“The Stage”: An Analysis and Review

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“The Stage”: An Analysis and Review

David Mardakhayev, Reporter

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Celebrity deaths, mass murder, controversy, and Trumpian Policy has made 2016 an exceptionally bad year. The music scene hasn’t had anything too monumental this year either. However, on October 13th, hard rock band Avenged Sevenfold delivered a powerful track after three years of silence to bring some light to this dark year.

Avenged Sevenfold is a band that is known for catchy choruses, dueling lead guitars, and musical versatility. Every consecutive album that is released differs in style from the last. “The Stage” is no exception. The video tackles the idea that politicians’ use wars for personal gain. The puppet show which accompanies the song creates a very enthralling scene and is worth a view, even if rock isn’t your thing.

“The Stage” as a track was a complete shock to the world. There was no ad campaign, no promotion, no stills of the album cover leaked. It was a rare occurrence of complete surprise. This is why the October 28th release of an entire concept album of the same name had Avenged Sevenfold and rock fans alike elated.

“What makes the album worth discussing?” one may ask. Putting aside the clever song structure, musicality, and interesting style direction the band, the actual concept of the album is worth discussion.

Every song on the album deals with technological development. Songs like “Paradigm” are about the use of artificial intelligence to make man immortal; where they explore the notion of “What does it really mean to be a man” in reference to being bionic. Similarly, “Creating God” brings up the point that humans may one day, create a robot that becomes too smart; “I’m needing it more now. More than it needs me.”

Towards the end of the album, the songs shift to a more prevalent topic: space exploration. “Roman Sky”, “Higher”, “Fermi Paradox”, and “Simulation” range from beautiful orchestral pieces to melodic chaos.

The final track, “Exist”, clocks in at a whopping 16 minutes. The track is jam packed as it is a musical interpretation of the big bang. The most surprising thing about this album was the guest speech by Neil DeGrasse Tyson during “Exist.” The man is a true poet, and the speech is incredibly thought provoking.

Avenged Sevenfold have clearly been busy for the last three years. Their new album “The Stage” is one of their greatest works in terms of creativity and variety. If I were to give the album a rating it would 8.5/10. While everything falls into place wonderfully, some choruses did fall a bit flat and songs like “Simulation” are fairly forgettable. All in all, it’s one of the few things that make 2016 just a bit less terrible.

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