing concept and strikingly relevant, it is perfect timing for the band to release this kind of thought provoking and innovative material after 19 years together. Its refreshing and not too politically overwhelming but still delivers important messages through its lyrical content. The album invites the listener to explore a deeper level of consciousness and consider our fellow humans, the world around us, and the galaxy we’ve yet to explore. The deluxe version with its covers, original tracks and live recordings is just what every Avenged Sevenfold fan needs and its been received by us with eagerness.