One of our and our readers' most anticipated albums of 2022 is the new Avenged Sevenfold record. The OC metal band's long-awaited follow-up to 2016's The Stage has been in the works for years, and last month, frontman M. Shadows revealed that while their own parts of the album have been recorded for a year, they still needed to collaborate with a 78-piece orchestra to get the string parts finished. Today (February 10th), the band confirmed that the strings have been tracked and that the whole album is now "90 percent done."
"Twas worth the wait," Shadows wrote on Twitter alongside photos of he and guitarist Synester Gates giving an approving "thumbs up" to a studio filled with orchestra players. Drummer Brooks Wackerman offered a more detailed update alongside a similar photo he posted on Instagram. He also teased that the album's sound is "unlike anything we've ever released."
"Well, this Happened on Tuesday," Wackerman wrote next to a pic of the orchestra. "We, Avenged Sevenfold, started writing this record four years ago and I can't believe we are 90 percent done. One of the perks [of] the creative process is that we are able to track a 78-piece orchestra on our records. The fact that we are able to bring incredible musicians together to enhance our art still gives me chills."
"I can't wait for the the world to hear this," he added. "All I can say it's unlike anything we've ever released."
That's all he had to say, but his cryptic suggestion that the album is a significant left-turn sounds in-line with how Shadows described the record last month. "There are so many influences," he told Metal Hammer. "We're very influenced by Kanye West. 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."
There's still no definitive timeline for when the record will actually be released, but summer 2022 seems likely. Throughout the pandemic, Shadows repeatedly pledged to not unveil the record until they're able to properly play shows again, but with a few gigs lined up for June and July of this year, it seems reasonable that we'll be hearing this bad-boy before then.