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Avenged Sevenfold sneak release new album The Stage

Frontman M Shadows says new album The Stage features a concept heavily inspired by artificial intelligence

Avenged Sevenfold have released their seventh album The Stage and revealed it features a concept inspired by artificial intelligence.

The album title, artwork and tracklist leaked earlier this week with speculation mounting that it would be sneak released today (Friday). In fact, it was unveiled by the band during last night's 3D, virtual reality performance which was streamed live. They played live on the roof of the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, California. The footage of that performance can be viewed below.

The follow-up to 2013's Hail To The King is the band's first album on Capitol Records after their split with Warner Brothers. Their former label last week announced they'd issue an A7X greatest hits collection in December.

Frontman M Shadows says the decision to release the album on their own terms, with almost no publicity, was born out of boredom.

He tells Rolling Stone: "Everyone else is dropping the breadcrumbs, having four or five singles before their record comes out. It completely takes away the mystique of the record. By the time it actually comes out, you've already done 50 interviews about what the record's about and is going to sound like.

"It's 2016 – people's attention spans are so short at this point, who has time for three months of lead-up?

"You've got five guys over here who are very bored of that. So for us, it was about keeping the hype very short and sweet, and then executing on all levels.

"Here's the record – we spent a long time on it, and it's available for you now. And now we can all learn about the record together, after you hear it, instead of hearing all these things about it as we're dribbling crumbs at you."

Avenged Sevenfold released a video for the album's title track earlier this month after their 'deathbat' logo started appearing in various cities, hinting at the upcoming release.

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On the artificial intelligence concept of The Stage, Shadows says: "I felt like this is one of those things that our generation is going to have to answer for, eventually, and I just wanted to educate myself on it.

"It's something that's going to be an issue in the future, for our kids and our kids' kids – and if we have a voice that can be screamed from the top of a mountain, I wanted this to be one of those things where we can maybe educate our fans a little bit, or maybe inspire them to educate themselves.

"The song Paradigm talks about nanobots and how they can potentially be used to cure diseases and help you live forever.

"But how much of a human being would you be at that point? If you're 70% machine and 30% human, are you going to lose yourself?

"Or a song like Creating God – computers are getting smarter and smarter, and all of a sudden they're becoming your god. They're so much more intelligent than you, you seem like apes to them, or ants.

"And then the second half of the record jumps into space, and space exploration, and how we treat each other as human beings – how we never really look at someone else's perspective, because we just see our own."

The Stage tracklist and artwork can be viewed below, along with the video for the title track.

Avenged Sevenfold The Stage tracklist

  1. The Stage
  2. Paradigm
  3. Sunny Disposition
  4. God Damn
  5. Creating God
  6. Angels
  7. Simulation
  8. Higher
  9. Roman Sky
  10. Fermi Paradox
  11. Exist

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