I like The Stage (Avenged Sevenfold’s new album) best when it concentrates on speaking without words (sorry M. Shadows but your goofy name and disc-grindery vocalizations don’t really do it for me), that is, takes on a purely instrumental approach. At about 5 and a half minutes into the first track I felt I might actually be getting speaker burn (that’s a compliment), a common effect when assaulted by two guitars (at least one “shredding” almost constantly), a bass guitar, and a double-bassing-his-right-leg-off drummer. But this band doesn’t stop there. They find the energy to pump in a Spanish-y guitar interlude and a brass section. So, I’ll end by saying they’re quite accomplished … whatever that means.
Suggested Use: I imagine I might enjoy listening to this album while painting my bathroom in the near future. The precise and incredibly energized musicality seems to reflect the required skill-set of a would-be house painter who works against a deadline but MUST NOT SPATTER THE TRIM. And that brass section allows me to “sing” along. My hands will be mostly preoccupied and unable to riff on my air guitar, but complementing the brass section with my own additions can be a hands-free experience, given the versatility and ever-present nature of my mouth trumpet.