The Stage – Avenged Sevenfold

Do you like music, but wish it was, well, more so? This album is for you! It’s filled with awesome complex work; you may have already heard the Grammy-nominated title track and gotten used to its epic Fm-E riff and beautiful solos, but immediately following that are the beautiful triplet riffs and 4/4 chorus of “Paradigm” and the perfect horns and drums of “Sunny Disposition”. They like to move in and out of triplets on this album, using them to create truly exceptional guitar and drum patterns on “God Damn”, “Exist”, and “Angels”. Avenged Sevenfold also shines in great latin/classical acoustic sections on “God Damn”, “The Stage”, and “Roman Sky”; “Roman Sky” is a beauty, a vivid neoclassical ballad about the state murder of Giordano Bruno with perfect clean guitar-violin interplay that you could totally play at your wedding. (If you’re into this kind of acoustic stuff from them, they play impeccable acoustic versions of “Roman Sky”, “Hail to the King”, and some of “Exist” on their EP Live from the GRAMMY Museum.) “Creating God” focuses on some really cool mode mixture, but it also boasts one of the best guitar solos of all time due to Brooks Wackerman’s incredible and creative drumming; Wackerman’s drumming is genuinely memorable throughout this album and is the reason A7X can pull off 15/8 on “Simulation” and what I’m told is a 17/4-5/4 polymeter at one point on “Exist”. Seriously, “Simulation” starts out so slick and goes straight into brilliantly hard riffing with inane chords. Avenged Sevenfold wrote this album with the goal of describing man’s place in the universe from a cosmic humanist perspective and they wrote awesomely complex music to accurately portray complex philosophical concepts; it’s incredible, and I’m so very glad that there’s metalcore-influenced hard rock about, for example, the Fermi paradox, especially because “Fermi Paradox” features one of the best grooves in metal. The standout and the longest song Avenged Sevenfold’s ever recorded is “Exist”, a musical representation of the Big Bang and the creation of Earth that made me cry tears of joy (music alone has never done that to me before) at only ~1:40; the song ends with a speech by Neil DeGrasse Tyson that gave me chills just to read before I even heard the song. The point that we are within the universe, rather than above or below it, is one I will take with me through my life.

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