Avenged Sevenfold’s new album: Everything we know so far

Over five years on from The Stage, we’re finally getting closer to album eight from Avenged Sevenfold. And there’s a lot to get excited about…

Avenged Sevenfold’s new album: Everything we know so far
Emily Carter

While 2022 will undoubtedly bring a whole lot more uncertainty to the world, one thing that is for sure this year is that new Avenged Sevenfold music is finally on the way. The Huntington Beach metal kings have been working on the follow-up to 2016’s The Stage for quite some time now, but have experienced hold-ups due to the pandemic, as well as simply making the collective decision to delay the record until live music properly resumes.

Now, though, with confirmed European tour dates in the summer (and the word from M. Shadows that album number eight will be out before then), it’s time to round-up everything we know so far about A7X’s next steps…

The album should be out in the first half of 2022

As we just mentioned, Avenged’s first live show is currently happening in Belgium on June 17 – though of course they could have more lined up before then that haven’t been announced. And last July, M. Shadows told Louder Than Life that new material will be out ahead of the first performances of this new chapter: “We’re booking shows for next summer, and the record will be out before then,” he confirmed.

They’re hoping to have it all finished very soon

Speaking to Metal Hammer, the vocalist explained that in January the album’s strings will be completed by a 70-piece orchestra in Prague. Then, “we finish the record in February, mix it in March.” Since The Stage, a fairly casual approach has been taken with the whole thing, the band not rushing or breaking restrictions just to get it done. “We have all these things we can’t do,” M. told Kerrang! in December 2020. “We’re still trying to get string sections together, and our mixer is older and I know that they don’t want him to travel right now because of COVID, so even if we got it done right now, we couldn’t get it mixed. So we’re just not worrying about it, you know? It’s like, ‘When we can, we can.’ But right now, we can’t (laughs).”

The band had good reason to take their time

“The reality is – and no-one wants to hear this – in this day and age, rock’n’roll just takes too long to make,” M. stated of not rushing things this time around with the state of the world as it was (and still is). “It’s going to be a three-year record to make. And if we put that record out and then we’re locked down for another year, as much as people don’t want to believe this, they are not going to give a shit about a record that came out a year prior when it’s time to tour. And so if it’s going to take us two or three years to write a record, we’re not going to put it out if we can’t go play it live.”

The album will have a huge accompanying stage show

…but, the creation of it has also been affected by coronavirus. M. told Loudwire, “We can’t get the supplies we need to build it, which there’s a supply chain problem as well. Go look at Long Beach, look at the port right now, and these boats are just stuck there. And so we have all these things going on where we’re not gonna come back onstage and have the stage from The Stage record and then just go, ‘Well, same show four years later. Sorry, guys. The record’s not done ’cause we couldn’t finish it.’

“So I would just say starting in January, we are gonna put our nose to the grind and we are gonna finish this record. And then we’re doing a couple of shows in Europe. And then I would love to – and I don’t wanna step on [festival organiser] Danny Wimmer’s toes here – but I would love to start at Aftershock [in October] and then book a tour out from there.

“So, we’re gonna be doing stuff. But yeah, it’s just kind of making sure we’re mentally there and we put our best foot forward when we do come out and make sure that’s all good.”

Photo: Chris Casey

And NFTs will likely play a key part in the cycle somehow

Avenged got big into the crypto world last year, launching their own Deathbats Club – not just as a community for their listeners, but also by way of connecting with fans on a whole other level. In December, for example, they airdropped their NFT holders two free gig tickets, plus some exclusive art. Surely this is how they’ll start teasing out new material when the time comes, too?

New music is “wild”

“The record sounds nothing like The Stage,” M. told K! in December 2020, “it’s a completely new direction, and it sounds nothing like anything we’ve done. That’s all I’ll say about it: it’s over the top, and it’s very eclectic and wild.”

And they’ve embraced brand-new influences

…from Kanye to jazz. Yes, really. “We’re very influenced by Kanye West,” M. revealed to Metal Hammer. “The thing about Kanye is that he is pulling from such great soul music. I didn’t grow up with that stuff – my dad listened to Boston and Alice Cooper, I didn’t get that taste of black music and old soul. So, diving deep into jazz musicians… we’re not trying to do a jazz record, but the chord changes and progressions are so eye-opening to us.”

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