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How Avenged Sevenfold wrote Exist

Avenged Sevenfold frontman M Shadows reveals the story and concept behind the space-age closing track Exist

If you've listened to Avenged Sevenfold's latest album The Stage, you'll have noticed that the band have a new-found passion and appreciation for futuristic technology, artificial intelligence and (most importantly) space. This increased intrigue in galaxies and interstellar activity is especially prevalent in the epic, 15-minute closing track Exist, which features a three-and-a-half monologue from the magnificent astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. But, as we find out in the below video, that wasn't the original plan.

After going "down a rabbit hole" one night, M Shadows discovered Carl Sagan's infamous Pale Blue Dot speech and wanted to include it on the record, which unfortunately wasn't possible. Here he tells the story of how the version of Exist that we know today came to life.

Discover how Avenged Sevenfold's new album came to be and why they're using it as a platform to change themselves and the music industry in the latest issue of Metal Hammer.

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